Friday, November 24, 2017

Dental Work in Los Algodones: A Cautionary Tale

Our final stop before our lengthy annual stay in San Diego was in Yuma, AZ. This time was different from prior years because we now have a family moochdocking site. My sister and brother in law have been coming to Yuma for years for off road riding and river play and after months of looking finally found the perfect getaway property...that includes a full hookup site that we can use! We are so grateful!

Sweet moochdocking site in Yuma, AZ.

Arriving on a Sunday, we enjoyed a tasty lunch at From the Farm with Becky and Bill before they had to head back to San Diego. Set on a farm in north east Yuma, From the Farm serves up some delicious tacos and date shakes and has a cute emporium to browse as well.

We had a tasty lunch with family at this unique farm-to-table restaurant in NE Yuma.

Now for the dental...We've been getting our teeth cleaned in Los Algodones for five years now, sometimes twice a year. In that time we had seen three different dentists, all who did a great job at a reasonable price. Our favorite dentist is Dr. Maria Fonseca, whose cleanings rival any we've ever had stateside.

This past spring Hans had an emergency crown done in Quincy, CA and learned he'd probably need another crown in the next year. He also knew he wanted his next crown to be done by a dentist who uses Cerec technology, he really likes the convenience of same-day service for crowns.

Hans spent a lot of time researching dentists in Los Algodones that offered Cerec through the What Clinic website. He even called Dr. Omar Sanchez's office to confirm that they did indeed have Cerec. Imagine our disappointment when we were sitting in our chairs (in the same room, at the same time, kind of weird) and he asks them if they have Cerec and the answer is "What's that?"!

We each had our cleanings and I (who have historically excellent teeth) was told I needed SIX fillings and Hans (who knew he needed ONE crown) was told he needed TEN crowns! Needless to say we paid for our cleanings and got the heck out of there!

Later, while I got my awesome $5 Los Algodones haircut Hans walked to a couple of other large dental offices to inquire if they used Cerec and got information that led him to believe they were also being untruthful...Cerec does not take three days and most offices that use it proudly display it because it is expensive technology.

One week later we got an exam with our San Diego dentist, Dr. Matthew Parilla at Clairemont Smiles, who confirmed that I have ZERO cavities and Hans needs ONE crown. This dentist also told us about the Costco dental plan through Delta Dental that will give him a discount on the services he needs.

Soooo...we've been fortunate to have some excellent dental care in Los Algodones over the years, and I will definitely return to Dr. Maria Fonseca for future cleanings, but our most recent experience drives home the fact that there are some shady businesses out there trying to take advantage of the dental tourists.

Just another beautiful scene in San Diego...

We're now settled in at Mission Bay RV Resort in San Diego for a month. We'll move up to our lovely driveway site in Poway over Christmas and New Years. Then back to Mission Bay for another month after the first of the year. Blog posting will be sparse for the next couple of months as we immerse ourselves in all the good stuff that happens in our former hometown.

For now, here's some of the beauty we get to enjoy when we explore the local beaches and bays...

Snoozing mother and child at La Jolla Cove.

Seen from Mike Gotch bridge which connects east Mission Bay to Crown Point.

It's a Shovelnose Guitarfish.

Little blue heron.

Gorgeous sunsets with clouds...

...and without!


  1. Wow! Ten crowns! I don't think I have that many uncrowned teeth left. LOL! That's disappointing, but I am relieved the cautionary tale was not related to Dr. Fonseca, as I really liked her.

    I must admit to a shade of green over your Mission Bay spot. I would love to be there again. Although you say blog posts will be sparse, I hope you will update on any new discoveries you make while there. Enjoy the season!

    1. It was such a ridiculous dentist visit. If the Cerec lie was not a factor, if they had said 1 or 2 fillings or crowns we might have done it...but they got greedy and outrageous!

  2. Beautiful pictures, Lisa. Welcome home!
    Will you still be in De Anza Cove Dec 5th? The Mission Bay Plan will be presented then at 6PM at MBHS.

    1. Yes we will still be here, good to know about the meeting. Thanks!

  3. Boy talk about some gold-digging dentists! Man I'd have been hightailing it out of there too. Lovely sunset pics! Enjoy your time back "home."

  4. Wow! What an experience! Glad you didn’t fall for it. Enjoy MB. Missing it myself!

  5. That is so ridiculous and so scary!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I'm glad neither of you is really facing all of that dental work. I'll bet it feels good to be settled in for a bit -- we're looking forward to seeing you soon! Great photo of the Little Blue Heron.

  6. Sorry to read about your experience with the dentist. I can't believe they were ready to drill healthy teeth and destroy and crown healthy teeth. Glad you got out of there. We are so looking forward to returning to coast for a month. We'll see you next week!!

  7. That is the worst attempt at gouging I've ever heard of!! Who would ever believe that ridiculous number of bad teeth? Good to know about the Delta/Costco discount - we'll check it out! Can't believe you have another awesome moochdock!!! Looks like a great spot. Enjoy SD and all the beautiful beach offerings.

  8. Good for you that you got out of there ! Crazy! Guitar fish! Never heard of it but thanks to your photo.
    Gorgeous sunsets! and Little Heron photo op. See you soon.

  9. Good choice to get the heck out of Los Algodones!!!! Beautiful sunsets Lisa. We will miss our SoCal winter as we head east to Georgia.

  10. I have had Costco dental for 2 years and our costs for crowns and fillings are about 1/2 what we were paying. Allowed 2 cleanings per year. Where do you get your hair cut in Algodones?

    1. I have gone to two different places on Calle Tercera with excellent results. One is called Saira and the other is Tere's. They are across the street from each other.

  11. Do you read Mobil Kodgers blog? He has had a lot of dental work done in Los Algodones.