CBS 13's April Hettinger examines the benefits of crossing for care
LOS ALGODONES, Mex. (KYMA, KECY) - Los Algodones, Mexico is a popular destination for dental procedures saving locals lots of money, but things look different since the pandemic. Crossing restrictions have stopped the flow of tourists from browsing its businesses.
However, dental work is considered essential; therefore, with proper identification, patients are allowed to cross the border into Mexico for a dental procedure.
The gate at Los Algodones is only open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patients crossing outside of these hours will have to use the San Luis or Mexicali gate.
Diana Mirazo, a receptionist with Sani Dental Group in Algodones says it's about a 70% savings, if not more.
The dental office has certified nurses that do COVID sanitations in the operating room before and after each patient.
"Once you go into our facilities, we do sanitize you. We offer you a face mask," Mirazo explained. "We also take your temperature and we do measure your oxygen."
Tank Morris, a Yuma local, has full dentures and has been to several different dental facilities in Algodones.
"We drove over to Algodones, walked into the first place we saw," Morris said. "50 bucks and 45 minutes later and they had taken care of it."
He agrees the procedures are more up to par than what it would have been in the U.S.
They say many of their dentists have attended universities like UCLA and Harvard.
The town is safe and friendly, but Mirazo says their clinic has a perk to make all visitors feel comfortable.
"You call us and we arrange a shuttle to come pick you up at the border, so that way you don't feel lost. You don't feel insecure," Mirazo said.
Another Yuma resident tells News 11 she recommends dental work in Algodones because they are sanitary and offer huge savings.
And that seems to be the overall consensus.
"I won't go to a dentist here in the U.S. ever again," Morris stated.
The clinic can send patients with a letter that certifies their crossing is essential.