http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: We Move And Los Algodones

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We Move And Los Algodones

Larry and Geri have a group of ATV riding friends who winter in Casa Grande—several of the North Ranch gang along with these Casa Grande friends are gathering in Salome, AZ for a few days of riding.  We left the long ole cargo trailer in North Ranch and came over yesterday with motorhome, jeep and ATVs. 

A month or so ago when reading a comment left by Judy on another blogger’s post I offered to take Judy with me to Mexico when I went to have my teeth cleaned in Los Algodones.  Being a solo traveler Judy wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going alone.  That sets the stage for todays’ trip.

In the past I’ve had dental work done in Los Algodones but decided to try another dentist—I chose Nina and Paul’s dentist, Dr. Eva Urena making an appointment for both Judy and myself for today, Wednesday, we were all set!  Until I received an email message from her office on Saturday, “Hello Janna, you have an appointment in my office on Wednesday March 11th at 12:30PM.  Something has come up and we need to re-schedule your visit.  Please let me know if you can come in a day before or a day after.”  A day earlier would not work for Judy and a day later would not work for me—back to the drawing board.

Rick and other bloggers have given Sani Dental Group good reviews—on Monday I called and was able to secure two appointments for today.  The offices are impressive, the staff helpful, speaking very passable English.   We checked in at one office, we were then escorted about two blocks over for an “exam and consult” then I was escorted back to the same office where we originally checked in for the actual procedure.  My appointment was for 11:30, I was not taken to a treatment room until 1pm.  After the treatment I was escorted back the two blocks where I paid the bill—$230 for work which would have cost me $725 in the US!! 

Judy elected not to have any dental work performed, I had my teeth cleaned and whitened.  I am very satisfied with the actual dental work so far but I’m not sold on Sani Dental Group and here’s why.  The consulting dentist while not pushy made me feel as if they were looking for ways to make money—this is the first time I’ve experienced this in Mexico—I have had this experience in the US.  The Sani Group dentist told me I needed several fillings in areas where the enamel is worn away probably from vigorous brushing—my Montana dentist has always said, “if those areas bother you, we can fix them.” 

All that back and forth between offices was disconcerting, I guess I could have eaten more today—I certainly got my exercise! Smile I made the original appointment for just teeth cleaning and added on the whitening after the consultation.  I was told the dentist “specialist” for whitening was busy but it would only be an additional 15-20 minute wait if I wanted to have the procedure done today.  One and a half hours later I was still waiting.  There were many, many people waiting in the hallway with me and lots of back and forth chatter, “we were here ALL day yesterday, yes, us too, etc.”

Sani Dental Office

Sani Dental Group - exterior signSo, that’s my story with Sani Dental—nothing bad happened, just annoying—I understand the Mexican culture, things move at a slower pace but it’s still annoying—I wasn’t an ugly American but I had set a time in my mind where I would leave without getting anything done if I had not been placed in a treatment room.  In the past I’ve always tried to make my appointments in Mexico early in the morning—less waiting that way I think!—I will go back to that rule next year!   Judy and I grabbed a quick bite of lunch and headed for the border crossing line having stopped at the Purple Pharmacy before going to the dental office. 

Oh, and here’s the story about the Purple Pharmacy—Michael’s dermatologist prescribes a chemo type cream for use on pre-cancerous areas of the cowboy’s face and head.  US price, $400+ per tube, Mexico price, $45 per same size tube.  Another drug which we have gotten in Mexico before—cholchocine—US price, over $400 for a 30 day supply.  Price in Mexico, $2.61 for a 30 day supply!!!!  Good grief!

The line was way long but we waited only thirty minutes, had our passports scanned, answered a couple questions and were on our way.  Two hours later I was back in Salome where Geri and Sandy had made dinner—they all went for an ATV ride today so it was awfully nice of them to make dinner!! 



  1. So glad you got to meet Judy!.it was our honor to get to meet her also this season. She is a special lady. What a difference in price for your medications. That alone makes the frustrating trip worth while. I wouldn't like to have been shuffled back and forth either. We have stayed in Salome a few times when it was Western Horizons and really liked it.

  2. Have heard so many good things about Dr. Urena, it's too bad you weren't able to reschedule :-( Waiting ridiculous periods of time is hard, but I'm sure you're glad to have the work done at such a great price. I always thought the pharm companies were the ones with the outrageous pricing, but it would seem it is the pharmacies and medical groups who are doing the gouging......otherwise how would the same drug be so much cheaper across the border? Enjoy your group ride in Salome!!!

  3. It's hard to believe that the price for medications is so different. I wonder though about the quality.
    Too bad your first appointment did not work out.

  4. Thanks for taking me with you. It's about time we finally met in person!

    I agree with your assessment of the Sani Group.

  5. I think you're absolutely right about making dental appointments for early in the morning in Algodones. My 3 visits to Sani Dental were all for 9am appointments and I had zero wait time for each. When my work was finished, however, I did see lots of folks in the waiting rooms as I don't think any dental clinic in Algodones likes to turn away walk-in patients as they'll never see them again! Based on my experience if I couldn't get an appt. for 10am or earlier I just wouldn't go.

    As I wrote in my blog, I found Sani to be excellent all-around for my consultation, analysis and my treatments so I'm pretty happy with them.

    Those drug price differences are pretty amazing.

  6. What with my mom being a pharmacist I am always leery of cheap drugs but any I have seen from Mexico are the same companies as home and expiry dates and packaging are always right. I know in Canada the government actually tells the pharm companies what they will charge. Probably wouldn't fly in the US but we like it just fine.

  7. Like Rick, I am very happy with the work I had done at Sani. I had three appointments and two of them I was in a treatment room within 20 minutes of my appointment time while the third, a 4:00 PM appointment I sat in the waiting room for two hours. Frustrating but the savings more than made up for it. It was also nice getting three "free" nights in the clinic owned hotel.

  8. Amazing how you have to go out of the country for affordable health care.


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