What is it Like to Go to a Dentist in Mexico

The night we “officially” relocated to San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico my wife lost a pretty major filling and needed to find a dentist. She wasn’t in any sort of pain and it wasn’t an emergency but it was something that need to be taken care of and of course we didn’t want to wait too long to address it.

It was around 7PM I asked a friend of mine if he knew of any local dentists that could see us on short notice and he recommended Doctor Mario Flores at Dental San Cristóbal. He told us his office is near our home at Kukurutz right on the Andador (main walking area) and we should go see him. I said thanks and we will get up and go in the morning. He told us we could go right then; he has his office hours in the evening. So we left and after a ten minute walk we found the office exactly as he told us – directly across from Anabananna – and went inside.

The waiting area was a bit aged but clean and serviceable. We talked to the receptionist and she asked us if it was an emergency. My wife explained that it wasn’t but she would like to take care of it soon. She gave her an appointment for 7 PM the next night and we left to go out and enjoy a crisp cool night in San Cristobal.

The next night we arrived about ten minutes early and after a short wait she was shown into the office. Dr. Flores was a personable man who spoke good English and asked what the problem was. My wife explained what had happened with the filling and after a quick examination Dr. Flores told her he could fix it right away and gave her the cost up front: 500 pesos (about $37 USD).

My wife said the office was clean, seemed to have all the latest equipment and after 15 minutes or so she had a new filling. Dr. Flores also politely scolded her for brushing too hard and suggested she go out and get a new tooth brush with softer bristles. We paid. We left. We went to a nearby pharmacy and got a new [child’s extra soft with a panda on it] tooth brush. Start to finish about 45 minutes and $37 plus a new tooth brush.

Now I don’t know what the same thing would have cost in the United States but I am sure the cost would have been substantially more. I am also pretty sure it would have been a bit tough to get a next day appointment as a new patient with a new dentist. I am also pretty sure the odds would be slim for getting a 7PM appointment. Once again we have had another no muss on fuss experience with the Mexican medical establishment and it has been nothing but positive for us.

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Also published on Medium.

Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn't intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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