Location of Samaritan Dental in Tijuana, Mexico
For those who drive across the border, we can give you a pass for the FAST LANE to get back across quickly.
For those who want to park in the US, and walk across the border, we have a shuttle van to pick you up.
4 Ways to get to Samaritan Dental from the border:
1. Drive into Tijuana, and we can give you a FAST PASS. Click here for more info.
2. Park in the US, walk across, and we’ll pick you up at the border for free.
3. We will shuttle you from the border to the clinic, and back. When you walk through Mexican Customs, from the crossing by the Trolley station, continue down the sidewalk until you come to the street. Across the street, you will see a pharmacy, “Super FARMACIA Milenia”. Our driver will look for you to be standing in front of the “FARMACIA”. She will identify herself as from Samaritan or Dr MEXICO. See her photo below.
4. Plan “B”, in case you miss her, is to take a taxi. Tell the taxi driver to take you to the OXXO, next to the “Palacio Blanco del Gobierno” which is located on “Paseo Centenario Tijuana”. We are located in the 5 story building facing the side street, that is on the far side of the large parking lot behind the OXXO.
We are located in Zona Rio, Tijuana, and are about 5 minutes from the line. If you would like in-depth detail on how to cross over to Tijuana, just call us and we can easily explain everything to you.
For dental care in Mexico, please consider Samaritan Dental, We will go the second mile in your dental care and attention to detail. We are Mexican dentists, who will take excellent care of you. Please call us to make an appointment or for instructions on how to find us. We are just south of where you cross the border at San Diego, CA. Although you can drive over, we suggest that you simply park at the border, or take the Trolley. We will be glad to pick you up in front of the Mexico Customs. We are about 15 blocks away. Please click on the link for instructions on being picked up by our border shuttle. If you want to take a taxi to our office. They will charge from $4 to $6, and the ride is just five minutes. Simply write down the address above and give it to the driver. He will take you to Samaritan Dental.
Silvia is the voice you hear on the phone when you call to set up an appointment, or to get picked up at the border.
Our Location is in Zona Rio, Tijuana.
US Mailing Address for correspondence only:
Sometimes patients need to mail something to us, but the Mexican mail system is not too reliable. Please send mail to the following address:
641 E San Ysidro Blvd
San Ysidro, CA 92173
6 BASIC TIPS on finding good dental care in Mexico.
Be careful what you pay for dental care in Mexico. You can get ripped off by dentists who charge Americans a lot more than the going rate. The quality of the dental work in Mexico done at a Tijuana dentist is very comparable to that in the USA, and the price is much cheaper. The reason for this is because the price of University training is subsidized by the government, and the costs of education are not so bloated, compared to the USA. A Mexico dentist, a dentista en Tijuana, will come out of school and will not be head over heals in debt, like an American. Also, the costs of doing business, and the cost of living is a fraction of that in the USA. The result is, there are a lot of great dentists who simply don’t have to charge so much in order to make a good living. Besides that, the local Mexican people are very limited in their income and ability to pay for services. Although there are many dentists near the boarder who cater only to Americans, their prices are still affected by the cheaper dentists just a little further in. But don’t get excited over the lower prices and just use any dentists. If they have a big fancy office, it’s because they are catering only to Americans and are charging a lot more than the competition. If you look around, you can find an equally competent dentist who will charge you less for the same work. I have found that often there are two prices. What they charge a American can be much more than what a regular Mexican pays. That is why I fell in love with Samaritan Dental Mexico, my Tijuana dentist. They actually post the prices for the work they do on their website. I recently checked out the cost of having a porcelain over metal crown at a couple of other dentists. They wanted to charge $300 for a root canal, $275 for the crown, and $75 for a post, for a total of $650. Samaritan Dental Tijuana dentist charged me $525 for everything.
For dental work in Mexico, you will want to find a Mexico dentist that is fairly close to the border crossing. Tijuana is a great place to go. You should consider a Tijuana dentist because Tijuana is close to San Diego, close to the beach, they have great hotels, and the dental prices are inexpensive. What I recommend is to take the Trolley to the border. If you fly into San Diego, it is not necessary to rent a car. By asking at the info desk in the lobby at the baggage claim, they will direct you to where you can catch the 992 bus that takes you into down town. Tell the shuttle bus driver that you want to get off to take the Trolley, (light rail train). He’ll drop you off in front of the American Plaza train platform. (From Airport to Trolley it takes 15 minutes). There you’ll buy a ticket at the machine for $2.50 to go on the blue line to San Ysidro, Mexican Border. You just go to the end of the line. When you get off, you’ll see a pedestrian bridge that you walk over until you enter Mexico. Once there, you’ll find dozens of Taxi drivers who are clamoring for you attention. Just grab one. They’ll have someone standing out front, who speaks English, who’ll be asking you where you want to go. Just give them the address. My Mexico dentist in Tijuana is just 5 minutes away. The website can give you the exact address to copy down to hand over to the taxi driver to take you to your dental Mexico clinic. When you call ahead of time to set up your appointment, they’ll walk you through it. The first time I went, they actually sent someone to pick me up.
