Woman Allegedly Held Hostage by Dentist in Mexico

4 years 7 months 1 day ago Thursday, March 23 2017 Mar 23, 2017 March 23, 2017 9:23 PM March 23, 2017 in News

WESLACO - A Rio Grande Valley woman said she’s not going back to a dentist in Mexico. She claimed she wasn't allowed to leave the office.

Cathy Eidson, 74, said getting her dental bridge redone at a Nuevo Progreso dentist would be a good way to save money.

“(It) looked clean and I thought, ‘Okay, we’ll stay here,’” she said.

She started going last October and was paying as she went. Last Monday while visiting the office, her bill came to $360.

“I didn’t take $360 that evening,” she said.

Eidson said the staff started making demands for the money. She said they suggested she leave her passport, driver’s license or something else of value.

“’Leave your rings.’ I said, ‘I can’t take them off.’ They said, ‘We’ll take them off. Either that or go back in there and take the concrete off your mouth and remove your teeth,’” she explained.

Eidson said staff then locked the doors and pressured her. She left her ring as collateral, came back the next day to pay and got her ring back. 

“I was very intimidated. In my opinion, I felt sequestered,” she said.

Luz Martinez, a dentist at RGV Family Dentistry in Weslaco, said people should be careful of where they get treated.

“You go to Mexico. You don’t know what you’re going to be getting into,” she said.

Martinez said she’s seen patients come in with complications from work in Mexico in her eight years as a dentist.

“They put a wrong material, or they left something in there such as a gauze. Or we’ve even had patients that have had broken instruments. Yes, it can happen anywhere, but we are regulated here in the United States,” she said.

Martinez added people need to make sure dentists are using X-rays to diagnose cavities and infections.

Eidson said she wants to warn others by telling her experience.

“If you want to save money, stay in the U.S. It’s not worth it to go across,” she said.

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