16-56 To Yuma

All I want for Christmas is my one front tooth

The day after I completed my camp hosting duties as I was eating I felt something weird and it turned out to be my front tooth.  I had my front tooth knocked out when I was 18 and 50+ years later the crown decided it had enough eating and came out.  A couple days later I had to attend a going away party for all the camp hosts.  What a bummer.

Since I am moving into Oregon I was able to get cheaper insurance then my costly AARP prescription drug plan and my medicare supplement by replacing them with a Kaiser Permanente plan.  For $41 they have a dental plan that covers minor dental and cleanings. However they were only able to offer me a flipper device which attaches via suction to your gum and gives you a temporary fix.  However you can’t eat with this device.

So I called Dr Eva Urena’s office in Algadones, MX to check on the possibility of getting an implant.  Sure enough they can do it and the cost would be about 1/4 the cost here in the US.  I decided to fly down to Yuma, get a motel for a few days with a rental car to get around in.  I booked everything on line, called the PetHotel (Petsmart) and made a reservation to board Chica.  Since Chica stayed at the PetHotel in Aliso Viejo, CA they were able to get all her records.

Left last Saturday at 11:00 am to take Chica to Tualatin, OR in plenty of time for my drive up to the Portland Airport at 4:55 pm.  Her is a pic of Chica seeing me off.  She was not very happy.  I always feel so bad whenever I leave her anywhere, even at the groomer.


I got to the airport in plenty of time even with the heavy traffic due to an accident.

Flight #1 Portland to San Francisco

It took about 2 hours to get to San Francisco where I had a 3 hour 52 minute layover.  I walked around the airport for a while and noticed the first game of the World Series was on.  I found a nice place where I could pick up a sandwich and beer to watch the end of the game.  Wouldn’t you know it but the game went into extra innings and I had finished my sandwich and beer.  I figured I ought to get another beer so I could continue watching the game.  I sipped that but it was gone and the game still going on.  I left the bar and found a seat in the waiting are where I could still see the game.  It was a great game but too long with KC finally winning.

Flight #2 San Francisco to San Diego

At 10:40 pm the 2nd plane took off for San Diego and landed there at 12:16 am (now into Wednesday).  This was going to be the worst part of my journey.  I have a 6 hour and 14 minute layover.  I was upstairs in the boarding area getting my phone and computer charged up.  The chairs are also much more comfortable up there.  Then a policeman comes up and tells me I can’t wait up there as they are cleaning the area so I have to go downstairs.  NO COMFORTABLE SEATING DOWNSTAIRS.  Plus I have to wait over 6 hours until my next flight.  Nothing is open and there is no place to plug in.  They don’t even have a vending machine.  That was probably the longest 6 hours I have spent.

Flight #3 San Diego to Phoenix

Finally at about 5:30 am I made my way back through the TSA area for the second time on my journey.  YUK !  The plane took off at 6:30 am and landed in Phoenix at 7:53 am.  Then I had to hike to the complete opposite end of the airport to get my next flight.  My layover was only 52 minutes and I was able to get a strong cup of coffee to keep me going.

Flight #4 Phoenix to Yuma

Finally I was off to my destination in Yuma at 8:45 am landing at 9:51 am.  From there I walked to the Hertz booth where I had reserved a car on-line.  I am glad I did reserve it as everyone behind me weren’t able to get a car until late in the afternoon.  Picked up the car and off I went.

Too early for check-in.

I was going to check-in clean up and brush my teeth before going to the dentist, but realized I couldn’t check into the motel until 3:00pm.  What a bummer!!!!!

I decided after traveling all night I had better brush my teeth before going to the dentist.  I found a McDonalds and grabbed my tooth brush and tooth paste and used their bathroom.  I also bought breakfast there as I was starving.