3. Transportation & Lodging
If you want to stay in San Diego, and rent a car, I still recommend that you park in the parking lot for the trolley and take it down to Tijuana. I don’t recommend driving a car into Tijuana. All the traffic can make you nervous. If you want to stay in San Diego, there are a lot of inexpensive hotels in Chula Vista off of E Street, which also has access to where you can catch the trolley. If you are a little more adventurous, you might want to simply stay in Tijuana. There are a lot of nice hotels, that are a lot less expensive than in San Diego. In fact, there is a descent hotel, clean but not too many frills, right across the street from my Tijuana dentist. However, I kind of like to stay about 15 minutes away, over in Playas de Tijuana, by the beach. There is a cool walkway with stores and restaurants right on the beach, and I found a coffee shop that I like to sit at and read a book while drinking a frapechino and listening to the breakers. In any case, my dentists office helped me to find a hotel and took care of booking arrangements. I just had to tell them what I wanted.
4. Time frame required
I have made several trips to the dentist in Mexico and had root canals and crowns done in just 5 days. I have had crowns, with no root canal required, done in 2 days. It costs a little more to have the lab expedite the work, and it is tiring to sit for a long time in the chair having everything done at once, but it is possible and worth it. However, I have to say that in order to figure out how long it will take, the dentist has to check out what needs to be done. If you have a tooth that is infected, you have to get the infection cleared up before a root canal can be performed. Nevertheless, the dentist in Tijuana can get give you a good idea of how much time you need to budget when she talks to you on the phone. If you live in the San Diego or L.A. area, it is a lot easier to go across the border for multiple visits. But if you are flying in, you’ll want to budget enough time to get it all done. There are many US citizens who are going on a dental Mexico vacation today. Last time I was at my Tijuana dentist, we had a couple of days to spare and so we went down to Ensenada. I’d like to go down and do some fishing in the ocean off a boat next time.
5. Documents needed
To Enter Mexico: USA Visitors to the northern part of Baja California do not need US passports or tourist cards if staying in the country for a short time. If you plan to stay for an extended period, or if you plan to travel beyond Ensenada, You will need to obtain a tourist card. Proof of US citizenship would then be required to return from your Tijuana dentist in Mexico.
Although officially you are supposed to get a US passport, in practice, little has changed. To return back into the USA, hundreds of people cross everyday with just a drivers license and a birth certificate. There may come a time, in a few years, that the U.S. government will tighten up but for right now, in practice, people are not having problems, as long as they have:
1. proof of identity, using a government issued photo I.D. , such as a State issued drivers license or I.D. card.
2. proof of citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate. If you have time, it is good to get a U.S. passport, but don’t be overly concerned. If you live in San Diego or L.A., you’re good to go, with your California Drivers license and your birth certificate, for the present.
Update: As of June 1, 2009, the rule is that you are supposed to have a US Passport. However, as of Sept, 2009, they are not putting the rule into practice and we have patients every week who come back across the border from your Tijuana dentist with just a US birth certificate and a State issued photo I.D.
6. Funds for traveling
This is an important point that I don’t want to forget. It is not necessary to travel with a lot of cash to your dentist in Mexico. I only take a couple of hundred dollars in my wallet. Dollars are as accepted as Mexican pesos for the purposes of purchasing things. However, sometimes you’ll get a better exchange rate changing some of your money at a “Cambio” store front. But what I do is simply bring my ATM card and get cash at any banks ATM machine. The exchange rate at the ATM is usually pretty good. You can use your VISA or MASTERCARD to pay for hotels, and most restaurants. I use cash just to pay for small things like taxis, or food at a taco stand or a hamburger joint. At the Tijuana dentist office they prefer cash or travelers checks as the bank card system gives the clinic a poor currency exchange rate.
New Border Crossing Regulations:
1.- You must now have a US passport to cross the border:
Just like the US Government requires everyone crossing the border into the US to have passports, the Mexican Government also now requires all persons crossing into Mexico to have a passport. Things have historically been a little lax, but now they are tightening up on the regulations. Make sure you get your passport before crossing into Mexico, to avoid any delays or hassle, by the US Customs, as well as Mexican Customs.
If you haven’t yet gotten a US Passport, we strongly recommend that you get the “Passport Card”, rather than the “Passport Book”. You can actually apply for both, or either one. But the reason the Passport Card works better than the Book, is because it has the RFID electronic chip, which qualifies you to use the faster moving “Ready Lanes” either as a pedestrian or riding in a car. Here is a link to the government website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html
2.- You will need to get a Tourist Visa at the border:
Pedestrian Crossing: If leave your car parked at the border, and are walking into Mexico, you will need to present your US passport, and fill out a tourist permit form. It will just take 5 minutes. However, make sure you keep your tourist permit on your person. In case you are stopped in Mexico for any reason, you will now have proof that you entered into the country legally. The cost of a tourist permit, to visit Tijuana for a week, is free. But, if you plan to stay for more than a week, plan to return for a second trip, or are thinking of going on to Rosarito or Ensenada, you will need to get the 180 day permit, costing $25.
Crossing the border by car: If you are stopped in Tijuana, you will need to show that you have legally crossed the border. So, even though you could just drive through Mexican Customs, and they don’t ask you for any documents, don’t neglect to first stop and get your tourist permit. The process will just take a few minutes.
When you first cross into Mexico, do NOT get into the lines of cars that are going through the lanes through for inspection. Rather, keep to the right, and go straight ahead to the area for Voluntary Declaration. Most of the cars going in here, and parking, are stopping to declare products that they purchased in the US, so they can pay the “Importation Tax”. But this is the same area where you will find the “Immigration” office, in order to get your tourist permit. Just park your car next to the others, and go into the building. Inside you will find the Immigration office, and tell them you want a tourist permit. It will be easiest if you just tell them you are coming to visit and shop, otherwise they will ask you for the exact address of the clinic, and hotel address where you are staying. Just a little less hassle.