I am a dental tourist. This is the main reason for my 3-week residency in MÃ©rida, in the Mexican Yucatan. I am here, like lots of gringos, to get my teeth fixed for a smidgen of what i’d pay at home as an outside-the-box Canadian. I have standard MSP of course, but dental’s not included – I guess because, as my friend Chris says, a holdover from the day when teeth were a luxury.
But i got a wee windfall lately in some long-overdue cash from my dad’s bequest, earmarked toward my genetically crappy and long-neglected chomps. So I flew to Merida, where Dr. J will do the whole shebang – 6 ceramic plus 2 metal crowns, a bridge, and several fillings, veneers, and accessories – for less than $4,000 cdn, vs. my dentist’s quote of $18-$20K. Add in a cheap flight (under $500) and three weeks at Casa ChiChi ($18/night) and it’s still a great deal, with a bonus tropical adventure.
I did two hours in the chair today w Dr JesusÂ and his dental tag team: wife Claudia, Gina, and the lovely Mar, whose Mayan eyes I have fallen in love with over her green paper mask. That was session number 4, with two or three more still to come. IÂ recline in the chair to a wash of Mozart, Phil Collins videos, and easy Spanish banter. No pain, no heavy drugs.Â Team Jesus are total pros.
So yeah, it’s hot here; sticky muggy hot, broken by delicious torrential rains (as I sit typing under the umbrella in the courtyard, rain slucing the cobbles through the seville orange and papaya and hibiscus trees). I am bitten all over by bastardly invisible mosquitoes, and at night, between the heat and the itching and the barking dogs, sleep comes and goes. But I’m happily ensconced at Casa Chi Chi Still, my funky little air bnb cum hostel with a it’s cool shady courtyard, tiny swimming pool and barky dog. It’s clean and cheap and relatively quiet by mex standards, ie, how many mariachi bands is too many? Between visits to Dr J I cruise Merida on my purple bici, with now and then a bus excursion to a beach or a ruins.
It is all so very far from perfect. It is absolutely perfect.