Mexican Dental Vacation is located in Mazatlan, Mexico. Originally from Oregon, Nick Konev founded the clinic after having difficulty finding a good dentist in Mazatlan.1 Konev manages the business while Dr. Lino Guzman takes care of the dental duties.
The clinic’s services include bridges, crowns, veneers, dentures, root canals, bone grafts, and sinus lifts. Its digital x-ray provides instant imagery while using up to 90% less radiation. The intra-oral camera displays imagery on a screen so patients can see inside their mouth. To help keep costs low, the clinic outsources some of its work out to local dentists. Lab work is performed by independent labs. The lab’s average delivery time is 4 days. “Rush” orders are charged double, but delivery time is 24-48 hours.
Dr. Guzman, who speaks English and Spanish, received his education at La Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa in Mexico. He is a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. His wife, Dr. Mesa, is the clinic’s general dentist but the website doesn’t provide any further information about her. Alisa Bird, who also speaks English, is the clinic’s dental assistant and office manager. Relevant and important information is omitted from the profiles on the website, but Dr. Guzman “has an excellent chairside manner”.2
Quality healthcare is available in Mexico, without the steep costs and uncertain waiting periods found in the United States and Europe. According to HealthCare Tourism International, bridges and bonding are the most sought after dental procedures.3 In the United States, the cost of bridges ranges between $1,000 and $3,000 per tooth.4 Mexican Dental Vacation’s price for 3-unit bridges is $1,200, plus lab fees. It was estimated that between the United States and Mexico’s border 20 million crossings were made for the sole purpose of medical services.5
One patient was happy with the treatments and personal attention received at the clinics he visited. However, at Mexican Dental Vacation, Dr. Mackay couldn’t extract his teeth so took him to a dental surgeon, who also had difficulties. Despite everything, the patient planned to return to continue treatment with Dr. Mackay, who has since resigned and returned to the States. Overall, he was “very happy” with the clinic and didn’t come across any language barriers.
Another patient is “not quite sold on” the clinic, but was pleased with the other local dentists she saw and thought the clinic was “going in the right direction” by sending her elsewhere. The fact that she never received the refund promised by Konev can be seen as poor customer service. She felt that Dr. Mackay appeared “much more competent with both business and dental knowledge” than Konev, who should be left “out of the picture”.6
Other feelings about Mexican Dental Vacation follow the same lines. Those who saw Dr. Mackay received excellent treatment, but one patient said his dentist “was bad”. Another actually stopped her treatments mid-way through.7 All share the same bad opinion of the clinic’s customer service, or lack thereof.8
The clinic’s website has a price listing of its services, limited profiles about its staff members, and forms for contacting them and scheduling appointments. With its travel links, golf package, and “free massage with your appointment” the website comes off very commercial-like.