March 2021

Did you know there is an entire industry of dental tourism from the US to Mexico? Every year thousands of people travel abroad for all types of medical care, either to more developed countries where certain procedures may be more available or to lesser developed countries for more affordable care. Anyone in the US knows how outrageous the health care system has become. Even with employer-sponsored insurance, a root canal can cost multiple thousands of dollars once the process is completed with a crown. Of course, there has been a lot of debate surrounding travel for medical and healthcare purposes.

It was not my intention to seek out dental care while I was here in Mexico. Unfortunately, I had a crown from a root canal performed nearly ten years ago which had come out just as the US was entering lockdowns due to the pandemic. I had visited the dentist in San Francisco prior to coming here, and he had mailed the crown to me once it was repaired. Sadly, I never received the parcel after my three months in Oxkutzcab. I also faced substantial pain during my flight from Atlanta to Mexico City which I later realized was due to a cavity which also needed a root canal.

I was referred to a local dentist here in Merida, Yucatan from a local friend. I was able to find contact information online and after sending a quick message via WhatsApp in order to explain my situation, I was warmly welcomed into the office for a consultation.

The dentist at MayaDent Clinica Dental del Mayab was amazing. Despite some language difficulties, she was very patient and understanding, yet provided great service. After a look around, she informed me I would need the root canal and recommended and even assisted with making an appointment with Doctor Marisa Pacheco. The following week, I went in for the procedure and was once again greeted with warmth and care. The procedure went smoothly with no issues faced and I contacted MayaDent once again to make an appointment to prepare both crowns. The rest of the experience went exactly the same. In previous dentist visits in the US, I have always felt judged and have had a dentist tell me I need to stop drinking soda. His comment turned me off very quickly as since I was a child, I very rarely will drink soda. Anyone that knows me can tell you I am all about the coffee life. Never during my visits to the dentist here did I feel anything but empathy, understanding, care and patience. It was a very positive experience.

By now, I am sure you are curious about the cost. As expected, Mexico is more affordable when compared to the US. The cost of the procedures here breaks down as: Consultation: 500mxn or 25usd Root Canal: 2500mxn or 120usd Two Crowns and Two Posts: 7700mxn or 370usd For a total of 10,700mxn or 515usd I cannot say if you or anyone should travel for the purpose of receiving medical procedures, but I can say I am very happy with the experience even if I would have preferred to not need it.

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