Dental Departures, Carlos Vigil and my Mexicali dentist


My apologies to readers – this post is way overdue.  In fact, I had completely forgotten about it – until I received a couple of email inquiries yesterday about dental services in the Mexicali area.

I originally interviewed Carlos Vigil back in October 2013.  We met at the Mexicali Summit, while I was promoting my book.

Carlos Vigil

Carlos Vigil

Mr. Vigil works with an American company called Dental Departures that specializes in dental tourism. Mr. Vigil is part of the sales team for the Baja California area that recruits dentists to participate in Dental Departures.com.

Dental evaluation versus surgical evaluation

If you’ve read any of my books, then you’ll remember that dental evaluation is quite  a bit different that any of the other services (like surgery).   Surgical evaluation requires background research, interviews and observation.  

Dentistry requires more active participation.  In the past, in the name of research and quality evaluation, I (along with a group of volunteers) have undergone extensive dental procedures without the aid of anesthesia.  

One of my colleagues field tests dentistry services with Dr. Quintana and his associates

One of my colleagues field tests dentistry services with Dr. Quintana and his associates

Dental evaluation can be slow, painful work

But this is slow, tedious work and it doesn’t really add anything to the knowledge base that couldn’t be obtained by more traditional routes such as patient feedback. It also requires a longer time commitment – since an important component of quality dentistry is durability.  If six months afterwards, a crown breaks, a patient develops a serious abscess or all your veneers fall off – that’s important information for prospective patients to have.  But – as you can imagine, that makes for very slow writing – and would delay my books significantly.

But  Dental Departures hopes to provide that feedback.  But Dental Departures is more than the International “Angie’s List” of dentistry.  It’s a comprehensive dental clearinghouse that includes 2900 dentists in 29 countries.

So while I am happy to recommend my personal dentist in Mexicali  (contact information below), Carlos Vigil and Dental Departures may be a good alternative for people looking for dentists across the globe.

Now, while I certainly can’t vouch for Dental Departures, (for reasons detailed above), it certainly sounds like a great idea.  Hopefully, readers can give me some feedback as to the quality of goods and services provided using this service.

For a more informal recommendation –

My Mexicali Dentist:

Dr. Luis Israel Quintana Burgos

His address is in central Mexicali – and may be difficult to find for a visitor, but a cab should be able to find it fine…

The address is Blvd Lazaro Cardenas y Anahuac #862, Jardines de Lago, Mexicali, B.C.  

Telephone  557 9151. 

Go down Lazaro Cardenas, then on the left a the corner of (Anahuac), just past the intersection there is an Oxxo. Turn after the Oxxo and enter in the parking lot.  Drive through the parking lot.  Behind the Oxxo is a group of offices – on the right is going to be the Dental Place..

  He is excellent and affordable, and can usually find time to squeeze in patients fairly quickly.   I’ve seen him several times for dental cleanings as well as some fillings.  

First impressions aren’t always correct

Now, the first time I saw him – I wasn’t overly impressed.  There was a very young receptionist who spent most of her time looking at herself in the mirror.  She also acted as if she was annoyed that our arrival to the office had disturbed her beauty routine.  This would have been a non-issue since I was seen quickly and brought back to the dentist’s chair – except that she flounced on back down the hallway to the dental chair with me.

vain

And she stayed – with one hand (and all her attention) on an old-fashion style round hand mirror.  She was ostensibly, “assisting” the dentist, but since she couldn’t drag her attention away from her own reflection for more than a few seconds at a time, the dentist ended up having to get up and move around the room to get everything himself.  It was an awkward situation, made more awkward by the fact that as the patient, I was sitting there as an unwanted voyeur with my mouth propped open, listening to her cooing, using baby talk and practically purring at the doctor.

It was all I could do to sit there, then pay the dentist and get the heck out of there.   I promised I’d never go back to such an unprofessional and uncomfortable situation again.  Except – during a return visit to Mexicali – a member of the Latin American surgery team had a dental emergency, and by default called Dr. Quintana for help.  He got him in right away and I accompanied him to the appointment.

What a difference a few months makes!  The baby sexpot receptionist was replaced by an attractive but professional assistant who was polite, friendly and attentive.

The fumbling in the dentist’s chair was gone.  Instead of an assistant, the dentist has re-organized the office, so all of his needed materials were within reach.  The whole atmosphere of the office had changed – into a professional medical office.

Since that second visit, Dr. Quintana has become my ‘regular’ dentist.  Sure, when I’m traveling – I’ll stop in for cleanings in other cities, but I plan to return to Mexicali and Dr. Quintana for all future work.

sizing the crown

sizing the crown

One of my colleagues has also had several fillings, a root canal and a crown performed in his office.   It’s been several months since the work was performed and there have been no issues.

Dr. Quintana speaks only Spanish but he is in practice with two other dentists that speak some English.

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