Dental care has been a major interest of Kelley's since he's had numerous dental procedures going back to 1996.
Is dental work in Mexico really that cheap?
Dental work is the United States is very expensive. So is the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs – but that’s another story worthy of an article or two!
A prime example of the high cost of dentistry in the U.S. became evident to me when I recently went to the dentist. I had a toothache which - because of my vast experience with such matters - I was 90 per cent certain would require a root canal. (Tooth pain, while pushing on the upper portion of the tooth, almost always means a root canal or extraction will be required.)
When I got to the dentist, they took an X-ray and the dentist examined my teeth for five to 10 minutes – and sure enough he told me I needed a root canal. Duh, I could have told him that! The dentist charged me $200 for this visit alone, and the subsequent root canal procedure, after multiple visits over a three-month period for an abscess that needed much treatment, cost another $1,500 or so. Ouch, that hurts like heck in the wallet!
Who can afford to pay so much for dental work – not me, that’s for sure! If you have dental insurance, you may be able to afford it; otherwise, pull out your credit card and swipe away (assuming you have one to swipe).
Next time, maybe I'll go to Mexico to have some of the aforementioned work done. Perhaps I'll become a so-called dental tourist, and perhaps you should too. Perhaps.
Internet Web sites advertise savings from 60 to 75 per cent when you get dental work in Mexico, and the payment chart I’ve included in this article seems to indicate that this is indeed the case. Check it out, and you may be amazed.
These sites offer numerous testimonials from people who have saved thousands of dollars by having their dental work done in Mexico, particularly Tijuana, which has numerous places where one can get this work done. The cynic in me keeps me from believing testimonials, but if even half of them are true, the savings could be significant indeed.
For example, this fellow named Malcolm, who went to a Tijuana dentist, got 27 porcelain crowns, two root canals and four wisdom teeth extractions, which cost him under $7,000. This is truly an astonishingly low amount of money for so much restorative work. Supposedly Malcolm had gotten a quote for the same treatment in the U.S. that would have cost him $40,000. I can certainly believe the latter part of this tale!
But what if something goes wrong at one of these south-of-the-border dental joints?
Getting cheap porcelain crowns and getting ones that last a long time without chipping or fracturing and needing to be replaced is another matter. Making such ceramic crowns, which have to be baked, takes a great deal of skill. Therefore, if the workers in the dental laboratory who made Malcolm’s crowns didn’t do a good job, Malcolm could, quite frankly, end up with a mouthful of crap. For the most part, be very careful when getting crowns and implants, because they’re so easy to screw up if the dentist and/or lab people don’t know what the hell they’re doing!
Many of these Mexican dentists advertise that their work is guaranteed, that is, they’ll fix whatever they screw up for free. Again, the skeptic in me says, Oh yeah, prove it? Unfortunately, the experience with every dentist will be different, and you’ll just have to wait until you get into such a situation before you can find out what your options are. Remember, all of this will take place in a foreign country, which many people consider part of the third world!
Also keep in mind that drug cartels operate throughout Mexico. There is a particularly violent and murderous one in Juarez. So wherever you go in Mexico, be careful! (And wear a flak jacket? You tell me.) For more information about violence in Mexico, please click on this link.
For information regarding the “myths and facts” of getting dental work in Mexico, coming from a source in Mexico, please click on another link.
A Plethora of Border Towns
It seems if you want a Mexican dentist, simply go to one of many border towns. The border between the US and Mexico is nearly 2,000 miles long and throughout much of this hot, dusty expanse are numerous pairs of border towns - San Diego and Tijuana, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Brownsville and Matamoros, just to name a few. (In Texas, these border towns are adjacent to the Rio Grande River.) Interestingly, in many border towns, the Mexican counterpart has scores of dental offices. In Nogales, near Canal Street, there are so many dentists the street could be renamed Root Canal Street!
Anyway, I read some testimonials regarding dental work in Mexico. Some people think they spent their money wisely while others didn’t. Moreover, American dentists have a particular point of view and it’s generally not favorable, and Mexican dentists have theirs as well, of course. So do some research and make up your own mind.
