Teeth, Eyes, and Tourism

I last had a dental cleaning a few weeks before the dawn of the Great Recession.  When you’re done working full-time, $300 each for a cleaning and exam feels like too much.  But that seems to be the going rate, unless you go to Kat’s brother, where it’s $330.  We no longer have tennis buddies who give us a break on pricing.  And we no longer have dental insurance, so any procedure involving teeth is going to be costly.  But Kat had read about dental tourism, and we found a well reviewed dentist in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  We booked an appointment and holy moly!  It was just like going to a US dentist, except that perhaps the hygienist was not sufficiently confident of her English to conclude her work with a lecture about daily flossing. She spoke these two words over and over:  “Open wide!”  Ah, when two people get cleaned, x-rayed, and examined for $200, you want to visit Mexico more often.

Manuel Labor
Manuel Labor
It Is Still in Use, As a Sidewalk
It Is Still in Use, As a Sidewalk
Tourista Policia:  Do They Protect Us, Or Watch Us?
Tourista Policia: Do They Protect Us, Or Watch Us?

The eye people were a bit scarier:  I had little confidence in them, but the finished product was amazing.  I now see things I had forgotten about.   Repeat:  I see things I had forgotten that once I could see …. Like the mortar in a brick building.   If you haven’t noticed that in a while, it’s time to get your glasses changed.  Plus they built me some prescription shades using the frames of my 25 year old Serengeti Drivers, those big old brown aviators.  The total tab came to $385, but try getting three pairs of progressive, plastic lens specs with reasonably fashionable frames anywhere north of the border for that.  You might be able to get three pair, but you’d come out looking like Vince Lombardi, circa 1966, in those old style bi-focals.

 

Our Eyewear Shop
Our Eyewear Shop
Optometrista Dra. Ana Bertha Castro Rios.
Optometrista Dra. Ana Bertha Castro Pena.

We enjoyed a couple of big, better than average Margaritas as well.  Kat got some good pictures of this bar’s interior, but like so many other places, there is no street sign.  It is the bar with no name.  We ate average enchiladas and tacos at La Café de la No Llamo, even drank the water, and nobody got sick.  I bought a $70 Hoss Cartwright straw hat for $25, and left knowing I’d paid too much.

 

Cross the Border and Only the Lingo Changes:  This Could Be New Orleans, Except Nobody's Drunk.
Cross the Border and Only the Lingo Changes: This Could Be New Orleans, Except Nobody’s Drunk.
Not to Scale; But These Are Substantial Margies!
Not to Scale; But These Are Substantial Margies!
Escuela Rojo.  Our Landmark for Finding Rios-Pena Optical.   (You See Air Conditioners?)
Escuela Rojo. Our Landmark for Finding Rios-Pena Optical. (You See Air Conditioners?)
A Modern Water Cart
A Modern Water Cart

And there were these street dancers!  I asked a local having her spectacles adjusted at our shop about them.  She told me that they only visit Nogales in March and April.  Then I asked:  “In Espanol, how do you say ‘brain damage’?”

 

Dancers.  Is That Macaroni on their Legs?  Those Are Spent Shotgun Shell Belts.
Dancers. Is That Macaroni on their Legs? Those Are Spent Shotgun Shell Belts.

She grinned, and pronounced, slowly and clearly, “Dano cerebral!“

5 thoughts on “Teeth, Eyes, and Tourism

  1. Excellent! We visited Nogales for the day earlier this month just to sight-see and eat some authentic Mexican food for lunch. I had a full dental cleaning + x-rays in Belize in January 2013 so decided to wait until “next time” and skip having that done while in Mexico, though I did give it thought. Which dentist did you go to and would you recommend him/her?

    I had also just gotten new progressive specs at Wal-mart for a decent price, but once I saw the shops in Nogales, realized I could have probably done better. Oh well…again, maybe next time.

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    1. Our dentist is Dr. Francisco J. Tapia, Avenue Campillo 86, Suite 302. He is a youngish 40-something, speaks excellent English, and he didn’t try to sell us extra procedures. He pointed out two old fillings that might need replacement, but added ‘that could be 3 months or 3 years’ … watch for them on your next exam.’

      We are pleased with Dr. T and his office staff. They even had the most recent Sports Illustrated, English edition!

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  2. I also had great experience on my dental treatment abroad last year. The quality of dental care in Mexico is generally high but but just like at home, it’s important also to do some intensive research about the clinic and the dentist qualification, as much as possible those who have been highly recommended by others, just like your dentist. In my case, I was assisted by a dental tourism company called PlacidWay who has able to help us from our dental trip from start to finished. Me and my husband both have a major dental work in Los Algodones and was also really satisfied with the results. Many Mexican dentists went to the same American schools as U.S. dentists attended, and are every bit as well qualified and capable of any dental work. Their clinics are also superbly clean and the staffs are all so professional and friendly.

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    1. And it works both ways. My all-time favorite internist is a New Yorker who earned his license via a Mexican medical school.

      Thanks for reading us, Naomi.

      Jackson

      Like

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