Linda’s Experience Going to a Dentist in Mexico

We know that our readers — many of whom live outside of Mexico — are interested in articles about the cost and quality of both medical and dental care in Mexico. That’s why I decided to do a quick post about Linda’s trip to a dentist this week in Tulum, Mexico.

Long story short, Linda was having trouble with a filling that she had gotten back in her teens and it needed to be replaced. A cavity had formed around it, which needed to be removed before the new filling was put in.

This was actually Linda’s second trip to this particular dentist, Dr. Gustavo Lopez Rocha of Costamed. The first visit was a couple of months earlier for a routine cleaning and check-up.

In case you were wondering, that visit cost $400 pesos, or about $21 USD.

Quality of Care and Cost

No one likes having dental work done, especially when there is drilling involved, but Linda said that it wasn’t that bad. The dentist was very friendly and patient and he made sure that the anesthesia was working well before beginning the procedure, which took about an hour and a half.

When it was all over, Linda gave me a crooked smile — which is all she could manage because half of her face was still numb — and told me that she would definitely return to Dr. Gustavo Lopez Rocha.

The cost of this procedure, without the benefit of insurance, was $660 pesos, or about $35 USD.

Let’s Wrap This Up

One thing that continues to impress me about Mexico — even after having lived here for four years — is the exceptional level of patient care that appears to be the norm in the private healthcare system.

The best part is that it’s affordable for most retirees, even without the benefit of health or dental insurance.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

34 Comments on "Linda’s Experience Going to a Dentist in Mexico"

  1. Gene Christian | July 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm |

    Paul, we have a small casa in CC. I think you might have spent some time there maybe? Anyway, we’ll be down again this fall/winter for several weeks.

    My wife, Michele, needs a crown and a root canal. Do you think Linda’s dentist would be up to the challenge?!

    I look forward to your responding thoughts…

    Gene
    Calle Jamaica #20, CC

    • Qroo Paul | July 10, 2019 at 4:01 pm |

      Hi Gene. They do crowns there at Costamed (Costadental). It’s the best equipped dental office we have seen since moving to Mexico.

  2. Janis Butcher | July 10, 2019 at 2:34 pm |

    Question Paul: We winter in PV. What is your best advice when searching for a dentist? Word of mouth or is there a site your recommend to search for a dentists credentials? Thanks so much and we enjoy reading your blog!

    • Qroo Paul | July 10, 2019 at 4:00 pm |

      Word of mouth is a good place to start. When you get there, they will have their degree (with their picture on it) displayed along with license numbers. I’ve never actually researched any of them that way — but come to think of it, I never did in the U.S. either.

      This is the third dentist that we tried in Mexico. They have all been good, but this one stood out, not only for his exceptional level of care, but also because the facility was so nice and well-equipped.

    • We live in Nuevo, and our dentist is down at the Marina. She is quite good, Alejandra.

  3. Marien Kaifesh | July 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm |

    Many wonder about the training of dentists in Mexico. My father had dental work done in Cancun by a dentist who was trained at University of Michigan and even though we are an Ohio State family, we have to admit U of M is no shabby school!

  4. Ron Minter | July 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm |

    I live near Puerto Vallarta. I have used 2 dentists over the years. Training is usually in Guadalajara and very thorough. The equipment is usually more modern than in the US. Needles for anesthesia are not common, application is a gauze pad applied to the gum . Xrays do not use film and the results are available on a computer screen adjacent to the dental chair. appointments are kept to time and there is no rush to finish your treatment.

  5. I have gone to Mexico several times for medical procedures including dentistry. Besides being more affordable I found the standard of care so much better. Anything elective that my insurance won’t cover, I’ll be heading south. I always do extensive research though. It’s silly to go to any doctor (including the US) without doing your homework. People in the US don’t understand and make judgements without knowing all the facts.

    • Linda Nichols | July 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm |

      I just wanted to comment that people should check with their dental insurance to see if they have international coverage. If so, even if the provider is out of network, they may pay a portion after you have paid the bill. I have BCBS fedvip. Even at Mexico rates, a mouthfull of dental adds up, so any reimbursement is helpful.
      Thanks for this article!

