Wednesday, April 15, 2015

HOW TO FIND THE BEST DENTISTS IN MEXICO by Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association

For Dental Implants, Oral Restoration, Cosmetic Dentistry in Mexico - Understanding the Difference in General and Board Certified Dentist Providers is Important!

By the Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association  

Dental tourists from developed countries need to be aware that things are not always the same as back home when considering treatments by a dentist in Mexico or elsewhere offshore. General dentists with only basic dental education are permitted in many developing countries to attempt advanced dental procedures without proper training or credentialing. 

This is the most problematic of all the issue regarding dental tourism. This practice is a clear violation of consumer protection laws in most developed countries - but legal in many (including Mexico) developing nations.


In many developing nations (Mexico included), a general dentist may call him or herself a specialist in implants or endodontics without having graduated from a dental specialist college. To be Board Certified, they have to pass another battery of tests after specialist college graduation. 

Board tests are written, lab and oral exams given by a panel of specialists in their chosen field. When you select a board certified dentist - you know that you are getting a dentist who has been properly trained to do your work. 

Many foreign patients have unwittingly spent 1,000's of dollars on implants and makeovers by a general dentist only to have the work redone at a later date due to infections, misalignment and other problems.

Bottom line: Unless the dentist you select abroad is board certified for the procedures you need, you don't know what you will kind of work you will end up with. And to have the work redone is costly, often very difficult and not painless.

Here are some common dental terms that often cause misunderstandings everywhere one goes:

Dental Makeover and Extreme Dental Makeover are general non-clinical lay terms which are often used to describe either cosmetic dentistry or major work such as a full-mouth oral restoration. Thus a makeover can mean a lot or little in dental marketing.

Cosmetic Dentistry encompasses procedures such as crowns, veneers, gum contouring, bondings, inlays, onlays, bridges and plates and sometimes even dental implants but falls far short of being an oral restoration as cosmetic dentistry is more concerned with aesthetics than dental structure and function.

Note: Dental implants are surgery and should only be performed by an oral surgeon or prosthodontist. In the US and Canada and other first world countries this in normally the case. However, in Mexico, general dentists can attend an implant manufacturer’s quickie weekend course or worse – a 2 hour dental convention seminar and thereafter call themselves implant specialists. 

A dentist will take years to learn surgery properly, and implants are surgery. Best advice: Find a dentist who is board certified for implants when in Mexico.  The implant specialist dentist in Mexico (and the US) will usually be an oral surgeon or prosthodontist. If a dentist says they are not board certified but they took a class by an implant manufacturer... Run. 

A Full-Mouth Oral Restoration can involve several dental specialty fields including prosthodontics, endodontistry, periodontics, orthodontics and oral surgery.  All these fields take an additional 2-6 years of advanced dental specialist school training.  In Mexico, some dentists have several specialties having spent much of their careers in continuing education. General dentists only have very basic dental college training and are not certified for any specialties. 

In an oral restoration a patient may have need for oral surgery involving surgical extractions, a sinus lift, bone grafting, tooth socket rebuilding, gum contouring, periodontal disease treatment, traditional or mini implants, dentures, bridges, plates or partials. 

The dentist who performs an oral restoration should be (or have on the team) several specialists to cover the bases.

When contemplating a serious, expensive procedure such as an oral restoration or cosmetic dentistry – one should definitely see a board certified specialist(s) for the best results. If having a routine cleaning, fillings, a normal extraction or whitening - any general dentist can do the job. That is what, and only what, they are trained for. Not implants, not cosmetic dentistry, not oral restorations. 

Here’s more dental marketing magic terms:  

Laser Whitening.  The laser part does not exist.  A special blue light is used to activate and fuse a heat/light sensitive gel applied to the teeth by the dentist. The blue light is often mislabeled a laser.  Whitening by the dentist does work. Expect a 5-7x’s lighter shade of white when finished. What about whitening strips, whitening toothpaste and mouthwash?  Best save your money and have a dentist do it right and right the first time. It will look better and last much longer.

Dental Spa – Really?  Another marketing gimmick used by mostly general dentists looking for a way to enhance their practice. If you want a real massage, go to a real spa.

Dental Vacation, Dental Tourism, Dental Travel, Dental Holiday - The fastest growing facet of  tourism today wherein patients from developing nations go offshore (south of the border for Americans) primarily for savings on major dental work. But before you go - line up a board certified dentist - they cost the same as non-certified dentists in most countries abroad. 

The dental tourist can save $1,000’s on major dental work such as dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and oral restorations. Example: A dental implant complete with crown in Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas may cost $2,100 versus $3,500 - 5,000 in Los Angeles California.  And only $1,500 by an implant dentist in Manila.

Dental tourists should remember that if you want the best results to take the American and Mexican Dental Association’s advice and see a Board Certified Dentist when in Mexico. 


Carla H. Sanchez
Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association

FIND BOARD CERTIFIED DENTISTS IN MEXICO and in many in other countries: The Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association has member dentists in Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Algodones, Mazatlan, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Tijuana and other popular dental travel destinations in Mexico, Asia & E. Europe with our new entity: 

Certified Doctors & Dentists Internationale'  

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