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A Taco in Naco

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The Digital Nomad Wandering Life

Quality Dentistry in a Dusty Border Town

A couple of months ago, my mouth needed some attention. I'd been ignoring my teeth for too long, and needed a good clean and check. My local dentist had retired, and I hadn’t yet found a replacement.

On a whim, while traveling by motorcycle through Mexico, I took a walk and came upon a young man sweeping the sidewalk in front of a small office with a Dentista sign overhead. Long story short, a brief conversation turned into a 3-hour appointment, and I walked out with a refreshed and repaired smile on my face.

 

That time, my trip was intended to be a pleasure trip to explore parts of the Baja, and the dentist visit was an added bonus that I managed to fit in on my last day there. That brings us to today.

Despite a five-star review from my dentist two months ago, I still needed some follow up attention. This time, I didn’t even bother trying to find a local dentist. Instead, I scoured a map for a small border town South of Bisbee AZ, where I was going to visit while on a brief motorcycle tour. Enter the tiny border town—Naco. 

I had read enough about the hassle of driving into Mexico—or to be more accurate, driving back into the US—that I decided I’d avoid driving across the border if I could help it, and I found a dentist less than a block from the border, on the South side. 

When I arrived at the border, I asked where I could park my bike. The agent helpfully pointed out where I could find some street parking, so I asked how big a deal it would be if I drove instead of walked across. He merely shrugged his shoulders and said it would be about the same experience. 

Since I had the necessary paperwork (registration, license, insurance, etc.) I decided to drive across and park in front of the dentist office rather than walk. Going into Mexico? Couldn’t be easier… you drive across as if the border isn’t even there. 

Once across, I quickly found my dentist, and he and his assistant got to work. A solid hour of work and $70 later, my teeth were ready for their next adventure. Again, I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the whole process was. 

There was no bureaucracy at all. I didn’t need a referral, I didn’t need my insurance card, and best of all, the dentist was prepared to do everything necessary in one visit. It was as if the dentist was unshackled to just practice his craft, rather than be burdened with the necessary paperwork and multiple appointments to get the work done. 

After my visit to the dentist, I steeled myself for what I thought might test my patience, but going back into the US was a breeze! I showed the agent my driver's license, told him that I didn't have any contraband, and off I went, headed to one of the coolest little towns I’ve been to in all of Arizona—Bisbee. Bisbee is a bustling little town that is an odd mixture of miners, artists, and free loving hippies. Full of little shops and restaurants, and nestled in a valley, it was worth the trip by itself. 

Managing to knock out some major dental work while on a spring vacation was icing on an already awesome adventure. I love exploring Mexico, and the deep southern part of Arizona never disappoints either. Next time you need dental work, make a holiday out of it.

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