Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dental Care in Mexico: Understanding Implants

The 3-steps involved in a dental implant.
There are many Americans that travel to Mexico for a very specific type of health care: dental care. This is specially true for Americans that live close to the border.

The main drive is without a doubt the lower cost. For many Americans, some dental procedures are out of their financial reach or just too difficult to afford. However, before going to Mexico, you should inform yourself about the specific procedure you want to have. Today, I'm going to write about implants.

Implants are one of the best ways to replace lost teeth. They offer the stability, the strength, the feel, and the appearance of regular teeth. They last for very long and they practically are indistinguishable from natural teeth. Unfortunately, they're expensive. Also, you won't be able to get one in only one visit.

The process starts with tests and x-rays to establish whether you're a good candidate for the procedure. Once the decision has been made, a date is set for surgery. On this day, the dentist will pull out any remains of the tooth and insert an implant, which is a small device that will anchor the tooth to the bone.

After the surgery, you'll have to wait a few weeks or even months (expect at least 3 months). During this time, the wounds will heal, but most importantly, the implant will fuse itself with the jawbone, in a process called osseointegration. This process is what gives the implant stability and strength.

A second surgery is then needed. During this second surgery, the top of the healed gum will be opened and an abutment placed on the implant. Sometimes, this second surgery is performed at the same time than the first one, in order to avoid two different surgeries at different times, especially when dealing with international patients. In any case, the patient will have to wait for the wounds to heal again, although the wait will be much shorter.

Finally, in the third visit, a crown or another artificial tooth will be placed and set on top of the abutment.

Unlike other procedures, an implant needs at least two visits separated by a considerable amount of time. If you want to travel to Mexico to get one or more dental implants, you should consider this factor, and also take into account that your own dental development might unexpectedly delay your second or third visit. For example, if the osseointegration hasn't been achieved by the expected date, your second visit will have to be postponed.

Finally, the success rate of implants is very high, but not completely 100%. Some bodies reject the implant as a foreign body. There are other risks that will depend on your specific circumstances. You should talk to your doctor about them before making a decision.

How do you feel about Americans traveling to Mexico for health care? Tell us in the comments. Also, read about the ranking of the US health care system, compared to other countries. Or whether it's safe or not to travel to Mexico.


Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico, in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

1 comment:

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