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How to Pick a Dentist in Mexico – Trust But Verify!
What makes one person’s experience good and another’s bad?
Well, the same question could be asked about a patient’s experience anywhere, but the real difference is that in a foreign country you have little or no recourse in terms of suing and, if work needs to be corrected, your travel distance may be prohibitive.
That being said, you can use leverage in Mexico; namely the process of “trust but verify” and give yourself some “teeth” via the power of an association — so here’s some guidelines on how to do that.
How to Find A Dentist You Can Trust
You’re looking for a dentist. You ask a friend or some trusted source. Look up Traveling4Health members – perhaps those members who work for the same company you do and get referrals. Once you’ve got some names, do your due diligence:
1. Research the names on the internet, and
2. Put on your interview hat, check references, and
3. Remember to search / find a specialist in whatever field of dentistry applies to your situation.
Ask and Confirm
For instance, even in the states there are still dentists who are not root canal specialists who do root canals. However it’s my personal advice to you to learn the name of the dental specialty that applies to what you need and ask for (and verify) that the doctor doing the work is a specialist. This is easy to do. There are so many fine dentists in Los Algodones that the specialists are there and they are good.
People don’t ask and so many times work that should be done by a specialist is being delegated to a general dentist, someone more qualified to do extractions as opposed to a specialist in Endodontics or Periodontics.
Trust but verify
I know it’s uncomfortable for most people to ask questions that they should ask because asking feels uncomfortable. You want to just trust. However that will not alert physicians, either in the states or in Mexico, that they’re dealing with a person who is “awake; a thinking human being”. This does not have to feel “confrontational”. What you are offering to them is that you are a person who can send them business because you will be writing a review on their work.
Cultural Awareness – Be Careful What You Ask For
An important take-away from this story is for dental tourists is to be careful what they ask for – because it’s part of many other cultures to give you what you ask for, e.g., more work in one setting than the doctor would recommend. “They want to make you happy, so they try to squeeze it all in” said one medical tourist, “it’s about pride.”
The Power of Membership
Let whatever dentists you chose to go to know that you are a member of a group called Traveling4health.com; a patient advocacy group that spreads the word both off and online about their medical experiences abroad. Your attitude should be that you’re there to get your work done and find the right doctors to recommend to others. Tell them that up-front – to the receptionist and to the doctor who walks into the room to do your work. There’s power and comfort in being part of a patient advocacy group.
If providers know that you are part of an organization that will reward them for good service, it’s like announcing that the media will be present at your appointment. They will be on their best behavior. And then do your part and follow through; write that report to help others. Doing so raises the quality of work across the board in whatever country.
Be a T4H Ambassador
If you’re so inclined, make some friendly overtures while on your visits; speak to other patients and find the local concierges willing to do a little hand-holding and build a reputation as a medical advocate guide. Let us know who those people are so that we can start reporting on them (which helps them build reputation and business if they deserve it).
Several of our members have recommended Dr. de la Vega, in Tijuana, and Dr. Jimenez of Circle Dental in Los Algodones.
Here’s a recent article with links to a 5-video in-depth inteview of a patient of Dr. de la Vega: First Time Dental Tourist Saves $23,000 in Tijuana Mexico.
Let us help you find the destination for your own lifestyle and healthcare needs:
The author: Ilene Little
Ilene has written 198 posts to this blog. Ilene Little, CEO of Traveling 4 Health & Retirement (THR), has written the definite guide for the medical tourist How to Plan a Successful Medical Tourism Trip featuring live interviews of patients, doctors, facilitators, and caregivers. Tune in each week at noon Eastern Standard Time to the Know Before You Go Radio Show hosted by Ilene Little broadcast on the Overseas Radio Network.
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