Day 1121 – Affordable Dental

For years, I paid a ridiculous amount of money on dental insurance premiums, only to also pay a ridiculous amount of money as a co-pay for cleanings, braces, retainers, braces again, root canals, crowns, etc. etc. etc.  Then, I became a full time RV’er.

I had never heard of Los Algodones before last year.  As we were driving to San Diego from the Yuma, Arizona area, we passed billboard after billboard for dental providers in Los Algodones, Baja California.  I then started asking some of the people that were dry camping around us, and found out that there are over 500 dental specialists in this small, Mexican town. These professionals provide all dental care, from cleanings to implants, for a fraction of the US cost.

Last year, David and I went in for an exam and cleaning.  This cost us $30.00 each. That compares to over $100.00 each in Sacramento, when we had insurance!

Today, Hannah, David and I went to Venus Dentistry ( and received top quality care.  Well, David and Hannah did.  I pulled a rookie move and did not realize that Los Algodones follows the AZ time zone, so we arrived 45 minutes LATE to our appointment, rather than 15 minutes early.  But Drs. Sandoval and Beltran were accommodating, and took Hannah in first, and then David. They had one other patient, who was having a large amount of work done, and it was a team approach on all three of them.  I will go back another day for my cleaning.

Hannah had been told by her San Diego dentist that she had a cavity which needed attention. We wanted her to have this addressed before she leaves for Sunderland. The San Diego dentist offered to fill it for $150.00.  At Venus Dentistry, a composite filling is $45.00.   It turned out that Hannah had another issue, a small surface cavity that actually was much larger than it seemed.  It was so large, in fact, that a root canal was in order.  We were fortunate to be in a practice where professionals could address all of her needs in this office, rather than having to bounce her between providers.  She will not need a crown, as an onlay was used instead.  Her prescription for antibiotics was also filled in Los Algodones – 100 pills of Amoxicillin 500 mg cost $4.50. Yup, rx and change for a five dollar bill!

While she was in one room, David was in another.  He has a back molar that his Sacramento dentist has been wanting to crown. A gap between that molar and a crown next to it has been collecting food every time he eats (sorry if this is too much information). Additionally, this tooth has a large amalgam filling that is at least 30 years old.  Dr. Beltran replaced the amalgam with composite, and permanent onlay will be installed on Wednesday.


We aren’t finished yet, but we know that all work is guaranteed – 100% – for the first year, and then 50% for life.  And the modern facilities, the reasonable prices, and the professional staff at Venus have sold us on Los Algodones.

My advice to anyone looking for ways to receive dental care at rates that they can afford: get your passport and head on down to Mexico.  If you are not an RV’er, there is an Indian casino with a hotel ( near the border.   It runs a shuttle, so you don’t even need to worry about parking or driving your car into Mexico.

We head back on Wednesday to finish up.  I’ll let you know what our costs were by procedure.

And, before I forget – today’s menu was SPARSE! Oatmeal and greens for breakfast, and we missed lunch since we were having so much fun at the dentist.  Dinner was a quickie – boiled yams topped with stir-fry veggies in a ginger sauce.  No real recipe to share, as I just threw things together.  I want to try to make cinnamon rolls or some sort of baked good tomorrow. Will share then.

I’m glad we could have this chat,


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