1500 Miles to the Dentist

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

  1. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    so only american high dollar dentists can do it right?
    #61
  2. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    Those look to be poorly done restorations. You definitely got the goods for which you paid. Of larger concern to you should be the raging periodontal infection you appear to have that is contributing to your early demise. More than likely due in part to recurrent decay and/or poorly adapted margins on your crowns. (crappy hygiene and dentistry).
    Seriously, for the sake of your health and family you should go see a dentist that is actually a dentist. That infection is literally killing you. Find the American Heart Association website and search for gum disease related to heart disease.
    We motorcyclists have enough risks, don't let poorly done dentistry and periodontal disease cut short your riding career.
    I'm not kidding.
    #62
  3. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    Not at all. I just have never seen any from Mexico or Central America that I would put in my own mouth. I tell you this as a dentist that has replaced MANY "great high quality" foreign restorations due to the fact that they were very shoddy in many ways (poor margins, substandard cements, substandard porcelains, poorly designed metal substructures, poor occlusal design/relationships, open contacts, tissue impingement, etc to name a few); you have to be extremely judicious in your choice of foreign dentists. In many cases there is no one to hold them to any standards. Yes, there are bad ones here too. There is just much better oversight so your odds are better here. Doctor means more here than in many places. Some foreign "dentists" are not doctors.
    Oh yes, it is inexpensive alright. It's also cheap.
    Caveat Emptor.
    #63
  4. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

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    You nailed it there doc! Again, you get what you pay for. It's sad these people travel across the boarder for work. Let along shoddy work, how about the risk of hepatitis or HIV? They have no recourse should they come down with a disease! We have to test our sterilizers every week. What is Mexico's rules?:eek1

    The periodontal disease is a huge concern this gentleman should have! His extra weight he is carrying, plus the perio disease is a candidate for heart attack. Please as the doc advised, have it checked out. We don't want anything to happen to a fellow adv rider!:freaky
    #64
  5. XRman

    XRman Long timer

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    I am seeing the long term results of dental tourism to Asia in some of my patients. Most of the comments in the previous posting apply.

    I had some reservations about three implants being placed in the upper anterior area to replace a failed long standing bridge. I was wondering if the bone loss from the missing middle tooth area of the bridge was repaired with bone grafting material when the implant was placed. you need about 1.5 to 2 mm all around the implant for it to work long term. Most problems don't show up until the final restoration in in place and loaded with biting force. The temporary bridges are left out of contact with the opposing teeth so that the healing bone is not jiggled while the implant-bone interface is trying to heal.

    There are probably over 300 or more dental implant comapnies in the world market. They come and go. Many are cheap clones made in third world countries that look just like the original world leading brands, but they are made of different metal and different surface treatments and the tools used for them are all different sizes and shapes. It is a nightmare! Most of the dental tourists have not been provided with any details of the brand or size of the implants used or the connecting abutment details ( the thing the crown is attached to). Maintenance is really hard to arranage if you don't know anything about the system used. ( you will need maintenance at some stage)

    I am seeing poor engineering principles being used in cases. For example 2 implants supporting 5 teeth. No sane DIY fish pond bridge builder would build a curved bridge with two supports and then expect it to survive if someone loaded the bridge in the middle of the span. it will eventually fail. Yet I am seeing this done by Asian dentists.The implants will either come loose at the screws or the porcelain will fracture from the metal substructure. The implants might break or just come loose. it is the stress/strain on the implant bone interface that detemrines success or failure. Overloading implants leads to failure.

    Why? I think it is that the patient is subcontracting his/her dental reconstruction without sufficient knowledge. Like an owner / builder of a house who has no building skill insisting on the tradesmen doing the job quickly& cheaply. The dentist will do whatever they can in the time available for cash flow. There is no possibility of legal recourse for failure. The clinics open and close and change owners a lot. Try and launch legal action in a foreign country!

    Untreated gum disease and implants: the same bugs that infect tooth roots and gum tissues also lead to bone loss around implants. Placing implants in a mouth with gum disease is a recipe for disaster eventually.

    The clinic looked clean: It probably is clean too, but is the sterlization process for those plastic bags of instuments verified regularly or at all? I very much doubt it. Infection control in third world situations is hit and miss.

    So can I compete on a $ basis with clinics in Thailand.

    No. I pay about $450 Au ( 430 US approx) for an implant from the implant company. That is just the basic titanium screw that goes into the bone. On top of that I will have to purchase all the tools for the implant surgery and the gadjets to take impressions and the artificial bone substances (expensive).

    My lab fee for an implants case can be close to $800-1000 per tooth. Excellent fit and colour and durable. I can get them done in China for half that, but I have to live in the same town as my patients.

