Based on a recommendation from someone I trusted, I went to see Dr. Sabas Magana Ambriz in Algodones, Sabali Dental Group, for a tooth extraction and an implant and implant crown. DO NOT go to this dentist. Here is the story. I really hate that I have to resort to doing this.
First I got a guy on the phone named Manuel. He assured me that he would give me the very best price on the work of anyone in Mexico. He also assured my safety there by meeting me at the border and walking with me to and from the dentist office. Each time, I would tip him $20. So I drove over 100 miles one way and arrived at the border to be met by Manuel.
Manuel is the escort/dental assistant who meets you are the border, and he is always followed by this white dog.
Manuel asked what I could afford to pay, and not realizing what he was up to, I had said I hoped to keep it under $1,000. So before the dentist even examined me, the price got set. For $950 he would extract my tooth, put in the implant same day, then I was to return four months later to get the crown. I paid about 1/2 the money down. I returned to have the work completed, and he made a crown that was ugly and did not fit properly. So another 200-mile round trip to return and have it remade. The second one was also ugly and felt funny.
Within 48 hrs. of returning to the states, it seemed to me it was loose, and I thought the crown was just coming loose, so I visited a dentist in Parker AZ to have it re-glued. The whole abutment and crown fell out in the dentist’s hands… with very little pressure. Be began examining it and said the post was the wrong size abutment for the implant. He said I should get a refund from the dentist.
Never saw the two men flanking Dr. Ambriz.
I contacted the person who referred me to Dr. Ambriz (a relative of his here in Quartzsite) and he told me to call. I called and they wanted me to make another 200-mile round trip to let him have a 3rd try at getting it right. I said I was not interested and wanted a full refund. Dr. Ambriz agreed to give me a full refund. I have called several times requesting the $ and have been told, it’s in the mail…. or we will send it on Tuesday, or whatever. I have not received even one dollar since he agreed to this in October 2014. I have not even received the full mouth x-rays which they also promised to mail to me.
And to make matters worse, I was under the assumption that of the $950 out of pocket to a Mexican dentist… that I could file a claim with Delta Dental of California and get some of the money back. Turns out I could not, as I would have had to have a Mexican address on file with my health and dental insurance to do that. So, I was just out $950, period. This is just wrong. I live on less than $950 a month and it has been a great hardship for me to suffer this loss.
Dr. Ambriz is on the left, never saw the guy on the right.
Dr. Ambriz knew it was wrong size abutment, but didn’t tell me. He had about six to 8 abutments on the tray and kept trying them in my mouth. I asked if there was a problem. His assistant, Manuel (not a trained dental assistant, but an out-of-work carpenter who meets clients at the border and walks them to the dentist office and then assist the dentist and translates for him), said… “No nothing is wrong, we are just cleaning it”. They even dropped things on the floor and then cleaned them with hand sanitizer. So, they put a crown in, the whole time knowing it was not the right abutment, and went ahead and let me pay him the balance. It was the first implant I had ever had and I did not know the difference. And the last time I was there Manuel was trying to get me to hook him up with an American lady so he could marry and come to America.
All I got for $950, plus four 200-mile round trips to MX, was a tooth in a box.
Tooth in a box, value = $950.
In October, 2014, Dr. Ambriz, through Manuel, agreed to a full refund, but I have yet to see one penny. Manuel is a sweet-talking con artist… and Dr. Ambriz comes across very sweet and respectful, but he is a dishonest untrustworthy person. Do not trust either of these people.
I ended up going to Dr. Carlos Ruiz in Parker AZ to have the correct abutment ordered and a new, proper fitting crown made at the cost of another $1200.00. Luckily, my insurance paid about 50% of that cost. Dr. Ruiz even called Mexico and tried to reason with Dr. Ambriz.
NEVER go to this dentist, Dr. Ambriz, … he is not reliable, honest, nor honorable.
Beware: Dr. Sabas Magana Ambriz in Los Algodones, B.C. Mexico
He has a Facebook page… “Sabas Magana Ambriz.” His English is poor. He is not trained in the U.S.A. but at Facultad de Odontologia, San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora.
A copy of this blog post is being printed and sent to Dr. Ambriz and also to his relatives in Quartzsite. On 3/13/15 I learned that his relatives are no longer referring people to go to Dr. Ambriz and have in fact torn up all of his business cards. They have even notified Dr. Ambriz’s mother about what he has done to American clients. I hope my blog will prevent anyone else from suffering the loses I have suffered this winter.
I want my full refund of $950 sent to me by U.S. Postal Money Order. These funds can be sent to me at: Charlene Swankie, 110 E. Center St., #1654, Madison, SD 57042.
The day I receive the refund in full, I will remove this page from the web and internet. If I do not get a full refund within a reasonable amount of time, the link to this webpage will be sent out to a greater circle of people. Right now I have 180 followers on this blog, and 265 friends on Facebook. All of them will be asked to share this blog with others and to warn everyone they can.
This blog post will remain live on the web until I get my full refund. If I collect new information and complaints from other Americans and Canadians, I will post them here… below in the comments.
First posted, Friday, March 13, 2015.