I got up at 4am today to meet up with my carpool to Mexico. I'm sure glad I don't have to do that every morning. I went to work for a few hours and then someone gave me a ride to the dentist's office. It was a nice office, simple and neat. The receptionist didn't speak much English but all I had to do was put my name on the sign in sheet. None of that pesky paperwork or medical history that usually happens before a Dr. visit.
After 15 minutes of waiting, I was directed in to one of the 4 exam rooms. There was one other patient there, a lady from the US. The dentist spoke English very well and quickly looked at my teeth. He recommended a crown for the broken tooth but also said I had a cavity in another tooth. I asked him how long it would take to fill it and how much. 20 minutes and $60 later and my tooth had a new filling.
The office reminded me of the dentists that I went to as a child. The equipment was modern but basic. He was good at giving Novocaine shots, barely hurt at all and I watched to make sure he opened a sterile needle. It was the fastest filling I have ever had and I have had a lot of fillings. The only bad part is that I think it needs to be smoothed a little more but maybe that will wear off as I eat.
For a crown I will need to go back 2 more times. I could have stayed there and let them take impressions of my teeth. He said he could have the crown ready by Monday. The cost is $140 per visit, that's $280 total.
If I didn't have dental insurance then I would get the crown done in Mexico. $280 is a whole lot cheaper than $1,100. But since I do have dental insurance right now I am going to get it done in the states for $580 (after insurance). I decided that for 2 reasons. One, the convenience factor. It takes multiple trips and the dentist in the US is only 15 minutes from my house. If I need the tooth sanded down or adjusted in some way the dentist is right here. Two, I am assuming that the Mexico dentist gets his crowns the old-fashioned way from someone who makes them by hand. The US dentist uses the latest state of the art Cad-Cam machining process. I don't know which one lasts longer but since I have insurance and the means to pay for the latest technology right now, I will buy it.
I am glad I did this little exercise in comparison shopping. I probably won't have dental insurance forever and it is good to know that I have other options.