  6. Denise Olazar | July 10, 2019 at 3:12 pm |

    Thanks for the great info! Did Linda use the Tulum office or PDC? Great prices for these services!

  7. FredinMotul | July 10, 2019 at 3:24 pm |

    I am always impressed by my Dentist here in Motul, Yucatan, MX. She has a spotless office, excellent technique, and attends yearly Update Training at her school in Merida. Oh, and painless too. She has just about gotten all the old fillings out of my mouth, Made me two nice bridges, and my caps are great. I would recommend her to anyone, and we found her by the recommendation of another ExPat, so just do a little checking and most anyone can find a good dentist in Mexico!

  8. Paul J Hennessy | July 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm |

    As a Tao, Akumal resident, I too had a very positive experience in Feb 2019 with a Tulum dentist–Dr,Justo Fragoso Silva of Eurodental Ontologica–after breaking a tooth. She’s a very competent and patient-friendly dentist who did excellent work in replacing the tooth with a temporary bridge.
    Also impressive was that she allowed me to send an X-RAY and confer via computer with my regular dentist at Harvard Dental School in Boston, where I live, to determine the best treatment. I would highly recommend Eurodental Ontologica in Tulum and Dr. Silva. The care was comparable to the best in the U.S. and total cost ($200 USD) about 20% of a similar American treatment

  9. Dentists have been great overall, very proactive and up to date. Another area to look at is orthodontics. My son needed treatment and the type of braces they treated him with were generally more advanced than what was available in the US and cost about 1/4 of the price (of course these types of braces were available but they were rare and quite expensive).

  10. My husband visited a dentist in Cancun, had a root canal, crown, and a sleep apnea mouth piece molded and fitted, all for $650 usd. He was quoted a $3200 price here in the states. He was extremely happy with the dentist and services. She even called us on a sunday, before our flight home, to make sure everything was good, incase he has any issues! It was cheaper to have the work done, (same quality) and vacation for a week in Cancun than to just have the work done in the states. We will only use her for our dental needs from now on!

  11. Daniel Vásquez | July 10, 2019 at 5:07 pm |

    I live in Ajijic, Jal and we have many excellent dentists here. My dentist dies standard dental work, with a focus on implants. She has many patients come in from the US for implant work. She doesn’t do root canals, however, she has a colleague come in from Guadalajara to do that. She also has a colleague come in to do orthodontics. My dentist is the best I’ve ever had. I’m 71 and retired to Ajijic in 2010.

  12. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from current and previous patients. No matter who or where, I always ask, “Please give me the name and number of the client who will give you the best review and the one who will give you the worst review.” Let’s hear both sides. Found an awesome dentist in Rosarito, south of Tijuana, this way. Viva México!

  13. Gene Black | July 10, 2019 at 5:23 pm |

    A friend and I went on a vacation so he could get a crown. But the dentist there showed him the x-rays and explained why he shouldn’t get a crown on that tooth. He did get a cantilevered bridge that worked much better and has been problem free. The cost was less than his co-pay would have been with insurance in the states. His dentist commented on how well the bridge was put in. (He never told her he had it done in Mexico instead of the Specialist she recommended.)

  14. Ronald Rogoza | July 10, 2019 at 6:06 pm |

    Thanks for the article
    My wife and I spend 5 months each winter in La Pas, BCS
    We get Dental care there that is excellent..cleanings, crowns and implants..40% less cost than Canada
    For what we pay, it doesn’t pay to have out of country Dental insurance
    Highly recommended

  15. Wayne Miller | July 10, 2019 at 6:25 pm |

    Outstanding and well timed article – I will be taking delivery of my new condo in Tulum very soon and was planning on some dental work while I’m there. Now I know just where to go!! 😀

  16. Kristine Miles | July 10, 2019 at 8:58 pm |

    While on vacation just south of Playa Del Carmen, our 12 year old son had a wire break on his braces. Fortunately, one of the dive staff was able to recommend an orthodontist in PDC. She gave him a call and got us an appointment that very evening. The office was immaculate and the staff were so kind to all of us. His braces were fixed quickly and it cost us less than $100. We were extremely impressed!!

