After sending the Cowboy to have dental work in Los Algodones last year, I ventured out to get my teeth cleaned this year. You must understand that for 40 years of being a registered dental hygienist and having control of my dental life, this was a lot to give over. Similar to having your car worked on by a stranger! Or worse.
First impression, I waited 30 minutes after my appointment time to be seated, while I watched a large amount of staff checking their phones, chatting away, without addressing my wait. Second impressions were better. Brand spanking new equipment. Fresh faced, professional looking dentist, Dr. Erica. Ummmm I could be her mother, maybe even grandmother. Oh well, story of my life.
As a hygienist, I’ve done thousands of dental cleanings. I KNOW. Out comes the ultrasonic scaler. I get that this is how they do it in Mexico but I only used an ultrasonic scaler for the heaviest of build up. I don’t have that. And I’ve never considered myself to have sensitive teeth. But Mother Mary and Joseph, I just about came out of the chair from the ZING. A light scaling was all I needed. If I hadn’t forgotten my scalers back in Washington, I probably wouldn’t have gone. And while I couldn’t see what exactly she was doing, I could tell the polishing (the gritty stuff) was pretty so-so. Wouldn’t pass muster where I worked.
Then came the x-rays. Again very state of the art equipment, hand held digital. But no lead drapes for me or them. I let it go because I know the digital x-rays are extremely low radiation and frankly, been there, done that. If radiation is gonna get me, it won’t be from these on this day.
I have a “suspicious” spot that could be a cavity. I agree, it does look suspicious however I have some older x-rays back at our 5th wheel that I want to re-look at, to compare.
Anyway, without going into a ton of dental language that normal people don’t know, my possible cavity with no symptoms turns into a possible root canal and crown. Um no. Not going there.
And by the way, that suspicious spot has been there for several years, after consulting old x-rays. Probably nothing, just a translucency.
The moral of the story is anyone can tell you anything. And if it’s something you are unfamiliar with, like me and cars, you really have to trust them. I can get a new or different car, but your teeth are a one and done thing. Do I trust Mexican dentists? To a degree but I’d be cautious. There’s some things, like cleanings and x-rays, yup easy peasy. Bigger things, I’d take it on a case by case basis. It’s sooo much less expensive in Mexico, it’s tempting to go for the whole enchilada (haha, see what I did there?!) If you decide to take part in dentistry in Mexico, get 2 different opinions. Think about it, don’t just jump into a big treatment plan. And it helps to take your friendly neighborhood dental hygienist with you 🤣