Here is a brief chronicle of the dental experience at Alamo Dental Clinic and why we were very satisfied and plan to return.
One stop shopping.
Ever go to a dentist in the States only to be referred to a specialist? You have to make an appointment with the specialist and wait a couple of weeks to be seen. And then, you have to make another appointment with your general dentist for follow-up.
It's true that some dentists with "general" practice can do some special procedures, but at Alamo Dental Clinic they believe that "special" procedures should be performed by those trained and practiced to perform them, like root canals. When Jim needed a root canal Alamo sent for the specialist to come to Alamo Clinic to perform the procedure. While there are four dentists on staff, Alamo has a roster of specialist on call.
Extractions, root canals, filling.
Wanda needed a filling for a chipped front tooth which was done by Dr. Lopez while Jim was getting a tooth extracted by Dra. Velez (left) and then a root canal by one of the specialist.
If there was any question as to the quality or guarantee of the work, it was put to the test very soon. Jim's extraction and root canal seemed to be doing fine but he was experiencing a little jaw discomfort. He thought, maybe, he had an infection. When he arrived at Alamo Dental Clinic and expressed his concerned he was immediately ushered into a chair for an x-ray. No waiting. No guessing. No hassle. All was fine.
On to the deep cleaning.
Dra. Gabriela Velez was extremely attentive to any possible discomfort Jim may have been experiencing; careful to make sure he was adequately numbed while skillfully executing the cleaning below the gum line. Jim's lips were puffy but he was back to normal and eating an hour or so later with no discomfort.
Bone grafts upper.
Jim's next appointment was for bone grafts on his lower jaw. Again, Dra. Velez expertly performed the procedure. Jim said he felt pressure but never any pain, although he was given a prescription and told he would need it later. He did. He was able to eat soup and soft foods with no trouble. He took about three of the pain pills as prescribed. After a day and a half he no longer needed the pain pills.
Bone grafts lower.
Same experience, only this time he was told he would probably not have as much pain afterward, that the mouth adapts and becomes accustomed being worked on. He only needed to take one pain pill. Within less than a week he was eating normally again.
If there was any question that Alamo Dental Clinic was there to provide the best customer service it was answered with the follow-up visits for the bone graft work. It takes three to four weeks for the grafting to completely heal before other work can be done. After healing, Jim would need implants and bridges to restore his upper back teeth.
The plan was to get the bone grafts, let them heal and return in the spring to complete the work when most of the other snowbirds had migrated back north and the line to cross the border would be shorter. However, the extractions left him shy a few back upper teeth making it difficult to chew properly.
Jim discussed this with Dra. Velez who in turn enlisted the opinion of Dr. Lopez, with Oscar fully involved. It was determined the grafts were healing nicely and a temporary partial plate could be made, but not intended for full time use so that the grafts could continue to heal properly.
Had the appointment been early in the morning the whole process would have taken less than one day. First, Dr. Lopez took an impression which was rushed off to a dental lab nearby. (Photo: Dr. Lopez, Jim, assistant).
We strolled the streets for two hours, enjoyed a margarita or two, chips and salsa, serenaded by two strolling guitar players and then returned to the office for Jim to have a fitting. No problems. The temporary plate would be ready by next morning.
It took longer to write the last paragraph then it took for Jim to get his new temporary plate the next morning. In and out. The plate fit comfortably and he was chomping on a meal not long after.
By the way, if you want to get your hair done while waiting on your partner be sure to ask for directions to Juanita's Beauty Salon.
When we find good work and great customer service it's natural to tell others about it. This has been our experience so far. If you have had a great experience in Los Algodones we would love to hear about it - please comment. It can only help others who are seeking information about dental vacations.
If you haven't done so, please visit the Alamo Dental Clinic page on this blog to find out more. You'll find the link at the top in the right sidebar.