US-Mexico Border Reopening

The Los Algodones border crossing hours have returned to their normal schedule opening at 06:00 AM and closing at 10:00 PM California time for all travelers, including non-essential travelers. If you have any questions or doubts about how this could affect your dental appointment, please call us at (928)-257-1307

Patient Review

James Meyers

Prescott, AZ, USA

by JAMES W. MEYERS 01/05/2016 Tijuana, MX Most recently I have had the pleasure of traveling with my second son, my beautiful, beautiful boy, Nathan Thomas Meyers. I admit I live vicariously through him at times, as I will turn 72 on my next birthday. N8 (as he likes to sign) is only 38 but much advanced for his scant years. Actually, he has been ahead of his time since day one. When travel is necessary and I have business to conduct, I always try to combine some sort of pleasure with the trip. Nowadays the business end of recent trips has been to seek dental care down in Mexico for Nathan and myself. During the first week of January we found ourselves at the dreaded Tijuana crossing, which is even more grueling today than it was only last year. I actually had my passport stamped for the first time after the mile-long walk from the parking lot and half-hour wait to cross once again into Tijuana, Mexico. I didn?t even need a passport a couple of years ago. What made this sojourn truly epic, though, is returning to the good old USA. It is not uncommon to wait three hours in line and then border patrol and customs agents treat us as though they are doing us a favor letting us back into your own country. Nathan was all but stripsearched coming back across the border into the USA . I exaggerate but only slightly. He did receive a fairly aggressive pat down by an armed, gloved-up, and frowning agent by the name of Michelle Smiles. So much for the US/MX border at Tijuana, suffice to say we wanted to find an alternative and so my search began. But first allow me to digress and explain how I got here today. It was 2006, and we all were living on Gilmore Ave. in the heart of Venice Beach, on the Southern California coast. My youngest son, Jesse, his big brother Nathan, and I were at long last, all living together under the same roof. We all needed some dental care and after only a little research we wound up in Tijuana in the care of Dr. Ricardo Alvarez Carrera, an eminent implant specialist. Dr. Carrera, with help from the beautiful and talented Dra. Cecilia Figueroa Rodriguez, and the lovely and gracious receptionist Berta, practice general dentistry as well. We all really loved this group and our collective experience was excellent! Dr. Carrera on occasion has actually cleaned my teeth himself. I felt special when he did so and always told him so. In the ensuing nine years I visited him numerous times. Ultimately I received three implants; one was a do over because of my ferocious bite. I actually broke the bolt in the bone -- epic! I also had all of the amalgam replaced, not to mention several crowns and numerous cleanings and fillings. All in all a great dental experience, and of course the cost was less than half of what we would have paid for comparable work done in Los Angeles. That?s why we all go to Mexico, No? Si! 02/12/2016 Los Algodones, MX Where to begin? First we came to Los Algodones to evade the much busier border crossing in Tijuana. Los Algodones, MX is just across the California border near Yuma, Arizona on the great Colorado river which divides California and Arizona and it is much closer to Prescott than is Tijuana. As it turns out the crossing at Algodones is much easier and quicker whether you park on the USA side and walk, or just drive in as we did on our second visit. Now it was time to meet our new dentist. We came to the Sani Clinic after some research on line and reading numerous referrals. Most interesting at first was that everyone there is a specialist in their chosen dental field. We soon realized the beauty of this is that they are all under one roof, so things work like an assembly line. It was a little unnerving at first but in the end I was very satisfied. The first specialist to treat me was an endodontist, Dra. Jackie Cruz a classic Mexican beauty, eyes so dark and piercing she didn?t need X- rays. She took several shots using Polaroid film like in the old days, not the new digital format. I don?t know but I think it was her preference? Surprisingly to me, she manned the X-ray arm herself without leaving the room to pull the trigger. This confounded me until she explained that the radiation exposure was minimal. Go figure. At least I was covered, no I wasn?t? I was only covered when they took the first full mouth X-ray for diagnostics. That X-ray was digital. Also it was a much longer exposure as the rig completely circumnavigates your head. It makes the most revealing and useful picture. I digress again, my first appointment at the Sani Clinic was diagnostic, hence the 360, 3D, full mouth X-ray I just mentioned. There I was prescribed three progressively intense treatment plans. The first was minimal addressing only one root canal with a post and crown, $485.00. The second option would include a second crown and an additional $180.00. The third treatment plan would include a couple of extractions a new six tooth bridge across my upper grill a cleaning and I don?t remember for a total of $1950.00 which includes option one and two. I went with option 2 and will go back for the