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Emotional Intelligence and Dentistry?

Kim Cairns in Mexico

Knowing that Dave had been to Nigeria and the Middle East prompted me to write about my ‘dental tourism’  trip to Mexico. In late April, an opportunity came up to travel to Telchac Puerto on the Gulf of Mexico.  Telchac  is about 45 km north of Merida and friends had built a beach home there. They were considering renting it out occasionally and wanted to run a test visit with people they knew to help iron out potential rental glitches.

I had some significant dental problems resulting from two root canal procedures gone awry and a 25-year-old cap in need of replacement.  My thoughts turned to a friend who had hip replacement surgery in India 4 years previously. He had been very pleased with the treatment he received and the results. I decided to do some research on the Internet.

The first dentist I emailed responded within 2 hours and after outlining the work I felt needed doing, I heard back from him quoting a price one-quarter the cost here in Victoria, BC, Canada. We agreed on an appointment for my first morning in Mexico.

Javier and his staff were warm, gracious and highly professional. Five appointments later, I had a brand new smile at one-sixth the cost back home. During the course of his initial examination of my mouth he had recommended another two caps, which modestly increased my cost, but also increased the price differential between Mexico and Canada. He did not request any payment until the completion of the work. What a concept! How civilized.

The most fascinating component of the whole experience has been the reaction of many intelligent and well-traveled friends and acquaintances. Weren’t you nervous? Was it clean? Were the facilities modern? What about all the drug violence in Mexico? Was he up to date with the latest techniques? It is easy to allay any concerns and I derive great pleasure in letting people know earlier in his career he was a trauma specialist in Houston and still uses a Houston lab for all caps and bridges.  As to the violence question, it is limited to a couple of northern states and the Yucatan is and felt very safe.

Another very interesting aspect of the trip was watching kids getting out of school at noon (because of the heat) and strolling to the central plaza of every small town we visited to flip open their laptops and take advantage of the free WiFi to do their homework. Very progressive! I took advantage of the free WiFi to have a couple of coaching sessions with a longtime client. If you’re interested in international medical tourism opportunities, email me and I’ll forward a very good link.

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