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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkHealth & Beauty | August 2007 

Some Americans Heading to Mexico to Save on Dental Work
email this pageprint this pageemail usAngela Kocherga - KENS 5
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Some Americans are heading to Mexico for cheaper dental work. Some of the traveling patients have no insurance, and others want procedures that aren't covered here. That means booming business for Mexican dentists.

Patients come from across the country, and quickly make their way across the border. Their destination is the Rio Dental Clinic in Ciudad Juarez, which offers a full range of services, for a fraction of the price paid in the United States.

"Implants, veneers, mini-implants, we're doing dentures, pretty much everything," dentist Dr. Jessica Andel said.

"If I had had this done (in the United States), it would have cost me four times what I paid here. Easily," patient Larry Rives said.

Patients said it's not just the cost it's also the quality.

"(The dentist is) going to be putting in the permanent tooth, which they custom colored, and I was very impressed with that," patient Theresa Cross said.

The clinic opened nearly three years ago, and is already a thriving practice.

"All our patients are from the United States," Dr. Jessica Andel said.

"Houston, Dallas, Miami, New York City, we've had Washington D.C., Seattle," said Joseph Andel, with Rio Dental.

All the material used in the dental work are from the United States, and the lab work is done there, too. The Rio Dental Clinic will also file insurance claims for patients back home.

Of course, many patients come to Mexico because they do not have insurance.

Patient Bo Chamberlain was careful in choosing her dentist after hearing about shoddy work at some Mexican clinics.

"(I've heard) that people had had trouble. They had work done, didn't last three months, didn't last six months, you know, they've had to come back," Chamberlain said.

"The advice I would have for people is, they can find places like that, but you can also find very high-quality care as well, and anywhere in between," Joseph Andel said.

Patients considering a Mexican dentist should make sure he or she is licensed. But mostly when picking a dentist in Mexico, Americans rely on word of mouth.

"It went great. Got a great new smile. I'm excited, saved a lot of money," Cross said.

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