    I pay my dental asistants $22 per hour on average. I have 4 of them plus two office staff and a hygenist. My wages bill is about 35% of of my gross income.
    I am expected by law to have insurance to cover failures.
    I am expected to verify every sterilization cycle.
    My total overhead cost is about 80% of my gross income.

    Tax takes 50% of my 20% profit so I work for 10%. I still have a nice lifestlye, but I am not rich.

    So my point is, you can export our health industries to third world countries just like we have our manufacturing industries, but who will you turn to for assitance when your cheap work turns into a nightmare. Your health is not a consumer item that you can throw away and get another one. Failed implant and dental work have consequences, usually infection and continued bone loss on the way to becoming a dental cripple (full dentures)


    Do we have failures: yep. we are dealing with humans in various stages of decline, not ideal physical specimans. Some people have poor bone amounts and quality. Some people have bad habits ( smokers) and tooth grinders.

    Some people won't take our advice and seek less than ideal solutions believing in Dr Google and others on forums such as this who are well meaning but poorly informed on the criteria on which to choose good dental professionals to plan and execute their needed reconstructions.
    #65
  6. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    Unsterile working conditions are frightening! My house is spotlessly clean but it certainly isn't fit for operating on someone. Just as I am sure this office was clean - but was it clean enough for operating on someone? I bet not! Sterilization? Who knows? Hermetically sealed bags as he claimed? I'd like to find those...
    Heart disease, dementia, pancreatic cancer, retinopathy, kidney disease to name a few - all are linked in varying degrees to periodontal disease.
    To each his own. But, yeah - we are all part of a fantastic sport and if we can help each other along the way we should do just that!
    #66
  7. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    XRman - thank you for your well worded and accurate reply. Our costs are the same here in the USA and profit margins are too. We do this work because we love it, Not for the money. There are many other ways to get rich that are much easier than dentistry.
    If we can help just one person avoid this travesty of a mistake and help them improve their health then we have done well.
    Please fellow ADVriders - do some research. Not just asking the checker at the auto parts store about the great dentistry in Mexico. Actual research. Don't just assume the quality is the same in spite of the cheap price. It is not.
    Go to Mexico to ride and enjoy the sun and good food and friendly people. It's a great place! Just not so much for dentistry.

    Read XRman's post again. He spells it out exceptionally well.
    #67
  8. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Oh baloney. First of all, anyone that would diagnose anything from a poor photo is an idiot. Secondly, I see a pretty concentrated and dishonest attempt to drum dental business here (they say that with improved dental hygiene it is getting tougher and tougher to make money as a dentist) and to scare people away from seeing a foreign dentist.

    As everyone in the area knows most dentists in Nuevo Progreso are also licensed in the States and most practice in the border areas because there are tons of tourists who are afraid to walk the 1-3 blocks into Mexico. :lol3

    Give us a break. :deal
    #68
  9. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    You guys are sad. I had at least 3 US dentists misdiagnose or improperly treat that same tooth. The problem started in college (I am 56 now) and the Mexican dentist was the first one that seems to have finally gotten to the root (pardon the pun) of the problem.

    Recourse? What recourse does anyone have against a US dentist a decade after they repair something? Go back and sue them if you can find them? :lol3

    Go back to riding. I am sure that sooner or later someone will spin things to say that Australian dentistry sucks too. :evil

    Frankly, I don't trust any of you bastards. I've been hustled by US dentists more than I have by Mexican dentists and am perfectly happy with the work that I had done 3 years or so after it was done.
    #69
  10. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    No sir, I am not an idiot. I am a doctor.
    I did not diagnose anything. If you would kindly re-read my post you would see that I said it "...appears..." And I suggested you see someone about it, hopefully I am wrong. Please don't just assume I am wrong because your ego wants that. It would be in your best interest to have a thorough periodontal evaluation by a doctor. When was the last time you had that done? Not just a cleaning. Please, PROVE me wrong. There is no dishonest or concentrated effort to drum up business occurring at all.
    My intent is simply to state my experience fixing foreign dentistry and to hopefully help you enjoy a healthy life.
    Who is the "they" that say it's getting harder to make a living being a dentist?
    Have you verified any of those US licenses held by most of the dentists there?
    Please forgive me if I offended you. I was only trying to help.
    #70
  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Same way with a variety of medical procedures. I have been on a mailing list of ex-pats in Mazatlan of which at least two own or lease private jets. And they regularly talk about the fine and inexpensive medical work they have done in Mexico although many make the trip to Acapulco for some procedures, like open heart surgery.

    Also, I well remember a Canadian that I met who was bragging about the open heart surgery that he had done in Mexico. His health care plan paid for it and they were happy to give him a vacation because the cost was a fraction of what it was in Canada.

    Of all the people that I have talked to over the years I have NEVER heard of anyone saying they got an infection from a Mexican dentist or MD. Yet we all know that infections are rampant in USA hospitals.

