Does taking a holiday for dental work sound strange? Maybe not. The tooth fairy was not available and the dentist was too expensive in Canada. So what is the answer? A trip to Mexico. I was told that not only do Mexican dentists do beautiful work but it is painless and much more affordable. I started making vacation plans right away. I booked a flight on Westjet and made a reservation at the Quechan Casino and Resort in Yuma, Arizona. As you can see from my before picture, I need some work.
I got to the hotel in the evening the day before my first appointment. So I had a little time to look around and get settled. I knew that I was going to enjoy this place, as soon as I saw all the slot machines, restaurants and the most gorgeous pool that a person could ask for. I decided that the pool was going to be the place where I spent most of my time.
So I started the first day with a quick breakfast and hot tailed myself to my rented car to drive the couple of blocks to the border parking lot. My appointment was at 10:00 AM so I had to be fast. Getting into Algodones, Mexico was very easy. No border security or line ups. Immediately I encountered the locals and I found the people to be friendly and helpful. Of course, they want to sell you things including dental work, optometry work and jewelry but if you tell them, “No I am in a hurry for my appointment.” They will either leave you alone or give you directions to where you need to go.
I got to the dentist office on time and met my doctor. His name is Doctor Perez. He was friendly, competent and honest but he didn’t know very much English. His equally friendly Interpreter, Alonso helped us to communicate. We settled on doing 5 porcelain crowns (they call them veneers down there) and 2 posts and thus my mission to get better teeth begins. This was expected to take three days.
Dr. Perez froze my mouth and began drilling my teeth. It wasn’t exactly painless but you are at the dentist. You can’t expect it to be pleasant no matter what. I was in the chair for four hours but by the end of the day, I had the X-rays, the temporary teeth on and the permanent teeth ordered fro
m the lab. The teeth were to be ready the next day. So I made plans to come in at 12:00 PM so there would be no need to rush. I left the office and made my way quickly to the border. I was warned by the dentist to leave by 5:00 PM because that’s when the mood can change dramatically down there and may not be safe.
I made it to a very long line going back to the United States. There is security including dogs that one needs to clear for re-entering. It took at least an hour but I made it through with no troubles as I didn’t buy anything else but dental work. When I got back to the hotel, my teeth were really bothering me so I decided that I needed something to take my mind off of it. I ordered a lime margarita and that turned out to be my cure for sore teeth. Seriously! It works. Try it!
I ate a lovely supper at the Café inside the casino. I decided to go with the nachos since I was feeling very Mexicano and took advantage of the lovely salad bar. All this cost me under $10.00 (American) and it was very enjoyable. As the night was still young, I decided to play some slot machines. I won some money and lost some. Isn’t that always so with gambling? But I had lots of fun and it was great to watch all the lights go on and the bells ring.
As the three days went by, I wanted to explore but with my dentist appointments taking a toll, I decided that the best thing I could do was just relax and play it by ear. Besides, what’s a vacation without enjoying a swim in a beautiful saltwater pool and the best margaritas you could ever ask for? To good health!
On my last day, I decided to do all my favorite things, and that was to have a big beautiful breakfast that included a strawberry waffle with whipped cream and a sumptuous fruit plate with yogurt. After eating my breakfast, it was time to get my permanent teeth and that didn’t take long at all. Just a couple of hours. As you can see by the picture, I was very happy with the results. I decided to celebrate with one last dip in the pool and going out for a fancy dinner at the Ironwood Restaurant.
The food there was not too expensive either and I had a fantastic meal. It was an avocado, tomato and mushroom appetizer, a mixed salad and some macaroni with cheese. The perfect meal for a vegetarian with a sore mouth. I could not help but admire some of the people’s delicacies sitting near me. One was a good pescetarian meal (Yes that’s you sirens) that consisted of scallops, a baked potato and cooked spinach. The other was a steak with risotto and asparagus (good for the shape-shifters). My time in Arizona/Mexico was coming to an end and I realized that I would not be back for a long time. So I decided to order a fabulous dessert. A raspberry sorbet that tasted like a summer dream.
I left Arizona with a soft glow from the sun and a movie star smile that cost me under $3000 (American). Considering, I paid $1600 for one crown back home. I could not be any happier with how this all went. I promised myself that I would be back and will explore Arizona a little more. Hasta La Vista and Muchos Gracias to everyone who made this possible for me.