Bridge, crowns, veneers
I have made two trips to Dr. Hernandez for dental treatment, the first in October, 2012 and I am just back home from the second, this month, January 2013. I am very satisfied by the quality of his work, proactive approach, and his 'dental-chair-side-manner’ :-) He's friendly and easy to get on with while, at the same time, he is thoroughly professional. He uses more up-to-date dental equipment in his office than I think my Canadian dentist uses in hers so you can go to him for dental treatment with confidence in the quality of the dentist and the equipment.
I found Dr. Hernandez by research on Trip Advisor and other review sites. I can't remember which other sites, exactly, sorry. Once I had seen his name with such glowing recommendations on Trip Advisor, I just googled him and followed up the leads. If you do the same, you will see he has numerous recommendations from international patients.
As I mentioned above, I have made two trips to Puerto Vallarta in October 2012 and January 2013 to get work done by him. The results have been so successful, I have told all my friends about him and even my father, who is in his mid-80's and who was extremely sceptical at the beginning, says he would be willing to give it a try now.
In October 2012, Dr. Hernandez replaced a veneer (done in Canada quite a few years ago) on one of my upper front teeth, half of which had broken off (probably my fault). He also installed a bridge and two crowns, all requiring lab work, and all within a week. That was, admittedly, pushing it a bit, time-wise, but it all got done!
For the second visit, this time in January 2013, I went to PV for two weeks and decided to get six veneers put on my lower front teeth. Dr. Hernandez had suggested this during my first visit just as a possibility to consider sometime in the future. This has worked out so well, I will be returning to get further cosmetic dentistry done just as soon as I can!
Most amazingly to me, in just these two visits, Dr. Hernandez has completely changed my bite! I don’t think any dentist I have had before had tried to do that. My bite had always been 'off' because I had to have several teeth removed as a child to make space for others to grow, but Dr. Hernandez has been able to correct it just as part of his service and general care. He also replaced a filling and sorted out chips from old fillings, which didn't need complete replacement, along the way, again without extra charge. He even made me a new mouth guard to protect my veneers from grinding at night because, with the change in my bite, my old one wouldn't work anymore.
The total charge? CAD $2,700 for the first visit and CAD $2,400 for the second visit. Crowns range from $400 to $550 (depending on the kind of crown needed); the 3-crown bridge was $800; and the new veneer was $400. Dr. Hernandez's total charge was therefore about the same as the deductible I would have had to pay for the bridge and 2 crowns anyway. Cosmetic dentistry is NOT covered by my insurance at all and I know that a veneer here costs $1100, not $400. Mouth guards here cost $400 if not covered by insurance and I can only get a new one every two years. Dr. Hernandez provides them for $100.
Other contributors to online dental patient reviews have mentioned cleaning, etc. I had a great cleaning, done by Dr. Hernandez himself, for a minimal charge. Also, as per this forum, dentists in Mexico do their own root canals, unlike here, and Dr. Hernandez charges only about $150 -250 (depending on the case) for a root canal. No need to go to a specialist dentist in North America and pay thousands there. I haven’t needed any so far, but if and when I do, I will be back to Puerto Vallarta pronto!
I also know from personal experience that, if there's a glitch, he will work really long hours and go to remarkable lengths to make sure things get sorted before your travel departure date! Just to give you an example, he picked me up on the first day of my October trip - a Sunday- to get a load of preparatory work done at his office so that the impressions, etc. got to the lab first thing on the Monday. He works long hours when needed and he has often driven me back to my hotel after late appointments. Find me many dentists in Canada who would do that in such an unassuming manner!
Also, Dr. Hernandez uses a very good quality lab - I mention this as I have noted this has been a concern on this forum. He has worked closely with the head of the lab there, Sergio, for at least 5 years. In October, he even took me up to the lab himself to make sure the colour of my broken veneer on one of my upper teeth matched the colour of the other veneers on my other upper front teeth perfectly, as, apparently my colour was between two standard shades. Then, again, this visit in January, we also went to the lab to make sure the new veneers on the lower teeth matched the veneers on the upper teeth perfectly! Both Dr. Hernandez and Sergio have very high standards.
Dr. Hernandez speaks good English and his assistant, Aleida (a-LAY-ee-da) speaks some English and is an absolute sweetheart! She did my tooth-whitening and made my new mouth guard using some in-office equipment.
The International Dentist Center is easily accessible in the heart of the Old City near the Church.
Dr. Hernandez trained at the University of Guadalajara, which, I have read elsewhere, is the best in Mexico. He has also visited the U.S. and spent (if I remember correctly) some time working there, so he understands the needs of the international patient well and is very reassuring to the first-time dental tourist!
In summary, I believe you can go for treatment to Dr. Hernandez with confidence and have a vacation at the same time with the money saved. You can escape the dental charges in North America, and, if you do, like me, you will wonder why you didn't do it before!