Off to Algadones

I made my dental appointment for 12:00 pm so after eating and brushing my teeth I headed to Algadones.  Dr Eva needed a CT Scan of my mouth in order to decide how to proceed with my implant.  Her office ordered  someone to pick me up, take me to have my CT Scan and drive me back to their office.  All this only took about 1/2 hour.  Then she and a Periodontist conferred on my implant.  It seems that there was still a portion of my root still left in my gum.  They decided to cut into my gum remove the remaining root and then replace it with bone and the implant at the same time.  YUK!!!  They wouldn’t be able to do this until tomorrow.

Early Thursday I was the first appointment.  A specialist worked with her to complete the process and I was out of there and heading back to my room to heal.  They gave me pain medication and antibiotics.  The implant went well, but they wanted me to return Friday morning for a follow-up.   That is one of the main advantages of the dentist in Algadones.  They will do anything to accomodate you.  Dr. Eva knew that I had flown down to Yuma expressly for the dental work and would be flying back on Saturday.

Anyway I got everything done and now just have to wait 4 months to get my permanent tooth while my mouth heals.

Leaving Saturday for Portland

I only have three flights to contend with on Saturday and will be home at 5:29 pm. Then to Tualatin to pick up my baby.  I can’t wait.

Then in 4 months turn around and do it all again.  Hopefully fewer then seven flights.


Algadones for dental work

Not the Dentist!!!

Before I got to Mittry Lake I called the same dentist (Dr Eva Urena) to get an appointment.  They weren’t able to fit me in for at least a week.  Then I mentioned that my friends also had appointments with her so they told me I could come in the same time as their appointments and they would fit me in.  How accommodating!!!  So early Thursday morning (8am)  Debbie, Gayle and I headed to the dentist.  Here I am waiting for my appointment.  Do you think the cross has any significance?

Jim at the Dentist

They cleaned my teeth (only $35) and checked out a couple of problem teeth.  One was a wisdom tooth that I still have and she said they would pull that ($80).  The second problem was more severe.  I have 2 old crowns that need to be removed ($30) and a tooth between them that also needs to be removed ($70).  Then I have to wait 3 weeks to heal and I will then be fitted with a 3 unit permanent bridge ($660).  YUK!!!

Fortunately I have the time so I set up an appointment for Tuesday to have the teeth removed.

After Dr Urena told me what had to be done and gave me the estimated cost I told Gayle the bad news.  She mentioned that maybe I might want to get a second opinion.  I got the name of another dentist that others had recommended and called them.  I let them know that the tooth was really bothering me and I needed to see the dentist ASAP.  Even though I didn’t have an appointment and I had never seen the dentist before they told me to come right over.

Within a 1/2 hour I got an opinion from 2 dentists that were working in this office.  They also said I would have to have 2 new crowns ($700) and possibly a root canal as well ($350) depending on what they found after removing the crowns.  I decided to go with the first dentist as it seemed like a more permanent fix and less costly as well.  She came highly recommended and I have confidence that she is a good dentist.

As I was leaving the second dentist office, I ran into Chris who was also getting dental work done.  What a coincidence.


I was surprised how easy it is to get an dental appointment in Algadones.  Just tell them you are in pain.  HA!

Dental Pain Killers

Chris and I both went back to the first dentist office where Debbie and Gayle were still waiting.  It was almost an hour until Gayle’s appointment so Chris and I headed downtown to check out a cantina.  We found a table and I ordered a margarita and Chris got a diet coke.  My margarita was huge.


Then Debbie and Gayle caught up with us and we went back across the border.  I remember going to Algadones in 2012 and it took over an hour to go back across the border.  This time we walked right thru without a wait.

I only had my phone which does not take great pics.  On top of that I got my finger in the top right corner.  DUH!


I wasn’t planning on spending so much for dental work, but had I gone to a dentist in the states it probably would have cost me a fortune.  Now I have another appointment for Tuesday morning, which I am not looking forward to.  But it will be nice when it is all done.

Beware of Dog!!!

Mary Gardner who also has a great website sent me this pic of Chica while we were in Quartzsite.  It was taken while we were watching the football game on the TV set up outside my rig.  Chica just had to come out and join us.



Thanks Mary for sending me those great pics