A manly chicken

I am brave. I run into burning buildings for a living. For some reason, though, I am terrified of going to a dentist. I’ve managed to avoid this from the time I left my parents home at 18. However, I got married a few months ago and my new bride wants to set up dental appointments for us. I don’t want to tell her I’m a chicken.  Is there anything you know of to help with  this?

Bill A. – Ft. Worth, TX

Bill,

Your plight is a common one.  If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you are likely to need some extra work done.  I suggest that you go to a dentist who does sedation dentistry. They can give you something like nitrous oxide or valium to relax you. If you don’t want your wife to know you’re using a type of sedation, then I suggest you use the nitrous oxide.  It wears off quickly and you’ll be able to drive home.

If you can come up with some excuse for using the valium, that would be a deeper sedation. You would need someone to drive you home.

Being anxious about dental care doesn’t make you less manly.  Your wife wants to know you.  All of you.  Just be honest…and call a sedation dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Is it worth it to go to Mexico for more affordable dental implants?

I’ve been running some numbers and it is signficantly cheaper to get dental implants done in Mexico than in the United States. I know that it will cost money for travel and I’ll be away from my family.  I’m wondering if you know when it is considered worth it to go to Mexico for a procedure?  Is there a cost benefit?

Aleanna M. – Phoenix, AZ

Aleanna,

I understand the dilema you feel. You want affordable dental implants, but want to be sure it is safe.  I have known several people who have had procedures done in Mexico in order to save money.  For some of them it worked out, for others it was a disaster.  I can give you some general advice and you can weigh the risks.

There is not the same standard of care in Mexico that you get in the United States. I know people sometimes get tired of all the regulations we have here, but most of them are for your safety.  For example, in the U.S., dentists are required to sterilize their equipment a certain way.  In Mexico it is left to the discretion of the dentist. Some of conscientious and are careful to sterilize their implements, but others are more haphazard and do not care if they sterilize or not.

In fact, I recently saw a case where someone returned to the U.S. with a horribly infected dental implant.  While I can’t tell you the exact cause of the infection, I suspect it is from unhygienic equipment.

Once when down in Mexico doing a seminar, I visited some clinics. I saw dentists performing procedures like dental crowns and dental implants without taking any x-rays. In fact, they didn’t even have an x-ray machine.  I can’t imagine placing such appliances without careful planning with x-rays and find it dangerous that they did it.

So, given my statements above, you may think I never find it accpetable to have a procedure done south of the border.  Actually, that is not the case.  I had a friend which had a tubal ligation reversal done in Mexico.  She had a great experience and now has two more children than she had before. So, why was this procedure OK, but not a dental one?

First, she couldn’t have this procedure in the United States. She was considered too old by U.S. standards.  This was their only option. However, even knowning that, they went down and inspected everything ahead of time to ensure her complete safety.

You could do that to make sure you were in good hands, but by the time you traveled down there to inspect everything and make sure of the materials and procedures ahead of time,  you would have spent the same amount of money if you’d done it in the United States.

Just be careful when looking for something considered affordable. You don’t want to sacrifice your health and safety.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette  Dentist Dr. John Theriot.