How to Find the Right Dentist in Mexico
First-time tourists who walked across the US-Mexico border to Los Algodones are startled to be surrounded by salesmen who screamed they had the best deal in town. They seem to act as “barkers” in marketplaces howling the selling prices of their goods. You may be surprised that they are actually selling the best prices for root canals and other dental procedures, not fruits and vegetables!
Stiff competition and possible commission (from every patient) prompted these “barkers” to persuade tourists to their clinics. Although they can be persuasive, (as they can knock 10-20% off the price of any procedure,) it is advisable that you do your own research if you want less expenses and a “toothsome” experience.
Researching for the best or top dentist in a foreign destination can be tedious and worrisome at the same time. That’s why it is important to do some sleuthing from every information databank or website, so you can get the best and affordable care you deserve. With that in mind, here are simple steps that can help in finding the right dentist you deserve. Read on.
1. Research on internet forums, medical tourism websites and clinic sites.
You need to spend time to research researching around on forums, internet and doing searches. Some of the things you need to take note of are the following:
• Your dentist’s credentials: Is he board certified or licensed to practice dentistry?
• Well-established or newbie? How long has been the clinic in the business? 5 years or longer preferably.
• The dentist’s reputation: What does his peers and patients say about him or her? Does he have a good or bad reputation? What does the forum or testimonials say about his practice, their personal experience about the care they received?
• Your dentist’s specialty training: Is he a DMD or DDS? Let’s break it down: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). It’s important that you know his/her specialty. If his specialization is on Endodontics, then most probably he can perform a root canal that is fast without complications. If he is a DDS, then he probably obtained more training in oral surgery.
• Memberships to dental associations: (E.g. American Implant Association, Mexican Dental Association). These are certifications that are nice to see but it doesn’t guarantee anything.
• Certifications of Continuing Professional Education: These are the critical ones to assess. If they have updated certifications that means they are updated on the latest trends, diseases and procedures in dentistry or in their specializations.
2. Ask around! Ask the opinion of family, friends and workmates.
If the internet does not provide the information you need, then it’s probably time to ask them for their recommendations.
3. You can also ask your family doctor or any healthcare provider who you know.
Ask your family doctor for a referral. Doctors and dentists value referrals from their peers. Sometimes they cannot help but give extra attention to their referred patients.
4. List down your top 5 best dentists.
After you have performed steps 1-3, its time to break them down to your top 5. List their names, and the reasons why you have chosen them.
5. List down your top 3 dentists.
List down you top 3 picks and from there decide who are you going to call or visit. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should either call or visit more than one dentist before finally selecting one.
Here are some details you need to observe during your first appointment.
• Clinic accessibility: Is your hotel near his clinic? Does your treatment package include airport, hotel and clinic transfers? If there is, then it is a good package and customer service. Is there public transportation or good parking nearby? Know the office hours.
• Check the clinic premises and equipment: What does his dental office look like? Is his equipment state-of-the-art? Does he practice SOPs like disinfection or sterilization of equipment? Does he use gloves or use sterile water?
• How does he treat you? Is he friendly, accommodating, obliging?
• How does he communicate? Is he therapeutic or can speak English well?
• How does he handle dental emergencies or emergencies during the procedure?
• How much is his fee? What are the available payment options if you don’t have insurance?
• Are you comfortable if he will be providing your care?
Details to take note of when making a call to the dentist’s office:
• Is his receptionist or clinic secretary courteous and accommodating to concerns?
• Do they speak English or other languages?
• Are the other staff accommodating as well?
• Will you feel comfortable if they will be providing care as well?
• If the staff seem unfriendly or they don’t seem to know the right answers or information to your questions, then you might not consider going to them for dental care.
6. Choose your best dentist!
Based from your top 3 whom you had communication or established rapport, choose your best dentist. Base it from the criteria we have created and the other deciding factors such as budget, travel, accommodation and other factors you consider important.
If you have other questions when it comes to choosing the right dentist in Mexico for you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact us!