For over 30 years, Clínica Dental Estrella has been providing dental care in Tijuana, Mexico. Along with standard dental procedures, they also provide services for cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Tijuana, which is only 17 km south of San Diego, California and a few minutes from the border, is easily accessible to the masses. Due to its ideal location, it has long been popular with those wanting to see the sights, and more recently, with those seeking cheaper medical treatment.
Clínica Dental Estrella’s standard dental care procedures include oral examinations, cleanings, deep bleaching, x-rays, fluoride treatments, dentures, wisdom teeth extractions, composite fillings, and periodontal surgery. Their cosmetic dentistry services include partial veneers, crowns, composite fillings, inlays, and deep bleaching. The clinic also provides services for advanced dental implants, oral restoration, and root canal therapy. The facility is equipped with panoramic and digital x-rays, implant tomography, digital photography, a deep bleaching light system, and a sterile surgical suite.
All three doctors, each with their own specialty, studied in California and are members of American organizations for dentistry. For that reason, one may guess that they speak English. Although Dr. Miguel Estrella’s profile claims that he is the only dentist in Mexico to have a California license, Dr. Torres’ profile says that he has one as well. The latter is also the only one listed as being a member of both the American Dental Association and the Asociación Dental Mexicana. Dr. Miguel Estrella’s and Dr. Jaime Estella’s profiles show neither of those, but certifications from either of the organizations are not mandatory to practice dentistry in Mexico.
The website looks nice and professional, but isn’t laid out well. To find out about a doctor one has to be looking at the service, i.e. Dr. Miguel’s profile is on the page about dental implants. The website has information on their specialties, a few problems, the solutions and their reasons, and the procedures. There are photographs of the dentists’ work for dental implants, restoration, and “deep bleeching”. Along with the standard contact information, there is also an online form to send questions or comments. Overall, the clinic’s website is pretty basic, with nothing else but what was just mentioned.1
The nonexistent information or reviews about the clinic may or may not speak for the quality of care received there. However, a patient who didn’t want to empty his pockets in San Diego sought dental care in Tijuana and said the dentists he saw were very professional, competent, and used the latest techniques and equipment. He also said that “they seemed to really care about their patients as opposed to a lot of US dentists who, when you open your mouth, only see dollar signs.”2
In Mexico, quality health care is available, without the steep costs and uncertain waiting periods. Numerous specialists received their training in Mexico and/or the United States. A medical facility’s procedures and sanitation practices can be poor no matter its location. Depending on the tooth’s location and the number of roots, a root canal may cost about $1703 , while in the United States it may cost between $350 and $8004 . By saving thousands of dollars on medical treatment they would have received locally, people can either vacation practically for free or use the funds on something else.