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Old 07-15-2014, 08:05 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA>Tijuana, BC>San Antonio, TX
5,036 posts, read 5,100,254 times
Reputation: 4725

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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo42 View Post
Well, I thought I would wait at least a week to make sure everything turned out OK and no infection or faulty workmanship came to light. So it has been over a few weeks now and I will lay out my after action report on getting some dental work done in TJ.

Situation:
I found myself without dental insurance and a cracked filling. Like always I delayed going to the dentist for about six months and let the thing fester. I finally went to the dentist here in San Diego and the diagnosis was that I needed a root canal, end post (???) and crown. The dentist I went to also recommended I get two other cavities filled and a cleaning. Grand Total $2,200.00, without insurance. the dentist was willing to carry me on a "payment plan" at 23% interest and he would also knock off 10% off the bill. With dental insurance the bill would have been about $1,400.00. I pondered waiting until our next "open season" to obtain dental insurance, but found out that they wouldn't authorize the treatment until one year has passed under coverage. Makes sense...they are in business to make money.

I could have just paid the 2.2K and been done with the whole thing in two visits. Way too much money at this time of the year...and also the dentist seemed to rub me the wrong way. Somewhat arrogant and reminded me of a auto-mechanic shakedown.

Mission:
I decided that I would take the advice of some friends at work and family and get a diagnosis in Tijuana. My intention was to find a dentist that would do the work at a fraction of the cost here in the US and save money for Christmas.


Execution:
I found a dentist in Tijuana and made an appointment. The dentist was recommended by several people I know well so I felt somewhat comfortable. The dentist diagnosed me the same as the US dentist I visited and laid out the following plan and costs:

Administration:
Unlike the US dentist, the work would take multiple visits. I ended up going down five times, including the initial visit. Chalk one up to the US dentist who stated he could start the work on the same visit and be finished by the the second visit (three days later).

The dentist in Tijuana quoted the following:

Root Canal- $150.00
End post-$100.00
Crown-$100.00
2 cavity fill-$50.00
cleaning-$20.00

$420 Total

Sold!


Logistics:
For five weeks, on Wednesday in the afternoon, I have been driving down to San Ysidro and parking in the lot across the street from Jack in the Box on San Ysidro Blvd. Cost is $7.00 a visit. I walk across into Mexico and catch a yellow cab to the dentist. Cost is 3-4 dollars a visit. After the dentist, I catch a taxi libre back to the port of entry. Cost is 3-4 dollars.

By the time I get back to the port, it is usually about a half hour wait to get back into the US. (Don't forget your passport if you do this) I bought a bottle of tequila on two separate visits at the duty free before returning back to the US. 20 bucks each visit.

On one of the less invasive visits, the wife and I ate at a Argentina steakhouse in Zona Rio before returning to the US. Cost was 40 dollars with several beers and sides.

Communication:
Fortunately I speak spanish well enough to have done this on my own and my wife, a native spanish speaker, helped out with some of the "dental" lingo. But the thing I found most remarkable was the dentist and all his staff spoke fluent english it wasn't the broken english you get sometimes, but english comparable to an american education. The cab driver's not so much, but I did well. I have always thought of getting into a taxi in TJ as an adventure and somewhat a leap of faith.

In the end, with all the visits, cabs, parking, tequila, food, and chicle I dropped about $500.00 square. The work has turned out to be just fine and no pain or complications. The office was clean and modern and the staff was friendly. I recommend if anyone has a dental problem and in the same position. I guess the only negative thing was having to drag out the process and travel to TJ and wait in the line to come back.
Great Report! I paid $250 dlls for my root canal last year and I forget the price of the post and crown but I paid in total around $500 without taxis, tequila, and dinner.