Also keep in mind that if you don’t live close to Mexico, you’ll have to pay for travel, hotels, meals and other expenses. By the time you pay for all of those extras you might not save much money. I live in Sacramento, California, so it wouldn’t make much sense for me to go to Mexico unless I need lots of work done. And if the work turned out to be shoddy, I’d have to go all the way back and haggle with the dentist, and taking dentists to small claims court in Mexico may be impractical if not impossible.
Whatever you decide, good luck on your quest for cheap, if not cheaper, dental work.
P.S. If you’ve had some dental work in Mexico, please leave a message in the comments section of this article. I’m sure everyone would love to hear from you. Even if you don't have a comment to leave, please read what others have left.
© 2010 Kelley Marks
Joshua & Natsuko (Chibi Moku) on July 04, 2017:
We are RVer’s who learned about dental tourism while on the road in Tijuana. When a dental emergency struck, we happened to be on the other side of the country. I flew to Cancun rather than Tijuana because of the price. It was kind of like a vacation too since…well…it’s Cancun. After getting the best specialist care I ever received in my life for about 1/3 of the US prices, I’ve ended up going down there 3 times over the years for different work. My wife and I both have stopped going in the US totally because of the dentists we’ve found. Check out Gilberto Galvez & his team at SOTA DENTAL. He is popular on Instagram from all his tough cases. We highly recommend!
Do your homework…and you’ll be fine.
SuzanneFSeattle on March 03, 2017:
I've been to Los Algodones (15 minutes from Yuma) in 2006, 2007, 2007, 2008, and 2016. I've never had a problem and, with six dental implants, three root canals, extractions, sinus boost, crowns, I've never taken a pain medication.
My Seattle dentist knew I was going to Mexico in 2006 because I couldn't afford the Seattle prices for implants. He checked out the dental work when I returned and was impressed.
Between 2008 and 2016, I saw no dentist. Last year, I knew I needed two root canals/posts/buildups/crowns so I went to a local dentist for a complete checkup.
His first comment was, "You've sure put a lot of money into your mouth!" I did not tell him the work was all done at the Bernal Dental Group as I don't need an American dentist finding non-existent problems.
He said the dental work was great and found no additional problems outside of the two I mentioned above.
One of the commenters upthread asked about water. Dr. Bernal "imports" water from the U.S.
I wrote a pretty comprehensive journal from my first trip in October, 2006. If you'd like to read it, send an email to my yahoo email address (SuzanneFromSeattle(at)).
Mendoza Family Dentistry from Tijuana, Mexico 22000 on March 28, 2016:
If you are looking for a safety place with huge experience (more than 40 years), cleanliness and staff age combined experience, you are in the right place! We are three graduated and certified dentists and we put all our efforts and hearts in our jobs, because we know that it give us prestige and satisfaction for the rest of our lives, and the full your full satisfaction of work well done.
Garden Kay on February 20, 2016:
Please visit InternationalDentalServices.com They have a U.S. Registered Dental Assistant to coordinate your care and answer any dental questions. They only refer you to the best of the best in Mexico.
Vickie Van Scyoc on July 30, 2015:
I forgot to add, there are books on 'Curing tooth decay' that are true and very good. Youtube tooth decay healing. You can remineralize your teeth and the decay will go away! No drilling etc. When we get enough healthy fat in our diet, along with minerals, we can heal our teeth without dental work. Westin Price was a dentist who studied this extensively. There are hundreds of Westin Price and GAPS groups now. Also, NAET will eliminate dental plaque and decay for good. I treated my son and his dentist was amazed. Its energy medicine, non-invasive, painless. Hope this helps someone!
Vickie Van Scyoc on July 30, 2015:
Do NOT use Bio Dental Studios! I just had one mercury filling removed and a quartz filling replaced. Dr. Morales had a head injury on Sat. night (?) , a lot of stitches, yet saw me!! He was very rough, used dirty gloves, and I am still in pain. I hope I will heal OK. He hit my other teeth hard a few times, I have a mouth full of fragile veneers and my front tooth hurt a long time (scary). He put gloves on, then put on his dirty back brace, touching many things, then worked on me. Their reiki woman was actually their cleaner. My friend used Dr. Montano with great results, but I see he may not be OK, either. Shuttle service was great.
Vit. C was oral, not IV, glad. Unsettling experience.
