Tasty Tin’s own Thembi and the dental needs that required a passport!

Tasty Tin’s own Thembi and the dental needs that required a passport!

Part One


Any adult who has lived in the United States for any decent period of time probably has a first hand horror story about the healthcare system.  Whether medical, dental, vision, or mental healthcare is rather atrocious here, especially if you aren’t apart of the 1%’ers. 


Those who are lucky enough to work for decent companies that provide employer funded insurance have it made, comparatively speaking. But for so many one bad accident or devastating prognosis from your doctor can easily bankrupt a person. 


Now, I realize that I am privileged in that I’ve never been without insurance.  And there are millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance.  But this isn’t a blog post about the horrors of the American Healthcare System, nor is this political or anything of the sort. But it is part of the reason I ended up in Mexico getting dental work.


Dental tourism, or the overarching idea of medical tourism, is simply the idea of traveling to a place other than your home country to get healthcare.  It is a billion dollar industry. 


Now please note!  I am not writing this as medical or financial advice.  What I am doing is sharing my experience.  Mostly because when I was going my research blogs like this helped me feel more comfortable about my decision. 


Anyway back to the deets. 



And if you consider celebrity gossip, you’ve probably heard of people traveling to have medical and dental procedures done.  The Brazillian Butt Lift (affectionately known as a BBL) is named for the country where many people get them done (though I don’t think that’s why it’s called that but I digress.  Either way anything that is deemed cosmetic by the US healthcare industry (basically anything that is a physical change to make people feel better about themselves) won’t be even considered by the insurance companies. 


What is crappy is that many people have these procedures not just to be shallow but for real and important reasons to them. 


Picture this:

A young 8 year old girl living in a major US city in the 1980s being told by their pediatric dentist “You won’t have any teeth by the time you’re 21)!


I mean HONESTLY!  How sucky are you with “bedside manner” that those are the words you tell a kid????



But plot-twist I had all my teeth (minus the few taken out by my orthodontist for my braces at 17) at 21.



What he SHOULD have explained was how no matter what a person does there are some things they can’t really control.  I have never been a huge candy eater, if you know me you know dessert is not something I eat most days but the way he was talking you’d think I walked around on a sugar high my whole childhood.  I learned as an adult, the same way some races are more inclined to get skin cancer or anemia, the bacteria that can cause serious dental issues finds itself more inclined in certain groups of people. 


You ever say you’ll do something completely superficial later in life?  For example, I’ve always had a larger chest ever since I was a young girl.  I’ve always told myself one day when I’m older and done breastfeeding, I’d get a breast lift.  I haven’t gotten one….yet but it’s on my list.  There’s no reason for me to get one except I want one.  Well I’ve had similar thoughts about doing something about me teeth.  Of course my thoughts were purely trivial in the reasons for it but it was always in the back of my mind.


Then COVID happened. And the world went wild.  During our shelter in place time, something happened that brought my wanting to do something about my teeth to the forefront of my mind.  THEN I got an infection in my gums and the infection caused another tooth to get really loose.




As a 40 something wife, mother, business owner and contributing member of society, I had real fears about what might happen.  And I wasn’t prepared to find out what any of those were. 


So I did what any older millennial/younger gen X’er might do, I got on facebook and asked a travel group I belong to “Who here has traveled for dental work?  If you have where did you go and would you recommend it?”


I immediately began researching the places people listed while simultaneously checking places here in the United States.  The places I considered were Portugal, Turkey, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico amongst others.  And basically all locations was on average 50% cheaper than anything I found in the United States.


FIFTY PERCENT CHEAPER!  And in some cases, like what I’m getting done, it’s a larger discount.  I think mine is roughly 66% cheaper than what I was quoted in the States.


The place I ended up choosing is A1 Smile Design in Playa del Carmen, Quintaroo Mexico.  Here are a few reasons I chose this place:

  1. The person (a Black mother) who suggested the place originally, is a current local patient, as well as her son.
  2. As I was scrolling through their site, I came across a picture of an old college friend who apparently was a patient as well.
  3. They provided lodgings included in all their pricing.
  4. And the price was a third of what I’d been quoted in the US.
  5. While I am a huge fan of traveling, I was a little nervous about flying too far from home since I was going solo.


Now check back for Part 2!



Stay Spicy!

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