Mexican Dentistry: The Grim Reality

As a Dentist, I pour my time and effort into helping people get better health and better lives. As such, I get concerned when I see people getting dental treatment in Mexico that actually damages their health. This is the case with the great majority of the dentistry that I have witnessed in patients who have recently returned from Mexican Dental “Vacations”.

In the last year, I have seen teeth (which were previously healthy) ground down so much that they can’t hold a crown on. I’ve seen botched bone grafts, placed with no attention to basic principles of biology, which have to be removed and redone. I’ve seen implants placed in entirely incorrect positions, and implants that are so infected that they have to be removed. On another patient, crowns were placed that were so poorly fitting that the gums around them exist in a constant state of inflammation and bleeding. These crowns could also not be flossed without tearing the floss due to their overhangs and rough edges. I have seen bridges removed from teeth such that large sharp edges of metal were left behind. I have seen implants placed into the sinus…into thin air.

All of this is being done at a very low price…but an absolutely terrible value.

These patients are paying to travel to Mexico, paying for the dentistry there, and then having to pay again once back in Canada to have me take apart, heal, and redo the procedures that should have been done correctly in the first place. This is troubling because the cost to the patient is much more than if they had stayed in Canada and had their treatment done. Further, and perhaps more seriously, I often find that the teeth that have been treated in Mexico are so compromised by that treatment that it limits the patient’s potential for a good outcome. In other words: We can’t always fix what happens South of the border, and people end up loosing teeth before their time.

I understand that cost is a major factor in accessing dental care, and I would encourage each of you to consider not only the cost, but the value of a treatment.