Dr Bernal Los Algodones Dentist
March 7, 2014 , Random
I get asked quite often about my Mexican dentist, who it works and why I go. Often, I repeat myself to everyone. So, this trip, I decided to grab my iPhone, take photos and blog about the trip.
I will start at the beginning (always a good place)….
I had a front tooth that I had two root canals on. My High River dentist actually suggested he try for a third root canal. Really?? Isn’t the definition of madness doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome? I wasn’t impressed. I went to a different dentist in the same office and she had more common sense. She immediately confirmed what I knew I would have to do – get an implant. She said she could book me into either Lethbridge or Calgary. I was upfront and said I was going to go to Mexico for the treatment – and no I wasn’t scared that some guy with a steak knife and scissors was going to perform dental work on me. I figured I would need a bone graft because of the massive abscess on the tooth as well. I was right again. More about that later.
Thirteen months ago, Jane and I travelled to Yuma, Arizona to spend a week with my dad and to begin the implant procedures. I could stop this blog post right now – and I wouldn’t have cared how much money I spent or didn’t spend, because this was the last time I spent with my Dad. He passed away nearly three months later. I’m so happy I had this awesome week with him and that Jane got to spend all the time with him too.
My dentist’s name is Dr. Bernal. He pulled my tooth and actually found out that my High River dentist missed a root in the root canal. Remember – this dentist did two root canals….he missed it twice! Thankfully I didn’t let him do a third. Every single one of those procedures I had to pay for. Thousands of dollars down the drain. I had to get the bone graft that I predicted I would. Because of this, I had to add an extra trip to Mexico to do everything. Everything went awesome and I walked away with a fake tooth to wear for the year.
I came back in July to put the screw in. It took about 20 minutes and I was done. Again, everything went amazing.
A couple of months ago I had an issue with another tooth. I needed a root canal. I hate my teeth. The High River dentist looked at the site of the implant and said it looked awesome. I then had a root canal on a back tooth. The cost of the crown was going to be $1,300 (which I would be paying out of pocket). I knew I was going to Mexico anyway – so booked in for the crown there. The cost with Dr Bernal?? $300. The implant cost in Canada with the bone graft was going to be about $7,000. What I paid with Dr. Bernal? Only $2,100. I’ve saved $5,900 already by going to Mexico….just for two small things.
I flew with points for free and hotels are really cheap here.
Which brings us to today. I was getting the healing screw in and imprints for my crown for the back tooth. I will walk you through the photos I took….
1) This is driving to Los Algodones. There are lots of billboards for dentists, optometrists, etc. It’s only a 10 minute drive….if that.
2) You park in a massive parking lot. I swear every Canadian and American comes here for dental work. It costs $6 to park your car for the day.
3) You then walk across the border into Mexico. It feels strange because no one checks passports. You just walk through a turn-stile and voila….welcome to Mexico!
4) In Mexico. There are lots of vendors trying to get you into their shops for dental work, medications, glasses, etc. I would suggest you use a professional that has been recommended to you. Even I just wouldn’t go into a dentist office and get work done.
5) Bonus….alcohol is cheap.
6)….and so is pure vanilla. I always buy my mom some so she can bake me cookies 🙂
7) Medications are really cheap too. You should see the line-ups of people buying their medications in Los Algodones…..and buying them in bulk. The stories I hear down there from Canadians and Americans and the cost of their drugs in unreal. It’s a real bargain here.
9) More scenery. There is a Timmie’s knock-off here too!
10) This is Dr. Bernal’s office from the outside.
11) …And here is a panoramic view of the waiting area. It’s air conditioned and the same as what you would find in Canada.
12) Meet Dr. Bernal and Juan. Juan is who you will email and talk with when booking your appointment. He’s awesome. I can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Bernal. I first hear about him through some of my Loree family. They went to him. Then, my mom went. She had about $40,000 worth of dental work to be done. It cost her about $6,000, including travel costs with Dr. Bernal. The work she had done is amazing and the same caliber as what she would have got in Canada, but at a fraction of the cost. He speaks English and has a doctorate (of course) and does on-going training at Harvard in the U.S. He’s also a member of the American Dental Board. He’s a implant specialist and is exactly the same as a Canadian dentist. I personally think he’s better than most Canadian dentists. Now I get that dentists are always going to cost more in Canada than in Mexico. There is a massive cost of living difference. I understand. I’m not knocking them for being costly. It’s the price of doing business. I just preferred to spend that extra $5,900 that stayed in my pocket elsewhere…like on my family or other bills.
13) A view from one of the many pharmacies in Los Algodones. It’s like Senior’s Discount Day all day, every day!! I must admit, it is strange that you can walk in and buy any drug you want without a prescription. They don’t sell painkillers, and medications like that though. I’ve purchased my antibiotics that my dentist recommended after my work here. Again….exactly the same as in Canada – just way cheaper.
14) Heading back. This time of year there is a line-up to get back into the U.S. I chatted with a couple from Weyburn, from Cranbrook and from Palm Springs. You just hand over your passport and away you go.
15) Walking back to the parking lot.
17) It’s even busier now!!