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Dentists while on the road

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We've been full-timing for 15 months and have run into a challenge to find a dentist while on the road. We sold our s&b home and no longer return to the area where we used to live. We find that the dentists we call when on the road are not interested in seeing us on a one-time basis. We're wondering how other full-timers deal with finding dental care while on the road.

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We have not had a problem finding a dentist for immediate services in our 11 years. Be prepared to be flexible but we have never had to wait more than 2 days to see the dentist. We tend to be in places with smaller towns and we find those dentists very friendly.

 

We do winter in Mission Texas and have a dentist there for checkups and other annual procedures.

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Many RVers and U.S. residents have their dental work in Mexico at Progresso (Texas); Nogales (Arizona) and Algodonas (Arizona). It's much cheaper, also.

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If in Yuma,AZ this dentist is great. He has done good work for us and he took us within a week on the first year. Now whenever we are in the area we go to him. We have encountered the same issue with dentists in larger cities. Apparently they don't need the work but we have had no problem in smaller cities/towns as has been noted.

 

http://www.alexfreemandmd.com/

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We've been full-timing for 15 months and have run into a challenge to find a dentist while on the road. We sold our s&b home and no longer return to the area where we used to live. We find that the dentists we call when on the road are not interested in seeing us on a one-time basis. We're wondering how other full-timers deal with finding dental care while on the road.

 

We have not had a problem finding a dentist. In the beginning of our full time venture we visited friends and family in various parts of the country and asked for a referral. We now return to the same place every winter and found a dentist that came to the RV park once a month to give free exams and xrays. We didn't participate in the free exams but did go to his office and have gone to him for the past 10 years. He just retired so we will be looking for a new one but have several friends in the area that have given us referrals for our next visit.

 

One option: You might want to post what towns you plan to be visiting down the road and ask for referral here.

 

Another option is to Google or Yelp "dentist" in the area you will be in then use this site https://www.healthguideusa.org/dental_license_lookup.htm to verify the status of their license and whether or not their are any board actions against their license. FYI: there may be many employees in a dental office working under the dentist license and their actions many be cause for the report.

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We recently made an appointment with a dentist in Sierra Vista, AZ and they offered a first time client discount. I didn't bother to tell them this was a one time pass through town visit. :) We have heard in Nogales, MX a cleaning would only be $35 and they were recommended by another RV'er.

Greg

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We discussed this topic with our dentist before we retired. He suggested dental schools. That did not work out for us because the schools we contacted wanted to schedule appointments months in advance and wanted permanent patients rather than transients.

 

When spent several winters in the west, and had very good experiences in Algodones. Other than that, we sought a local dentist wherever we happened to be. We had no problem getting work done in Georgia, North Carolina and Indiana.

 

Safe Travels...

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We've been full-timing for 15 months and have run into a challenge to find a dentist while on the road. We sold our s&b home and no longer return to the area where we used to live. We find that the dentists we call when on the road are not interested in seeing us on a one-time basis. We're wondering how other full-timers deal with finding dental care while on the road.

 

Do you have dental insurance or are you paying cash? Are you traveling thru a town or at a longer term spot? If at a longer term spot, you may want to build a relationship with a dentist. If just passing thru and paying cash, I don't understand the problem. I have called dentists and said I need such and such service and I will be paying cash. They reply with an appointment day/time. Some larger cities have billboards along the highways advertising dentists.

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x2 on what gjhunter said.

 

In the larger metro areas, competition is high and many dentists offer the free or very low cost xray/exam to try and get new patients. I have been using that method for several years. And if I happen to return to one of the areas where I took advantage of that deal and need anything other than a cleaning, I am already a patient, making it easier to get an appointment.

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We never had any problems finding a dentist as a one time visit. In Casa Grande, Arizona area can go to a different dentist each fall that have coupons for first time cheap visit. Cheaper then driving to Algodones, which we have done in the past. Even this summer while in Lapeer, MI. when I had a cracked tooth and ended up with having to have a crown put in. Was a first time visit and wasn't a problem with them. They knew we were just in the area for a short time and took care of me.

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Those of you who regularly go to Mexico for glasses, prescriptions, and/or dental care might want to do as much as you can now while the border crossing is still fairly easy. Please, don't turn this into any political commentary, I just want to remind people to think about this while many of you are still in the Southwest.

 

Linda Sand

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We have used the dental school for a root canal/crown (University of Nebraska) and a local dentist for a chipped tooth (Goshen, IN) both experiences were excellent.

Walmart for eye appointments also very good.

Emergency care for a few stitches. Every experience has been good.

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I only use medical doctor's for eye exams, MDs.

I wouldn't go to Walmart or any of those eye examiners at

eyeglass retailers. My eyes are very important to me and I want

an MD to examine my eyes.

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Each state sets it own standards for medical practitioners so as full time travelers we have to do our research as a dentist, dental hygienist, doctor or physician assistant in one state may have different qualifications/standards then those in another state.

 

Looking further into this I always thought the term Doctor and Physician were interchangeable but I appear to have been wrong:

 

"Lastly, doctors and physicians can differ in their methods of curing patients. Physicians use drugs and medicines to make their patients feel well. Doctors, on the other hand, can perform surgery and more comprehensive medical procedures. With this, anyone can derive the difference that the term “doctor” can be taken by those who have completed doctoral programs in medical schools regardless of their specializations. “Physician,” on the other hand, applies only to those who completed their doctorate in the practice of medicine."

 

I thought this might be of interest regarding the staffing of vision centers in Walmart's: http://careers.walmart.com/career-areas/healthcare/optometry/

 

I looked up Costco's description of their vision department: https://www.costco.com/independent-doctors-optometry.html

 

Both treat the eyes here is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist: http://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-doctor/choose.htm

 

No disrespect to any profession this is just my personal experience. I have found people working in a field for a long time can learn and perform as well as one who has the actual sheepskin. Sometimes very qualified people can not afford the advanced degrees so start at the entry level to follow their passion. Depending on their profession they can test up and or get credit for their time and experience on the job.

 

Bottom line: "caveat emptor"

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JM, I am sure that lots of experience is good. Lots of experience and an MD

is better. How would you know by going to Walmart for an eye exam? Like I stated above,

I wouldn't trust my eyes to anything less then an MD. Cost for eye exam at Walmart about $45,

MD exam in the Houston, TX area about $125.

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When my wife broke a partial denture beyond repair while we were in Florida last winter, it only took three phone calls to find a dentist that would see her the next day in Sarasota. The dentist was very nice, and she had a new partial ready in three days. When my wife told her regular dentist in NY about it, he said the new partial was well crafted, and the cost was only slightly higher than his charge would have been.

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The only issue we've had is that most dentists require full X-rays for new patients which jacks up the price when we only needed a cleaning. We shopped around before finding a dentist with a reasonable deal for new patients that included the required X-rays. They are near our daughters house so we will schedule appointments for when we are in town for a visit.

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