Well it has been almost two years since I went to TJ to get my teeth worked on. At that time I first went down there for just 2 teeth, they found 4 more and offered me a deal to fix all 6. I was really, really torn as this kind of huge decision should take a bit of thinking before I jumped in, but with an almost 2.5 hour drive I had to decide RIGHT then. So I did it. I got it done.
Then months later one of their crowns pops off. In my busy life of single-momdom I’m trying to find the time to get back down to Tijuana to get it put back on, but with the three kids & a full time job my schedule is incredibly tight! And since I get paid by the hour and I’m barely making ends meet my tooth is a constant nag I manage to neglect. When I finally get to a local dentist she explains my gums have grown over the space and she can’t put the crown back on as she’s not equipped to surgically cut away gum. She also explains the problem with a crown that I never knew. They have to shave down the outside of your tooth to get a nice smooth fit. And so if there is extensive work on the inside sometimes there is not enough strong tooth to be such a support for a crown.
Wow.. I had no idea! In my 50 years, I’ve had TONS of cavities, crowns, root canals and I already had two implants. And through all that I still ate gum, popcorn, brushed and flossed and while I might have a filling pop off, never a crown. Until then. I’m worried because I couldn’t tell if it was THEIR work or just serendipity.
Then I see on the TJ dentist (White Smile Center) website they offer a lifetime guarantee! Oh, but when I call to make an appointment to fix this crown they tell me the guarantee is not on the work “I” had done. No, I opted for the cheaper crowns, they tell me, and its not guaranteed. But the work has to get done & I trust they are still cheaper than a local dentist so I make an appointment. And this time I try the train to get there instead of driving. BIG mistake. While the train was relaxing and leisurely… the bus/trolley to the border took almost another hour! Plus the stress of missing a train on the way home sucked!
Once down in TJ I’m faced with getting a new crown and hope it stays on better or remove the tooth and put an implant in. But I’m armed with the knowledge from the local dentist that the tooth is pretty thin and it may not take and I want a permanent solution. So I opt for the removal and the implant. Which costs me another $1500.00. They try to talk me into paying for a sinus lift as the implant they want to put in there is too long. And the shorter one may not fit the size of the hole they’re planning on making. I say go for the shorter one and we’ll chance it. I can’t afford another $1000 for a lift!
So the process begins but this time I didn’t bring cash so I got to do something new. They tell me they want to send some pain killer and antibiotic home with me. I’m all, “Fine” and they say, well if you don’t have the cash you’ll have to go with our assistant to the pharmacy to buy it. I’m thinking…. what? You’ve shot me up with Novocaine and now I get to walk (WALK!) a few blocks down to stand there looking like an idiot while the girl translates what the pharmacists asks. No, I’m not uncomfortable at ALL! And this time, no one offers me lunch… but they DO manage to take a nice long siesta, while my Novocaine “takes” and of course they have to shoot me up again when they finally get back because that siesta was longer than an hour. Such a huge waste of time is really annoying to this Type A- personality.
Finally its done and they tell me I can’t blow my nose for 4 weeks! Cuz they DID do the sinus lift, which I didn’t approve. They hint “they can’t ask me to pay some they did it without my approval.. but….” *hopeful silence* “But no”, I say, they are eating the cost of that. The implant is in, but I have to go back in about 6 weeks to get the crown done while my body is integrating the bone grafting they put around it and my gums are healing from the cutting they had to do. And I’m worried about my other teeth cuz they had to hammer to break up the tooth and then hammer again to push the bone into the sinus lift it so there was enough space to fit the implant.
I now know how many hits to the head I can take.. hahahahaha Because it was “tap tap tAP TAP BANG” over and over again. My limit was 15 Bangs before I thought I was seeing stars.
Overall it sucked. Having your mouth open for many straight hours kind of makes your jaw very achy! So in the recovery I have to exercise my jaw, but the stitches are also cutting the inside of the lip so I had to go for minimum movement for days & days! I was allowed to breathe thru the nose and sniffle but they don’t want excessive pressure on my sinuses like nose blowing. And they warn me not to hold in any sneezes hahaha I know they’re serious but it still feels comedic to be so conscious of nasal activity.
As if that isn’t bad enough.. a few months later when I went to Coachella 2013 another one of their crowns popped off!! This time on the opposite side! I could barely eat on Day 3 because that’s a Sunday and there isn’t a dentists office open. Thankfully I found Jackson Dentist, a WONDERFUL place who took me in that Monday. They were surprised at the quality of the work on the crown as it didn’t fit and had a GAP! That’s why it most likely popped off. They cemented it back as best they could and when I phoned & emailed White Smile Center Tijuana Dentistry the x-rays from the Coachella dentist with the obvious gaps and said, “How can I trust you with the last cap or ANY work after this? Will you make it right?” what did they say? “I’ll get back to you.”
Not a peep from them since.
Different value system, I guess. I’m sticking with local dentists. Cuz if I’m going to drive 2.5 hours for dental work, I can do it in Indio and at least have a great night partying with the locals afterword! Sex God and Lover have practically a Party Posse out there!