Chintan on June 03, 2015:
This is great insight Kosmo. Have to tried or identified any such trends in India. This market being very lucrative and upcoming when you speak about costs and even quality now. I was searching something for me in India and came across a series of reviews. One such is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXBXTsRkbTA
Do you think such reviews can considered in taking my decision for finalizing a dentist
Dan on January 24, 2015:
I live near Sacramento California in Yolo County. A dentist here in California done 2 root canels and crown placements ,P.F.M.'S for close to 4 grand, and one molar work turned to be disastrous. I went back & he told me I had abused it & could not gurantee it. I then went to Tijuana which was 2 1/2 years ago and had the two replaced with a zirconia's and they better than what this asshole did here. The reason they charge way less is because their cost of living is so much less, and over cost are less.. I know because I lived in Mexicali..
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 29, 2014:
Thanks for the comment, Teri Adams. As you pointed out, everybody should do their homework before getting dental work in a foreign country. Later!
Teri Adams from Chico, California on July 28, 2014:
I’m the first of my family and friends to venture down to old Mexico way for a set of implants. I just couldn't afford the skyrocketing cost of implants at home. I needed implants and I was looking at $16,000-$20,000 for them, which just really turned me off! I have read that dental costs in Mexico are much cheaper than they are in the USA. I use to have health insurance back many years ago but not anymore.
I was concerned whether a dentist in Mexico would be regulated, that's why I consulted a medical tourism provider in Colorado. They were able to assist me with my trip to Los Algodones as well as my appointment with the dentist. When I arrived in the nice little border town, the security is high, and you feel safe when you walk the streets. My dental procedure was successful, and I couldn't be happier for my trip in Mexico. Would visit again in case I'll have a major dental procedure
Before you decide whether to go, keep in mind that there may be unanticipated costs related to travel and/or the medical procedure. I recommend doing your research and making your choices beforehand.Talk to reputable medical tourism providers to get a good sense about full range of the potential costs and outcomes from undergoing any major dental procedures such as implants.
Here are the different cost of dental implants in Mexico on some of the most reputable clinics: http://www.placidway.com/cost-searchlist/Mexico,De...
Kathleen on April 15, 2014:
Another great thing is you can actually get a reimbursement from your insurance and have your treatment much cheaper. If you need any help just email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly explain the process. Thanks for your post.
dentalcoi on March 09, 2014:
We have 3 dental offices in Mexico. You can come and do your dentalcare done. We have the best treatments and of course at low cost. We have treated like 50 pacients from USA. So come and have a relaxing time in Mexico plus a beautiful smile.
If you follow kosmo and mention that on your first checkup get 20% off your dentalcare.
Hasta la vista!!!
Dr. Nelson Cisneros on January 29, 2014:
Please feel free to see my website if ur thinking in having a dental holiday in Mexico, we are located in Playa del carmen one of the most famous spot in the Riviera maya.
Edson on January 27, 2014:
I am Brazilian, I live in the USA for 15 years but I do all my filings and crowns in Brazil. I paid for a filing $80.00, for a crown $300.00 and implant $800.00. After you read my comments you will understand why I choose to do all mouth work in Brazil.
In Brazil when you have one appointment with a dentist he doesn't make another appointments at the same time for another patient like here in the USA, dentists here while they are taking care of you they are taking another patient at the same time. That is wrong! They rush so they can take the next patient... In Brazil dentists spend time with your mouth.
I had no luck with dentists in the USA, two years ago I paid $1,800.00 for a crown that has to be replaced... The funny thing is that this dentist went to a very renowned and reputed university in Massachusetts. Before this dentist I tried many others and I had only disappointments.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 14, 2014:
Thanks for the comment, Alphadogg16. It's definitely a kind of Wild West down in Mexico regarding medical and dental care. Buyer beware! Later!
