1500 Miles to the Dentist

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by bk brkr baker, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    I went Stetic Implant and Dental Center . This branch of Stetic is located in the New Orleans Pharmacy building. They do mostly major work like crowns and implants.

    In this shot you can see the name Dr Julio Alor on the side of a building. When I first got to Harlingen ,well after dark, I was looking for the town of Pharr because I'd seen they had some cheap rooms.
    I turned into a subdivision and saw a guy walking a dog. I asked him directions and he had me meet him at his house up the street. His name is Dan and he's an inmate, had a Buell in his driveway and had ridden to Alaska. Small world.
    Anyway he had recently been over the river to the dentist and was happy with Dr. Alor who is a general dentist. The office in the pic is on the main street in N.P. ,the one you are on when you cross the bridge.
    #41
  2. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    I found the clinic by doing a search on the net and reading the reveiws by patients. I really had nothing else to go by.
    I called the clinic and set up the appointment by phone. They e-mailed me back to confirm and be sure I was coming. But ,I was on the road by the time the e-mail came and having my net-book down when I left home, I had know way of knowing they were expecting me. As I walked through N.P. with my google map, that was off several blocks, I ended up getting Manny by cell phone. The problem with that is the thing kept dropping. He kept calling me back and then met me in the street.
    They worked me in and got the job done.
    #42
  3. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I don't see the attraction, except that it keeps SWMBO'd entertained while I hang at the Spot Bar, drink a bucket of 6 Indio beers for $7.50, and watch the TV and the tourists. :lol3
    #43
  4. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    bk brkr baker has the right idea. It sounds like Dr. Alor did a good job. :clap

    If for some reason anyone wants a second opinion, or who knows ... maybe something special ... that shouldn't be that tough.

    First of all, the town is properly called Nuevo Progreso in the state of Tamaulipas. Locally everyone just calls it Progreso, sometimes abbreviated to N. Progreso. It's across the border from Progreso, TX and the tiny little community (something like 350 residents) of Progreso Lakes, Texas.

    Be aware that if you Google "Progreso" that's a fairly common Mexican town name. The best known Progreso is a seaport in the Yucatan that once requested to be annexed to the USA something like 150 years ago. That ain't the one that we are talking about.

    (And for trivia, there is actually another Progreso in Tamaulipas, but that one must be no bigger than a crossroads and it's pretty well back in the sticks.)

    Anyway, our local Progreso has one bridge crossing to it, and that leads directly to the main street. There really isn't anywhere that you can't walk inside Progreso, and little reason to get off the main drag these days as most of the gringo-friendly businesses that were on the side streets have closed.

    Google. "Progreso dentist" will give you some hits.

    This list is a bit out of date but it's a start: http://www.shop-progreso.com/dentists/index.html

    As far as finding a dentist, the town is literally crawling with them. Before the economic turndown there supposedly were over 100 dentists in town; I'd say that there still must be 60-80 left.

    Quality? Supposedly most of the dentists also have access to US practices. Remember, this area in Texas is 85% Latin and Spanish is more widely spoken than English. So that makes perfect sense to me.

    Walk (or ride) across the bridge, and as soon as you get past the Mexican immigration checkpoint (where bk brkr baker took that photo of the soldiers) there is a series of dental offices on your right, across the street on your left, and you will see several other signs in the distance).

    If you walk down the street sooner or later someone is going to offer to take you to the dentist, barber, get you a pedicure, or whatever.

    It really is very, very simple. I am sure that for most procedures you can catch a dentist any time except Sunday, and even then plenty of them seem to be open. Be aware, however, that when things are slow it's Mexico, and they will close up. This being after tourist season I'd get there well before 6PM.

    Google is your friend. So is Google Earth.

    Anyway, the little town's economy revolves around the local tourists, and folks are uniformly friendly. Dollar$ are more accepted that pesos so this is the one place in Mexico where I wouldn't bother changing money.

    If anyone has any worries or wants a guide, or just needs information, feel free to PM me. Information is free, and I'll play guide for a beer or two if I'm in the area (I live maybe 30 miles away but go to Progreso every few weeks). Maybe even for free if it's an inmate that pleads hardship (been there, know the feeling :lol3)

    Typical pricing:

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    #44
  5. david290361

    david290361 Adventurer

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    Good on you!

    I recently had a quote for 12 implants and two ceramic bridges from an Australian dentist. $35,000!

    I thought stuff that, and went on the net. I ended up having it done in Hungary over two visits. The first they extracted all my teeth and did the implants in the morning, came back around 2.00pm and they put in the temporary bridges.

    Scary, but it gets it over and done with.

    I'm almost due to go back and get permanent bridges made and installed.

    Total cost ?

    $16,000, less than half the cost.

    Modern equipment, good dentists and I get two overseeas holidays. Sadly, I couldn't ride my bike there.
    #45
  6. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I have a Yugoslavian friend whose mother and brother are dentists. Their practice in Jacksonville, FL is among the nicest (and most expensive!) in town.