six tooth bridge which includes another extraction. The bitch with that extraction is that I only just last month had my first vanity crown installed here in Prescott as it was going dark. It had been going dark for years and my Prescott dentist, Dr. Allan S. Szeto, DMD installed my finest fitting crown ever at the bargain price of only $600.00. A simple crown at Sani is only $180.00. $600.00 seemed like a bargain as the going price here in Prescott is $850.00. Dr Szuto has done a total of three $600.00 crowns for me in the past year here in Prescott and I will loose two of them once I complete option three at the Sani clinic. Bummer! Wait, I could do implants instead of the six tooth bridge and save my beautifully crafted vanity crown? My third specialist treatment was preformed by Nohemi Espinoza, another classic Mexican beauty with, yes eyes that were so dark and piercing that she too would not need an X-ray. I Kid! I ask her how old she was. She looks so young. She hesitated but after thinking about it for what seemed like minutes, she admitted that she was only 24 years old. She too took X-rays without leaving the room as well as did Dra. Jackie Cruz. ? She would prepare and later install two crowns for me. She also cleaned and polished my teeth. Finally there was Dr. Alberto Mendoza. Dr. Mendoza extracted my newly crowned molar, #30. Honestly, that crown had been installed by Allan S. Szeto here in Prescott for the bargain price of only $600.00 and that was less than one year ago. Bummer! The extraction sight is still sore after five days but I expect a full recovery soon. The pain of losing a freshly crowned tooth is not just physical but psychological. I feel like I have wasted $1,200.00 on crowns that are less than a year old when extracted. Additionally I feel like I wasted over $500.00 on fillings by Dr Carrera in Tijuana as the two crowns I received at the Sani Clinis were on teeth Carrera had performed fillings on only one month ago. Carrera warned me that one of the fillings was very near the root and that it would eventually need a root canal. Interesting to me is that all of the teeth adjacent to my Carrera implants have faltered and needed either extraction, #30 and or fillings in both #29 on the left and #18 on the right. Those adjacent teeth, #29 and #18 have now been crowned after being treated and filled only one month ago in Tijuana by Dr. Carrera. If what I just said seems redundant it?s just that it?s difficult to fully explain. I still am not sure I have explained my escapade, this journey into the search for satisfaction. I have come to the conculsion that, ?I can?t get no satisfaction.? Realisticaly I am getting closer with the discovery of the Sani Clinic down in Los Algodones as the prices there are half of what we paid in Tijuana and about a quarter of what I pay in Prescott or for that matter Los Angeles. Last but not least I am grateful for the assistance of Rudy Durate, Patient care and advocate as he would come in and translate when necessary and he kept the wheel turning for me with scheduling. That is not to say that I felt as though I had to wait a little too long between several procedures. The waiting area is a block long and filled with patients from every corner of the planet. Quite a few from Canada as the prices there are close to what we pay here in the states. I met people who were having as many as eighteen crowns done over the course of only three days. I didn?t come across any patent that wasn?t completely satisfied with their treatment at the Sani Clinic, Amazing! I sign off here but I had a couple of experiences I feel like I must mention. First I left my credit card in the ATM machine in the Purple Pharmacy only to have a young man who had assisted me in the convoluted, Mexican ATM transaction track me down and return the card to me in the store. Incredible! I also absent-mindedly, left my treasured briefcase, a gift from my dear friend Donald Seney in the lobby of the Hacienda Los Algodones Hotel where N8 and I stayed. The desk clerk Roman Lopez had secured it when he discovered it sitting on a chair where I left it and happily returned it to me when I came looking. I love Los Algodones! I love the Mexican people and their language as well. I just can?t say enough about the total experience not to mention again the prices. As an addendum here my son Nathan T. Meyers had great treatment at Sani which he is most satisfied with and grateful for himself. He had been in pain for several months after a dentist in Rifle, Colorado, had butchered a couple of his teeth. He had those teeth worked on in Tijuana by Dra. Cecilia Figueroa Rodriguez only to find he still had severe pain days later. She advised him at the time she worked on his butchered molars that he may need a root canal down the road but she thought he should give her treatment a chance to heal. Once Sani had completed the root canal Nathan had an 18 karat gold crown installed at great additional expense, He was actually treated like a rock star with his gold crown, which is most uncommon. N8 and I had some great meals while traveling through Mexico from Los Algodones to Rocky Point on the sea of Cortez. Like I said earlier, I like to combine a little pleasure with business and I could not have had a finer travel companion than my beautiful, beautiful boy, my middle son, Nathan Thomas Meyers. That?s my story and I am sticking to it!

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