Losing a Tooth in Cancun – Wisdom Tooth Extraction with Dr. German Arzate

As part of the prep for our globe-trotting adventure, I made a visit to my dentist. As I suspected, he told me that one of my wisdom teeth was coming in and needed to come out. He referred me to an oral surgeon in Brooklyn who was going to charge an arm & a leg (for a tooth!), but he didn’t have any appointments, nor did anyone else I called. And all US options were astronomically expensive for a girl with no health/dental insurance. Then, I started exploring the idea of “medical tourism” in Cancun.  I know you all probably think I’m crazy, but it turns out many people actually build their vacations around dental work, plastic surgeries, etc., in other countries, as the care is high quality and at a fraction of the cost as it would be in the US.

So, after some trepidation, I made an appointment with Dr. German in Cancun for the day our friends Marie, Carl & Roz left. I was scared, to say the least, but it was causing great pain, more so that week, so I knew it had to come out.

We took the R-2 bus to Downtown Cancun and walked the rest of the way to the Plaza las Americas. We met Dr. German. He joked with Erik about having the same great haircut (bald!). So, right away, we were set at ease. After taking a look in my mouth and taking an X-ray, he determined the tooth was partially impacted & needed to come out. After several (and I mean several) shots of novocaine, which I know I needed since I have a sensitive mouth), he started. After some squeezing & squirming, I decided halfway through that tensing up wasn’t going to help me at all. So with some loud music and some deep meditation,  I endured.  I have to say it wasn’t the most pleasant time of my life, but I was proud in the end.

Dr. German Arzate was great. Very reassuring and thorough. He spent a good amount of time with us for the surgery & then also recommended tons of places to visit while here in the Yucatan. He even gave me my tooth & we posed for a photo with it!

Dr German, Heather, and her tooth

Dr German, Heather, and her tooth24-Apr-2010 12:23


All in all, we wound up paying about a third of what it would have cost in the US, including X-rays & post-op medications.

After three days of a liquid diet consisting of chocolate pudding, baby food, jello, applesauce, mashed potatoes, rice pudding, chocolate milk & juice, I have to say I do miss real food. I cannot wait to have some guacamole & chips. We managed to score a great deal on Hotwire at a gorgeous beachfront resort for less than the cost of a private room in the hostel we were planning on booking. So, I cannot imagine a more relaxing way to recover than sitting by the pool and looking out at the gorgeous Cancun waters…

Lagoon view from the Omni Hotel

Lagoon view from the Omni Hotel24-Apr-2010 18:58


About Heather

Heather and Erik set off on a round-the-world trip in April, 2010, travelling overland through Central and South America before getting engaged in Antarctica. In 2011-2012 they tackled Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

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