I’ve been wanting to get implants on my upper for about 6 years but with the cost of them in the US I couldn’t justify it. I had actually had my middle four teeth on the upper pulled and a bone graft done about 6 years ago but when I was finally told the actual cost I decided to wait.
The cost in the US was going to be around $30,000 and that was for just 4 teeth (2 implants).
Earlier this year I realized since I was over 59 1/2 I could take some money from my 401K without a penalty so I started looking at dentists in Los Algodones, Mexico. I heard about Los Algodones from Richard and I know Dale and Donna also got some work done there.
The dental group that seemed to be the largest with many good reviews was Sani Dental Group. I got a quote from them and scheduled my first visit for December 27th-31st.
We arrived on the 26th and drove over the border without talking to anyone. We went straight to the Hacienda Los Algodones which is a hotel owned by Sani. It’s a very nice little hotel with decent sized rooms and very friendly employees.
The next day we went to Sani and they did a CT scan and a panoramic X-ray. Then I met with a diagnostic specialist. He said I needed an All on 4 (which is what I wanted anyways) and he suggested I get an implant on my lower back right molar (which had been extracted quite a few years ago). I agree with them and we also planned to do a post and crown on one of my teeth I had done a root canal on a few months ago.
They said to come back on Monday so we spent Sunday checking out a few stores in town. Every few feet someone comes up and tries to sell you something. We weren’t buying.
Monday morning I went in and they numbed my right lower side so he could put in the singe implant. That was completely painless so I was ready for the extractions.
He then numbed my upper right side and started pulling teeth. I had 4 on that side with one a molar. That wasn’t very pleasant and he had to keep adding Novocaine. He finally had them all out and started doing the implants. Again, the implants were not painful at all and he had the 2 in within 15 minutes or so.
Then he numbed my upper left and extracted the 2 teeth and then put in the other 2 implants. As before there was no pain involved (of course my mouth was very numb).
Next came the part I did not like at all. He said my bone was medium to soft and that he didn’t want to install the temporary plate that screwed on. He wanted me to use a full denture for the next 6 months. I told him I really didn’t want to do that as one of the reasons I went with the All on 4 was you get teeth screwed into the implants basically the same day.
He convinced me to try the denture but as soon as it was in I started gagging. I told him there was no way I could put up with that for 6 months let alone 6 hours.
He said he would go ahead and install the temp plate like I wanted as long as I signed a paper absolving them of any damage caused by not waiting. I went ahead and did that since I was not going to use the denture.
So later in the day we started doing the temp impression/plate. To do that they put a plate in your mouth and start painting what I believe was acrylic material so that once they had it done they used it to make the temp. That was probably the most uncomfortable procedure of the whole day. It was in my mouth for close to a half hour and wasn’t doing my gag reflex any good.
On Tuesday I went back to have the new temporary screwed in. It looks great and feels *okay*. I suspect I’ll get used to it in time. I do have to take it easy for the next 3 – 4 weeks and not eat anything hard. I figure I can handle that.
To sum it up my experience was mostly good with the exception of the full denture. I know I will be very happy once I get my permanent plate in about 4-6 months.
I should also mention that Betty got a post and crown while we were there. The cost for both including a panoramic x-ray was only $300.
I would like to say something about the town but we really didn’t spend much time walking around. On Monday we did go to a restaurant for lunch and then another one for dinner. The one we went to dinner at was called Kashas and it had excellent food for decent prices. When we first got there we noticed only one other couple. While there a bunch more people came in and they were all locals.
If you walk around town be prepared to be semi-accosted by all kinds of people trying to sell you trinkets, artwork, and various other items. Most of them would take NO but a few were very persistent. One guy actually scared Betty with his aggressiveness.
I highly recommend going to Mexico if you need any dental work that would be expensive in the US. You can save a lot over the cost in the US where it costs 300-400% higher.