Dental Woes

So yesterday I went to the dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico. Linda was kind enough to go with me so it was much less stressful. I paid $6 to park at the border on the U.S. side and walked over. There’s no one there from Mexican Customs, I guess they don’t care who you are or what you’re bringing in! The Ja-Bal dental clinic has 3 locations and we found one, and they led us to the correct one.


My appointment was for 11:00 and we thought we were brilliant for figuring out that we enter from Winterhaven, CA so they’d be on Pacific Time.  Well they’re not!  They’re on Mountain Time and I was an hour late for my appointment. They were very very nice about it, and took me right in.

My 3-tooth bridge had come unglued and I thought one of the anchor teeth had broken.  I was right about that. I had thought that maybe the dentist could put in a post to re-anchor the bridge but that was wrong.  I had to have a root canal, then a post, plus a whole new bridge, because the old one was letting bacteria in (that’s why that tooth underneath had gotten decayed).  $740!!!  I know in the U.S. all that would have cost $3000 or more, but it was devastating news for me, since my savings amounts to hardly more than that.

They phoned for the root canal guy and he arrived in about 5 minutes with a big plastic fishing tackle box of his tools. It took about 2 hours to do the root canal and then get the impressions for the post, then they told us to go away for 1.5 hrs. while the lab made the post.  So we went shopping.  Los Algodones is nothing but pharmacies, optical and dental clinics, and liquor stores!!  I know there are 350 dentists in the 5-block square town.


I had gotten a prescription for an antibiotic and pain meds so we went to a pharmacy.  My antibiotic (Amoxicillin) was not cheap; $16 for 24 of them.  But I got a whole bottle of 100 Keflex 500 mg. for $8, and 100 of my prescription diuretic for $3.60! (I’m going to run out of that one before I can get back to NC to my doctor)  And now with the Keflex on hand, I’ll be ready if I get a urinary tract infection.  Linda price Ambien but it was expensive (we thought), 10 of the 10 mg. pills for $27.60.

Then we went to a couple liquor stores.  Linda got a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila for $7.99.  We each got an 8 oz. bottle of pure Mexican vanilla for $1.41.  Today we went to the supermarket and they sold the same size Jose Cuervo WITH a big bottle of Margarita mix for $8!!  So not much of a bargain there, LOL.  I guess you really have to know your prices before you go.

I went back and got the post stuck in and impressions for the new bridge.  Paid them $400 and I have to go back on Monday with another $340 to get the bridge.  She used my old bridge as a temporary, so at least I don’t still look like a toothless old crone!   Boy that was sooo depressing; I really thought I might have to pay around $200, and I thought THAT was bad!

So now I have practically zero savings and if some other bad thing comes up, I’ll have to put it on my high-interest credit card.  I’m keeping my fingers & toes crossed for good luck! And I’m really going to have to watch my expenses.

Here is Linda’s dog Rascal.  He LOVES the water and chasing his tennis ball.  After he swims out and retrieves the ball, he bats it around with his feet and then flops down and rolls on it.  Does this look like a happy dog, or what?! I’m glad he’s in her camper and not mine, and I’m suddenly glad that Roxie does NOT like the water!

Rascal DirtbathRascalFace

Today we went out and ran a few errands. Here’s a view of the Chocolate mountains from our campground, and the lettuce fields across the road.  There are miles of those irrigated fields, all growing various kinds of lettuce, cabbage & broccoli.  The different bands of color are beautiful! I’m afraid the sun was coming in from the wrong angle so they don’t show up nearly as pretty as they are.




Migrant workers picking


And finally, here is Princess Roxie relaxing.




12 replies on “Dental Woes”

I know it’s expensive, Janis, but at least you won’t have to worry about your teeth in the near future. I’m anxious to get my trailer. Hope it’s on time and it’s not snowing when I go get it.


Well hopefully I won’t have to worry about THOSE 3 teeth, but all the others are still at risk! My crowns and bridges are getting old. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they’ll hold up! I hope you have good weather to go pick up your camper too. Don’t risk it if it’s not!


I finally had to give up and have teeth pulled and get a partial…chemo, bad choices and genetics were the triple threat. (I am terrified of dentists, embarrassingly so.) Being toothless is SO hard on the mind. Glad you were in a place to save some money, sorry it still cost so much. We have zero savings too, it’s scary to live close to the edge. I am blessed to have what I have and I don’t begrudge anyone else what they have, but it would be nice to be able to enjoy these “golden years” without fear.


Hi. New follower here. Keep the faith baby. It will all work out. Trust me. I don’t know why but I just know all will work out for you. Things could always be better but they could always be worse. Keep your sunny side up. Be not afraid…he goes before you always. I promise you.


That’s a shame your dental work came to more than what you figured, but it was STILL certainly cheaper than U.S. prices! Sounds like they did an excellent job too. Nice pics of the pups and the scenery.


One thing I learned the hard way is we must do as seniors is save save save…even if its only $10 a month. I have my bank acct set up so when a deposit comes through the very next day a draft moves money to my savings acct of the amount I have determined I can save. When I was still working I saved on a weekly basis it was easier and helped to build up quickly… Hope you can recover your savings and the new bridge works well for you.


I do that too, Sondra…$75 a month goes to savings automatically. But it just doesn’t add up very quickly. It’ll be fine, I just have to be very careful with my money for awhile.


Maybe we all should make a little donation for an emergency fund so we can keep reading and living vicariously thru Janis.
I’m in anyone else?


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