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Land of the Big White Teeth

Updated: Dec 7, 2019

Welcome to the~

Land of the Big White Teeth!

The day will likely come in every Baby Boomers life to take the plunge. I’ve heard of Mexican Dentists for 20 years, always in the back of my mind, in case, one day I needed lots of dental work. You know, if I were ever to get old.

How fast that day creeps up. We all know about aging. We know old people. We just never expected to be old. Then it happens in a day. It’s not gradual, it’s BAM! You simply look in the mirror and say, “Oh my God, I’m old! How did this happen?!” You’re a kid inside. You’re cool and hip and old. I still can’t believe it.

So here I am, 66, with $6,000 worth of dental work needed, and I say, “No way!” We work our lives to finally get medicare which doesn’t cover the 3 things we Elders need the most, eyes, ears, and teeth! My teeth were grayish, and thin. They were painful when I drank hot & cold. I look older because of my teeth.

So I decide to try the Mexico route. Mary had been there before 20 years ago and needed more work, so we decided to go together on the 5 hour trek from Sedona. She was getting 6 crowns so she would have a great smile. (she’s 78) “Don’t get those big, white teeth, Mary! I hate seeing old people with big white teeth.”

She assured me, she knew what she wanted. 

We arrived with ease, crossed the border just two blocks to our hotel, which is owned by Sani Dental. If you spend a thousand a day, the room is free. It was quaint, comfortable with a driver at your disposal. (great customer service!) The entire town of Algodones is literally four blocks so it was fun and easy to walk everywhere. I was so impressed with this tiny border town, population 6,000 with 500 dental offices. Instantly I felt safe. 

I loved watching the locals selling their sidewalk tacos, tourist souvenirs, with joy and respect for everyone they interacted with. I was like a fly on the wall, observing, hidden. I watched a first kiss. I watched a beautiful 16 year old waitress reach out to aid a 90 year old man with a smile from ear to ear. I saw people with nothing materially, yet really happy. I spoke to dozens of locals, some born in the U.S. that sought to come here because there is no crime, and there is such a peaceful vibe here. They are kind and genuinely like us. Without us they would have no economy. They are very grateful. Everywhere, there are hundreds of 60 and 70 year old white men and women from America and Canada. Everywhere, all with white or grey hair and the same big white teeth. It’s cartoonish. Kinda like The Truman Show.

We arrived at 2 for our appointments. It all happened so fast. They have this down pat. I was encouraged to have all my top teeth ground down with crowns put on. I knew my future would likely be years of expensive dental bills, root canals, bridges, extractions and God knows what else. I was sure I could never afford this. But I took the plunge. The price was less than half of what my American dentist charged for just 2 crowns and a root canal. I had 14 teeth crowned and a root canal for just $3,000. Then I picked a style, all even or more naturally shaped. White or more naturally yellow….

They begin on day 1. Three hours in the chair. Next day impressions, and third day, you have new teeth and you’re done. It was surreal. When I finally held the mirror up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. No, this can’t be true. I now am the proud owner of those big white teeth that I told Mary not to get! What??? Oh does God have a hell of a sense of humor. The good news is that because they’re bigger, they puff out my lips so you can’t see those lip wrinkles we women get. I’m getting used to them. I am glad I did it. I am glad it’s over. Instead of years of piece mealing, it’s done. No more pain and no more expense.

When you’re ready to take the plunge into the land of the Big White Teeth, you’re in great hands in Los Algodones. It’s a right of passage. Welcome to the Golden Years!

Love and Laughter~

Sheila . x



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