  17. Linda Wilson | July 10, 2019 at 11:27 pm |

    Your blogs rock! Thank you!

  18. Deb Loewen | July 11, 2019 at 9:29 am |

    Great information Paul.

  19. antonio hernandez | July 11, 2019 at 10:51 am |

    Im trying to get dental work down do you happen to have the phone nunber to dr gustavo lopez rocha

    • Not his direct phone. You can make an appointment by called the Costamed in Tulum, 01 984 124 0830

  20. Another great post, Paul! I need to get to Mexico to see a dentist very soon!

  21. I am visiting a dentist when I visit Puerto Vallarta in January. I told my dentist and his assistant that I wouldnt be getting the two crowns done in their office that I have needed for awhile, they said “Its fine! We have a couple other patients who snow bid in Mexico and we havent seen any bad work come out of there.” They also asked me to tell them where to send the Xrays. I have never been more excited to visit a dentist in my life!

  22. Thank you for another Great Article Paul and Linda, We have excellent dentists in Playa as well, my favorite ones are Dental Integral, Victor and Mariana. Mariana is awesome with root canals, Also Jorge Armenta, playadentist.com has been here for a long time and has a very good reputation. Both speak very good English and offer high quality services at very fair prices.

  23. Have had extensive dental work done in Mexico after multiple conversations with office determining type and extent of repair on each tooth, The cost was about 1/4 as compared to U.S ($2200 VS >$10K ) if motel expense, etc added (3+ days were spent in the “chair,”). The quality of work IMO, was higher than previously had done in/by (southern) U.S. dentists. Performing dentist unsolicited confirmed my suspicion of a (less than optimum) precious metal crown replacement by Arizona dentist. Also noted was one instance where dentist did not approve of laboratory alignment of (multi-crown fitment) and non-acceptable crown was immediately sent back to lab with correction instructions and cap was back within an hour while other procedures were done(no time lost.) There was always someone at my side during the few times I was waiting (shots to kick in. )The office had several nice English speaking staff (young ladies)to clarify any concern. The work was performed on the mainland of Mexico as I came in from Texas, not Qroo. I do not expect the quality there to be any lower, but always recommend a relationship establishment and cost areas to be addressed in full prior to any work. TLee

  24. Ralph Wyatt | July 12, 2019 at 11:22 am |

    My wife and I have visited a dentist in Cozumel and are very satisfied with the care and service given us. The first time we visited Dr Sylvia for initial exam we fell in love with her, she is so kind! When I got up from the chair she asked me for a hug!! I have literally fallen asleep in her chair as he office is almost zen, beautiful music, soft light, sometime she hums softly to while working.

  25. Sherry McCary | July 13, 2019 at 9:29 am |

    I’ve had very extensive dental work done in Cancun and saved several thousand dollars even after paying for airfare and hotel for a week. We’ve also started getting ordinary cleanings done when we go to Mexico on vacation. The cost for asthma meds I’ve been on for 30 years are getting crazy expensive in the US. I get them filled quarterly and am wondering if the docs in Mexico might be able to get me a prescription for a whole year (that I can get filled in Mexico) since these are maintenance drugs. Have you got any insight on this? Love your blog!

    • Qroo Paul | July 14, 2019 at 9:55 am |

      It depends what the primary ingredient is. If you’re looking for something like Claritan D, you won’t find it here because pseudoephedrine is no longer available for sale in any product.

  26. Before moving here ,(Cozumel) ,I went to a dentist office in La. because a wire had broken off on my lower partial. They advertised as being “Affordable”, well $4000 was not what I could afford, and they charged me $45 to tell me that.Three months after moving here I went to a dentist and explained I needed a new partial and showed her my old ones with the broken wire. She looked at it as one might look at an article at a garage sale and wonder if it had any antiquity value. She then proceeded to start packing in the clay. I stopped her and said I needed to know how much first. When told I was tempted to order a second set for spares. The cost was about $250 usd. They are state of the art total polymer (no wires) and look and feel great and I sometimes forget they are even in. Glad I didn’t order 2 these will probably outlast me.

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