    Before the troubles here on the border you could also go into Reynosa and get cheap dental work, but for whatever reason Reynosa is no longer a destination for the Winter Texans. There really isn't anything wrong with the town, it's just that it's not as easy to cross there, and the streets are more complicated than Progreso.

    Los Algodones, the Mexican side of Yuma, AZ, is also another place pretty well known among the retiree/RV crowd for discount dental work. That's a lot closer to the west coast than Progreso is, that's for sure.
    #46
  7. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    "...I said 'Of course I have a knife. Would you walk around in Mexico without a knife?" And "The girls were sure friendly."

    Classic, that one! I loved the laid back writing style of your report.j

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #47
  8. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Well the trip is long over but I was in the garage today and found this.

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    It's the sprocket I limped home on.I didn't realize how bad it was trashed til I had it off. 23 nubs where there should be teeth.
    I was adjusting the chain daily on the way home from Louisiana on and I had felt the chain slipping . I guess I was in denial of how bad things were getting and making up other reasons for that feeling.
    Anyway , I feel lucky not to have had the chain come off and do damage.

    Next time I'll do better. Maybe.
    #48
  9. SeeRace

    SeeRace Been here awhile

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    Great RR and very timely as I go in Tuesday for a consult on a dental implant. Just curious if you had any reservations about clean instruments, needles and so forth. I say this as I tell my wife about your trip and she is rolling her eyes. P'Cola Naval Aviation Museum is a good stop. If you hit it on the right day you can watch the Blue Angels doing their show practice.
    #49
  10. Conrete

    Conrete Been here awhile

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    :clap I just got three extractions, 19 porcelin crowns and two bridges in Los Algondones. Three days and $3600, couldn't be happier. Rode from Ohio to Yuma in four days. The only thing I did different was ride across the border, it makes the trip much easier. When leaving Mexico the walking line was about 2hours long and the car line was worse. No waiting on the bike, just ride around to the front of the car line, show your passport to the border guards and away you go. Its nice to not have to wait in line when the novacaine starts to wear off.
    Great report by the way, maybe I will take the time to write one up one of these days.
    #50
  11. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Well yeah sort of, but really I went into the clinic with all my sences on full alert. And nothing ran up a red flag.
    The clinic I went to was clean and modern, all tile floor, stainless steel work stations and every instrument came out out of hermeticly sealed plastic bags.
    Really the only thing that was very different was language and they try very hard to make sure you understand whats happening, I just have some trouble with accents. The other thing that wouldn't be a problem for a patient but, you never see in the US is when taking an X-ray the dentist held the backer sheild in my mouth with his thumb. Twice. In the US everyone scatters when an X-ray is taken,there it was pretty casual.

    It's been 6 weeks since the implants were put in and so far so good. I tend to think if there was going to be a problem it would have appeared by now.
    #51
  12. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    I'm happy you had a good result also.
    The first I heard of Mexican dentistry was from an old racing buddy that had all his teeth crowned in Los Algondones. I considered going there because of his experience but went to Neuvo Progresso to save 4000 miles on the round trip.
    #52
  13. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I actually once had a bus driver at the crossing en Laredo get out of his bus and tell me that it's OK for a motorcyclist to ride to the front of the line. :lol3:clap

    Go for it!
    #53
  14. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I've had my bridge for about 3 years now ... no problem-o.

    And yeah ... you can always tell the dental techs and dentists because when the sun goes down parts of them shine green at the local Progreso bars. :lol3
    #54
  15. sstodvictory

    sstodvictory Been here awhile

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    This is a great thread. Thank you to the OP and all who responded with additional info about specific dentists. Also, the trip photos and story are excellent!

    I visit Nuevo Progreso every few years. Now I think I will schedule some dental work with Dr. Alor for my next visit.

    Steve
    #55
  16. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    When do we get pics of the "results?"
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  17. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    [​IMG]
    #57
  18. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Well this is my smile , when I'm pulled over by the PoPo , on the return trip in October to get the permanents in.I was trying to get out of the Brownsville area alive , the expressway has entraces and exits every couple of miles.
    I got in the center lane and was just pacing traffic when this cop decided I was having too much fun. I wasn't.
    He asked what i was doing there in south Tx. and when i told him i'd been to Mexico for a follow up Dental visit he proceeded to warn me off the dangers of entering Mexico. Now this guy had he not been in uniform and speaking Spanish would have been real hard to distinguish from the general Mexican population. And yet he was telling me of the grave danger i had put myself in. WTF ?
    Anyway more than a year later , I'm still pleased with the way it all worked out .
    Oh, the cop didn't give me a ticket, just a warning. he said he was amused by my mode of transport. I was on this.

    [​IMG]
    #58
  19. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

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    Bwahahahahaha! As a dentist I must say those teeth look like $hit. You got what you paid for for sure!

    Sorry to be so honest but that's the way I am.
    #59
  20. aDave

    aDave Lovin' Life!

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    Enjoyed your report. Also learned about the discounted dental work south of the border...have not thought of that... Also thanks to PJ for his helpful insight.

    It looks like you ride what you have...refreshing.

    Dave
    #60