4.8 from 11 verified reviews The treatments was good valueAndrew, Vancouver, Canada, 23 06 17
Ok, so after many months of having my implant treatment completed, I’ve finally gotten round to posting a well-deserved review. I thought I’d wait until I had my new teeth for a while before I say anything about this place.
The short story: Two molar implants as well as several crowns. This included needing two molar extractions of broken teeth, deep abscess removals, and subsequent bone grafts. In my book, pretty major work. Overall also, I thought the work was good value.
The long story (follows):
I had a really big abscess on my left lower molar, and another on my right lower molar. I recently found it was due to an allergy to milk. I had previously had root canal surgery on these teeth years before in the UK, several times in fact, but the abscesses always seemed to come back some months later, without me knowing milk actually caused it. I, therefore, needed to have implants to replace these since the teeth themselves were dead. I had moved to Vancouver, Canada and hadn’t gotten round to getting implants until the start of 2016. So this is how I came to read about a dental surgery in Mexico, and more specifically at Washington Dental Clinic.
In terms of how the treatment progressed, I couldn’t be more impressed. I needed to fly down from Vancouver to Tijuana 3 times for the stages of treatment – In April 2016, September 2016 and finally April 2017, each time for 3 days. I really feel it was worth it for the top-notch treatment I received. In Vancouver, I am not impressed by how closed-off the dentists seem to be here. In Canada, you have to pay an examination fee before you can find out how much each dentist charges for specific procedures. Even then, there appears to be little to no competition here in Canada. Each dentist, knowing that customers don’t have the ability to compare prices (since prices seem to be a bit of a secret here), seemingly charges whatever it likes. At least that’s how I feel. I advise my friends to seriously think about flying down to Tijuana if they need major dental work.
Yes, I was initially apprehensive about going alone to an odd, possibly dangerous, town called Tijuana on the Mexican border. However Tijuana (TJ) is actually huge and if, while on the streets, you don’t carry much cash or jewelry and don’t try to impress people like some do, it’s quite safe. I spent all my nights in TJ and ate great food, making great friends while there.
PHASE 1 – April 2016:
Back to my treatment: After living in 3 countries in the world including the UK and Canada, I feel that the treatment I got in TJ is the best. Because there is a lot of competition amongst dentists in TJ, it’s reasonable to expect customers get the best quality service at the best price. On day 1 at Washington Dental Clinics, I was first given a thorough examination, after which I was chauffeured to an x-ray business that took loads of x-rays of my jaw as well as 3-D scans. By the end of the day, I was told about what treatment was needed on my teeth and if I decided to go ahead when I should be there for the actual treatment the next day.
The next day was a big surgery day. In the morning Dr. Bucio gave me 2 front teeth crowns. It took about 4 hours because once the teeth had been filed down, they needed to take have the crowns made. I’m still wearing these crowns after 14 months, and barely even notice them. They look and feel like normal teeth.
In the afternoon Dr. Bucio and Dr. Pena went ahead and performed the extractions of my lower left and lower right molars. Big jobs because both teeth had been dead for 10 years after extensive root-canal treatment, and the lower-left molar was also cracked. Dr. Pena handled the left, it took about an hour but he eventually got all the pieces out. After that, he dug deeper and pulled out the abscess. - A vile yellow squid-like thing. Gross enough for me to thank God they took it out of me. Seriously, after you’ve seen that you’ll have a lot of respect for abscesses, they really don’t belong inside the body! Ask any cardiologist, they’re bad for the heart - Get it taken out! After that Dr. Pena did a bone graft with bone powder and stitched me up.
Dr. Bucio then handled the right molar and very carefully extracted that. And after that, he pulled out an even bigger abscess! I didn’t even know I had it, yet there it was. - Urgh! Thanks to Edgar for convincing me to take that thing out! Again a bone graft was done and all was stitched up again.
I think at the end of the afternoon all the dentists probably laughed about the whopper abscesses they pulled out of me. I, however, went back to my hotel room feeling pretty beaten up and hid there until breakfast the next day. - Probably a very normal activity after any surgery. I only felt a slight pain though. By the next day, I was up and running, ready to enjoy Tijuana! – After having a very soft breakfast at Tilly’s (Tell Victor who will know what you need) and for lunch a soft pasta or soup at Vittorio’s.
By the way, days or weeks afterward it’s normal to have a few bits of powdered bone leak out, so don’t panic if that happens to you. Also, it’s amazing how fast and well the gum heals up, so don’t worry about the weird gum shape after surgery.
PHASE 2 – Sept 2016:
I went for 3 days for the implants to be put in place. If I have my terminology correct, the implants are the stems which drill into the jaw bone. After that, the dentist put healing caps over them. All went well without a hitch. No pain or discomfort afterward either, other than a bit of tightness that goes quickly. It is also weird knowing that you have titanium in your jaw now! Perfect for archaeologists in the future.
PHASE 3 – April 2017:
The final trip involved the placement of the placement of the crown abutments, i.e. the visible (tooth) part of the crown. This part of the surgery I felt was where the dentist took the most time. I think it’s important to give whatever time the dentist requires for this as it can’t be rushed because these are your final teeth. Loads of impressions were taken on Day 1 and finally, the implant abutments (teeth) were made. Dr. Guerrero dealt with all of this and was really very careful, I felt. By the end of the day, I had a comfortable pair of new molars which I’ve been using ever since! It’s great to be able to eat anything I want!
In conclusion, if I ever need major dental work, I will be visiting Washington Dental Clinic again. Also, they told me the prices up-front, and they stuck to them, so you know what you are going to be paid on day 1, even if the treatment will take a year. Also, they were great with follow-up support. At various times I took photos of my teeth and emailed them to the dentist. By the next day, I had a comprehensive reply from my liaison who had consulted the dentist about my issue, so distance didn't really feel like an issue.
I also felt I was treated honestly and not pressured to buy anything unnecessary. The establishment itself is a lovely place inside. In terms of cleanliness, it’s completely spotless. The staff is extremely welcoming, all smartly dressed, and about a third speak perfect English. Most of the dentists and nurses speak medium-level English but seem to feel more confident using their English translators, one of whom will accompany you most of the time and basically acts as your liaison. The liaison knows pretty much everything about the dental procedures, so there are no gaps in the communication. In fact, I thought my liaison might have been an ex-dentist himself perhaps.
Overall Washington Dental Clinic is a friendly place. There’s a TV with the latest films on it for waiting for customers to watch. There are also free drinks whenever you like, although I did find it a little odd that many of the free drinks are soda drinks, loaded with sugar, kind of opposite to what I’d expect to see a dentist. Also what I don’t understand is the staff occasionally have the drinks as well, yet all of them have perfect teeth. - Why do Mexicans seem to have such perfect teeth?? The reception area also has clean bathrooms. If you forgot to brush your teeth, they’ll give you free brushes and tooth paste to use there.
Also, I found the location of the clinic to be useful because it’s right next to Vittorio’s, an Italian restaurant. Italian food includes nice soft pasta – Perfect for eating after you’ve recently had major dental surgery and can’t chew anything! Minestrone soup is good too!
Other than being a customer, I am not connected to Washington Dental Clinic whatsoever, nor am I earning any commission or income of any kind from this review. However, a pasta at Vittorio's would be welcome if ever I fly down there again.