Monday, January 21, 2013

Dental Work in Los Algodones

Now that we're retired and don't want to pay for dental insurance (boy, we were spoiled having corporate health and dental insurance all our lives!) we decided to do what the snowbirds do and get our teeth cleaned in Los Algodones, Baja California.

I won't go into the nitty gritty details of our decision (because Nina already did a fabulous job of that here and here...thanks Nina, for sharing the excellent detail and detective work!), but I will give you a report on our experience with our dentist of choice.

We only needed a cleaning and had learned that it should be about $30 each. I had narrowed down a couple of dentists and discovered Bernal Dental Group offered a way to request an appointment and quote online. 

The office got back to me, via phone, minutes after submitting my request and said a cleaning would cost $40. Knowing we could get cleanings for less elsewhere I said "how about 2 for $70?" and after speaking with the doctor we were approved for that price. Our neighbors here at the RV park said for that price it should be a very good cleaning (they've known some dentists to do a polishing and calling it a cleaning).

Our appointment was at 9am on Monday. We easily found the fee parking lot right next to the border crossing, walked across the border and, following the directions provided by the dental office, were in front of the office in 5 minutes. Once inside we each completed a single medical info sheet and I was in the dentists chair in 10 minutes.

Dr. Carlos Castaneda cleaned our teeth. He was friendly and efficient, as was his assistant. He used an ultrasonic scaler to remove the plaque, then polished my teeth. He did not try to upsell any additional services. Hans was in the same chair moments after I vacated it and we were both done within in one hour.

We felt they did a decent job, everyone we interacted with spoke good English, they honored the price they gave me over the phone, and we were out of there in record time. All in all a good experience.

By the time we were done, it was still early and we had already walked the main streets of town prior to our appointment (when walking through town you are constantly solicited for services and shopping) so we decided we'd had enough of Algodones and did not stay for lunch. Crossing back into the US there were only two people ahead of us in line, so it only took about 2 minutes to get back across (this was at 10am). Our entire trip took about an hour and a half and cost $75 (teeth cleaning plus $5 for parking). Not too shabby considering a US teeth cleaning can set an individual back ~$150!


  1. Good information. Thank you for the post.

  2. Sounds like a great deal. Glad all worked out for you:)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Thanks for the nice read and for taking the time to write it.

    We all appreciate your dental information. Learned
    a lot here.