Like many Americans, I have gone “naked” when it comes to health and dental insurance because of the high costs. This situation has caused me great concern at times, but it has also made me keenly aware of the impact of food and lifestyle choices have upon one’s health. Regardless of how well one takes care of one’s health and body, there are times when the need to use a professional health or dental services provider is a necessary and prudent strategy in order to uncover hidden problems that can cause an impact to your health if left unattended.

I found myself in such a situation with regard to some dental issues while still back in the US. I had lost the major portion of a molar filing and also had a broken molar which I had lived with for some time always telling myself I’ll get them fixed soon. It wasn’t until I noticed some minor pain in one of the molars that I became serious about addressing it. As luck would have it I was able to find a dentist locally where I was living at the time, Palm Coast, that offered an initial examination for new patients for $39.95. I made an appointment. I walked out with an estimate of cost to address just one of the molars plus some much needed cleaning.

dentists, Cancun, expats, travel

With a total cost estimate of just under $4000, I wasn’t too keen to get these problems addressed right away.  I kept searching for a solution that would be less expensive. As time passed and I planned out a dream of going nomadic in my travels I failed to come up with a viable solution stateside.

After arriving in Mexico I began to inquire with other expats about their experiences with local dentists. After several inquiries, I settled on Caribe Dental Spa in Cancun as my choice to start addressing some of the dental issues I had.

dentists, dental, Cancun, Mexico, Yucatan

My first order of business was to get an initial exam and cleaning done. I walked into the office conveniently located in centro Cancun to set up an appointment, but to my surprise the dentist, Dr. Oyuki Alderete, had an opening immediately and was able to start work on cleaning and examining my teeth. Dr. Alderete does speak the necessary English to explain and direct English speaking patients. This was a bit of a relief as I had only recently started Spanish language classes. I did try to use some broken Spanish words when I could. She was very forgiving with my poor Spanish and we were able to communicate clearly as she explained everything she did while performing each procedure.

Following the exam and discussion with Dr. Alderete, it was clear she had come to the same conclusion about my molar treatment back in the states. It was going to require a root canal with a specialist performing the procedure. Further, I would need the broken molar repaired using an inlay along with several small cavities addressed and some resin applied as protection on some areas of my teeth where the enamel was missing. All in all it was going to take several appointments to complete, but of immediate attention was the root canal and crowning of the worst molar.

Of course I was concerned about the costs of all these procedures having such a high estimate from the states. I was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Alderete listed out the costs associated with the most pressing problem and we set an appointment to go forward with the root canal and installing the crown.

Following the appointment, I had time to reflect upon my initial experience using a foreign dentist and came to the following conclusions;

  1. The dentist I selected was very accommodating and explained all procedures before performing them.
  2. Dr. Alderete worked hard to make sure I understood in my own language even though it was a secondary language for her.
  3. The office and equipment were just as modern as any dental office I had been to in the US.
  4. Dr. Alderete was very professional and took care to ensure the procedures performed were without pain.
  5. The costs of dental work in Mexico tend to be a fraction of what the same work would cost in the US.

Below is a listing of all the work that was recently performed and the associated costs.


Services Provided

Actual Cost (MX)

Actual Cost (US)

1 MXN = .08 USD

Estimated Cost (US)


Exam, Teeth cleaning, X-ray, Fluoride treatment





Root canal, temporary crown





Crown Post installation and prep





Two cavity sites filled with resin





Porcelain crown installation





Two cavity sites filled with resin





Partial inlay in molar





Tooth whitening





3- Resin filings at tooth erosion sits





3- Resin filings at tooth erosion sits








As you can see the savings is substantial so you can understand why I even had a bit of cosmetic work done.

The total experience was pleasant and professional. I would recommend others to consider using recommended foreign dentists when faced with dental issues.  I believe I effectively saved over 75% as opposed to having the work done in the US.

dentist, dental, Cancun, Mexico, Yucatan

What, if any, have your experiences been with using foreign medical or dental practitioners?  Please feel free to comment.

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