While taking a trip to Ixtapa, Mexico, I felt a sharp pain in my rear molar. At that point in my checkered life, I hadn’t been to a dentist for two years. I knew I could not afford a dentist in the United States so I asked a Mexican lady working in reception in a beach side hotel if she knew of a dentist in town. There was only one. She told me I couldn’t miss it. It was on the second floor of a women’s shoe store.
Going to see a dentist is usually a major hassle. You have to make an appointment two months in advance. When you get there you need to show three forms of ID, fill out paperwork and after the dentist has three proofs of payments, for his services, he will then show his face. On top of all this, you are paying this cheeky two-timing, lick spittle son of a gun $250 an hour to lurk around your mouth with a Popsicle stick and a mirror. Upon inspection, if there’s actually anything to fix, the dentist will tell you to come back in another month. If I ask the dentist why my halitosis and eroded gums haven’t improved since the last visit he’ll lecture me that I eat too much candy before bed, I don’t brush the back part of my mouth as well as the front, I should be brushing in circles rather than side-to-side and I am worthless and people like me don’t deserve to share the planet with the all-mighty dentists.
This is the reason I have stopped going to dentists in the United States. I am sick of the guilt, the paperwork and paying these guys thousands of dollars so they can lecture me for not flossing every day. When you go to see a Mexican dentist, you have the confidence of knowing your dental problem will be dealt with the same day of your visit. Another plus is that you don’t have to wait in line behind others and he doesn’t give you a huge speech about all the things you’re doing wrong. There’s no $400 bill for laughing gas or X-rays. The dentist cuts the price charged by using low-technology solutions to inspect your teeth. With Mexican dentists, all I had to do was bring $40USD with me if I wanted my teeth worked on, and, if there’s any extra charges, I could bring the rest of the money later.
The last Mexican dentist I saw was Dr. Vicenezio in Ixtapa. While seated in the dentist’s chair, Dr. Vicenezio didn’t give me a big lecture about going to the dentist every six months. He just checked my teeth and explained that I have really deep crevices in my teeth so sometimes food can get stuck in the crevices and cause cavities. He said he would need to drill seven teeth. He also asked me how I got a chipped front tooth. I explained to him that I had chipped it when I landed wrong onto the trapeze net at Club Med. My knee hit the bottom of my jaw and knocked my bottom teeth into the top row. This was no problem for Dr Vicenezio. He used a polisher to even out the first two teeth and assured me that the chipped backs of the bottom two teeth would grow back, which they did.
I was a little worried about the cost and he told me it would be $75USD and I could pay him the rest when I got my next pay check. He injected painkiller directly into my gums so I wouldn’t feel any pain from the drill. He was half right, I did feel a little pain but he quickly drilled out the seven teeth and put a sealant over the holes to prevent food from getting caught in there. The whole transaction took about 40 minutes and I was out the door. Five years later, my teeth are still cavity-free.