    For that matter I had a bridge put in by a Mexican dentist. I started out thinking that I had broken a crown but it turned out that the underlying tooth had cracked. When they dug that out the dentist discovered that my canine tooth was badly infected so they gave me antibiotics, drained it, and sent me home for almost a week. **I HAD BEEN COMPLAINING TO MY US DENTISTS FOR OVER THREE DECADES THAT MY TOOTH AND SINUSES WERE INFECTED BECAUSE THAT SIDE WOULD OFTEN SWELL BUT THEY IGNORED MY CONCERNS.**


    So the clown here that commented that you "don't get dental advice from a mechanic" is a bit of a jerk. My professional background and edumacational level is hardly that of a mechanic (not like there is anything wrong with that) and I have seen my share of snotty dentists. Because the US dentists are not bothering to listen to the clients many are going elsewhere for their dental work.

    Anyway, I have had my bridge for several years and am perfectly happy with the work. :clap
    #71
  12. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    Actually, I believe Australian dentistry to be every bit as good as it is in the USA, and Germany, and Austria, and Switzerland, etc.

    Please don't refer to us as "bastards". No one insulted you. No one called you names.

    So the American dentists got you about 35 years out of that tooth/teeth? What else can you buy that lasts 35 years? What else can you put in a 98.7 degree bacteria infested swamp (everyone's mouth) and have it last for 35 years?
    Let's see what your Mexican dentistry looks like in 35 years.

    Please continue to do what you do. To each his own. You may want to consider though that there could be some folks that may have some knowledge that could be useful.

    Good luck and safe riding!
    #72
  13. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I did have a thorough examination by a qualified dentist. She said that I was fine.

    I just had a DOT physical done. My blood pressure is slightly high. US MD treats that. Otherwise for an olde pharte I am in fine condition. I have NEVER had a dentist say anything about periodontal disease. What several dentists have commented on is that 1) I had *VERY* expensive dental work done when I was a kid and 2) I was a tetracycline baby.

    Do you want to explain to the audience here what that last one means in terms of dental care and how the US medical profession screwed up? :deal
    #73
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Now let's see a dentist anywhere fix that!:eek1
    #74
  15. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    First of all, that canine has been a nightmare. I didn't get 35 years out of it from a US dentist. I complained in college that I must have a piece of dental floss trapped behind it (you guys still expect us Non Dentists to floss, right? :deal) and that it was infected. The dentist at my college immediately dismissed my concerns and sent me on the way.

    Over the years it was filled once and then capped by a Manhattan (read: "fawking expensive") dentist. Then when the tooth cracked (watch those lime seeds when sipping tequila, guys! :lol3) I had it and the surrounding teeth pulled and the bridge put in.

    So that's actually an average of a significant dental operation every 8 years or so. And misdiagnosed a couple of times. Or perhaps I should say that it was profoundly infected when they put the crown in. The Mexican dentist seems to be the one that got that nonsense under control.

    So at age 56 if I get another 35 years out of my bridge I will make a point to ride over and beat on your tombstone with my cane, Doc. :lol3
    #75
  16. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Groucho Marx would have a field day with that comment. :lol3

    My father had a doctorate. A Juris Doctorate. He always joked that he was perfectly qualified to examine anyone's juris upon request.

    One of you guys mentioned HIV and other infections. You do realize that the incidence of AIDS is much, much lower in Mexico than it is in the USA, don't you?

    And tell us. What are the stats on post operative infections in US hospitals? From what I have seen and heard lately it's enormous.
    #76
  17. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    If he will pay for the tequila I will bring along my multitool and Dremel and we can fix him up on some bar counter around Veracruz. You handle the wood carving and I'll glue it in place. OK Mike? :lol3
    #77
  18. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    BS and you know it.
    My wife is a graduate specialist in orthodontics and dentistry and has practiced here for more than 25 years as well as having updated procedures training in the USA and Canada. Her office is spotless, she has never had a complaint from local or foreign patients and she holds herself to the highest standards. It's called "pride in her work" and not gouging patients in order to play golf on Wednesdays and Saturdays. "Doctor means more hear than many places", my arse.

    Pirate, c'mon down and see the office some time. You can watch my wife whack me in the head with that sprocket when we take it in after having had a few. LOL!
    #78
  19. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    An American dentist actually told me he wouldn't have dental work done in France or Switzerland. That came up as we were discussing a business trip I had planned. I concluded he was arrogant.
    #79
  20. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    Geez man, why so sensitive? What is it about what I said that disagrees with your post?
    Please re-read my post. I think you may have assumed I said things I didn't and didn't say things I did.
    By the way, I don't drive a Porsche or play golf. I don't gouge people either. If anything, quite the opposite.
    I am sure your wife is first rate and stands out from the crowd. I meant no disrespect to those foreign dentists that practice in an exemplary fashion.
    #80