This particular clinic was Dental Laser Nogales. Two doors over is another one. And one of the regulars is giving me another clinic name in that general location.
The protocol is that you park your car on the U.S. side and walk across. It costs about four bucks to park in the fast food restaurant. Driving in Mexico requires certain kinds of insurance. When crossing the border from the U.S. we didn't have to show ID. On the way back a passport or birth certificate and driver's license were needed. A passport gets you through faster. Apparently you can get a passport card versus the passport "book" for $35. We will look into that.
The waiting room at the clinic was packed. But intake was efficient and fast. Those manning the clinic all spoke perfect English. Clients included American families with children.
Dentists, not paraprofessionals, do the actual work. Since I was a newbie, there was free diagnostic procedures, including X-rays. My presenting problem was having a mouth guard replacement, the hard version. A dentist took impressions. I would return in two weeks to check the fit, then two more times to ensure it. I had anticipated the hassle. But what I was saving was worth it. Also, dental tourism was how I would take care of my teeth now that I was in the Southwest.
The dentist recommended replacement of crowns. That was no surprise. The fee per crown would be $350. That was versus about $1,800 in a traditional Tucson dental practice. I intend to get a second opinion and comparison-shop.
Also recommended was a deep cleaning. After all, I had a mouth full of crowns. On that one too I intend to get a second opinion and comparison-shop. On the line to pass through customs, other dental tourists were comparing prices. As with everything, you have to be alert to the range in fees.
On the way back to Tucson, we stopped at an arts community, shopped and had lunch. On Monday, I will cancel my dental insurance. It didn't cover much and the monthly out of pocket payment wasn't cheap.
Thanks to dental tourism I won't go bankrupt because of the kinds of dental we need as we age. It was a geriatric nurse who hammered the importance of sustained dental hygiene.