Sounds like you got a good deal Echo
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:07 AM
 
70 posts, read 116,753 times
Reputation: 43
We have HMO dental and pay pretty much same price here in San Diego. A years premium for $70
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Bonita, CA
1,278 posts, read 1,732,270 times
Reputation: 1607
Thought I would bring this oldy but goody back to life. Same scenario, cracked a different tooth in the back. I think all the dental work I got in the Navy is finally starting to fail (35 years later). Anyways, it would behoove you to peruse this thread if you need dental work and are contemplating a visit to TJ.

So in this latest episode in foreign medical tourism-

Another filling failed and I had to make an impromptu visit to TJ for a dental visit. This time my wife and daughter drove me down. Walked right into the office. Same dentist as before (see thread). He took an impression and said i only needed a crown this time. No root canal-yea!. 150 total for a metal base and porcelain cover crown. I left half down and will come back next week for another visit.

We went to a nearby sushi place that was awesome and came back via Otay. 15 minute wait at 6pm. e intended to come back through San Ysidro but it was backed up to the surface streets, so Otay it was.

Quick edit...by the way, I still do not have dental insurance. I retired from the federal government three months ago and they do offer dental but after looking at all the options, I still believe Tijuana is a cheaper route. The Fed's dental insurance is much like any other and cover a percentage, but US dentists will up sell you and bump the bill so high that insurance doesn't matter.

Last edited by echo42; 01-10-2019 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,139 posts, read 15,440,213 times
Reputation: 9074
Wow I need to look into that I have a mouth full of silver that needs to be replaced to porcelain fillings.

Dentist charges $400-500 a filling here in Tustin, CA. He's good but pricey.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
14,468 posts, read 28,214,276 times
Reputation: 8886
This is the dental clinic that I go to. I paid $2,500 for $15,000 worth of work on my teeth. And you can check out their yelp reviews.

http://www.bajadentistry.com/

Last edited by moved; 01-10-2019 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:20 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
2,281 posts, read 1,090,829 times
Reputation: 3698
Washington dental clinic on Revolucion Ave (all the cabbies know it). Super clean and looks just like an American dental office, they all speak English, take credit cards that are processed/billed to Chula Vista so you don’t have to worry about fees or bringing lots of cash, American tv and the union tribune while you wait (which isn’t long, no appointments just walk in), and they reimburse you for your cab there and have one waiting and paid for when you leave. I’ve been to a few dentist down there and can’t recommed these guys enough. I went to them while having a good dental plan because it was still cheaper for my root canal and crown and a partial.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,139 posts, read 15,440,213 times
Reputation: 9074
Thanks so much for the recos I will definitely check them out. I need a real deep cleaning too for excessive plaque.

For these prices I might even get them all done at once 8 fillings Just juice me up good before the burning begins hahahaha

This is great for someone like me that doesn't have dental coverage right at the moment. Thanks again
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:25 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
2,281 posts, read 1,090,829 times
Reputation: 3698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teckeeee View Post
Thanks so much for the recos I will definitely check them out. I need a real deep cleaning too for excessive plaque.

For these prices I might even get them all done at once 8 fillings Just juice me up good before the burning begins hahahaha

This is great for someone like me that doesn't have dental coverage right at the moment. Thanks again
That’s a bold statement. What I do like better about down there is while they all speak English, the dentist and hygienist speak Spanish to each other while working on you. I just close my eyes and let them do their thing, ignorance is bliss sometimes.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,139 posts, read 15,440,213 times
Reputation: 9074
Well you could be right a bit drastic, probably knock it out in 2 visits. Getting to TJ from OC is a long drive these days that's why I originally said 1 visit.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:38 PM
 
Location: San Diego
4,565 posts, read 6,130,564 times
Reputation: 3417
Want to see what a dental practice looks like in TJ?

This is a TV show on PBS called 'Crossing South'. It's about all the things there are to do in Baja California.

In this episode, the host goes to a dentist in TJ. Fast forward to about the 13 minute mark:

https://video.kpbs.org/video/childre...tistry-ulx3er/
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