Kevin W from Texas on January 12, 2014:
Living on the border of Mexico in Texas, you learn a lot of things. Everything is cheaper there, not only dental work but many other cosmetic surgeries. I've heard some horror stories but I've also heard of some procedures that went well. Its definitely at your own risk, I wouldn't go back personally.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 12, 2014:
Thanks for the comment, cojosurfer. Performing a root canal and mounting a crown on the wrong tooth is certainly an egregious mistake and, yes, they should give you some free work on other teeth. But I wouldn't go back to that place - ever. Take some cash, if you can, and then it's hasta la vista, baby! Later!
cojosurfer on January 12, 2014:
I had a root canal and crown performed on the wrong tooth at Sam Dental. I had a crown put on another tooth with no problems. The dentists and specialists do good work, with the exception of my healthy tooth having a root canal and crown done on the wrong tooth. I let Sam Dental know about this situation and they promise to review my file and xrays, but never get back to me. It's my opinion the correct tooth should have a root canal and crown done free of charge, after all, it is there mistake not mine. This could happen to you. I told them I will be making reviews wherever I can.
stuart1648 on December 16, 2013:
Ive twice had dental work done in Mexico and have nothing but good things to report. You dont have to be a genius to be a dentist;mexican dentists seem as intelligent as americans and practice good sanitation procedures.Just use common sense and get references or see reviews.Personally I used Washington Clinic in Ciudad Juarez since its been around for 40-50 yrs. p.s.Dont worry about crime in Mexico;it's a vastly overblown subject... just use common sense.
Anya321 on November 09, 2013:
Went to Ezekiel Lagos in Tijuana. Fillings fell out within weeks, all are having to be redone in the US, decay has occurred underneath. I did lots of research and relied on recommendations. That doesn't always help. You can still get burned.
DentalDepartures on November 07, 2013:
I am Christian from Dental Departures.
I want offer you a way to make an extra income with your website.
Our job is to bring customers together with high quality global dental providers.
Every year we book a lot of appointments for snowbirds, that come to Los Algodones to get dental work.
So if you join our affiliate program, You will get 5% commission when one of your site visitors schedules an appointment with Dental Departure's dental clinics.
Have a nice day
william on October 16, 2013:
well to who ever this may concern, it is no news that dentistry in usa is a ripp off, complete ripp off, im not born in this beautiful country of the usa , so every year i travel to my country in uruguay south america and get all my dental work done there, is 75% cheaper than usa , you can chose from mexico , costa rica , colombia , argentina or uruguay anywhere but the usa, canada or europe. ill take a chance anywhere as long i dont get ripp off like you do in usa , even if you are a millionaire they are ripping you off, in usa a molar root canal , post , build up core and porcelain crown is $20145 , in mexico you get the same thing done for only $575 jajajaja , porcelain venneers in usa $1000, in mexico $300 jaaajajaaj the same thing, and for who may said what if something goes wrong , well something is going wrong here in the usa , what it is they ripping you off , if dentist in usa will depend on my money for their living style , they will be in the unemployment line
Stouffville Dental on June 01, 2013:
This is a great blog post. It will definitely put effects on dental work and also will be useful for Mexico’ people. http://www.innovatoravenuedental.com
Dentist in Hungary on April 25, 2013:
Here in Europe, people are not going to mexico or costa rica to have affordable dentistry, They go to Hungary....but it is still the same story : "old countries" does nor have the means anymore to put dental care into government health insurance anymore : http://helvetic-clinics.eu/en
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 18, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, CandyTale. I didn't think about warning people that the water the dentist uses may not be fit to drink. Yes, indeed, in Mexico, don't drink the water! Anyway, the best medicine in this regard is to get all the information one can find before using any particular dentist in Mexico. Later!
Gabriela Hdez from Valencia, Spain on April 18, 2013:
As a Mexican I can say that we have great doctors and dentists and a lot of afwul ones (the very nasty type). You need to carefully research the place you will have your work done as well as the dentist /doctor. I do it myself and I live in Mexico.
Take these tips into account:
You can check that the person indeed went to college and have a professional licence (cédula profesional) . You can search with the name of the person or the number of "cédula profesional" . This is a page of the Public Education Buro (SEP), it will tell you what profession the person has (check that out, you don't want a vet doing dental work to you): http://www.cedulaprofesional.sep.gob.mx/cedula/ind...
When I'm going to buy something from a person, institution or company that I don't know much about, I check sites where people posts complaints. One is Apestan.com. These people are disgruntled and the complaints may not be objective. However, if you see several complaints, something is going on and you must stay away of the place.
Keep in mind that the price or how nice is the place may not be guarantee of good dental work. There are great dentists working in small clinics with just the basic and do a great job, and are a lot of nice looking clinics with doctors that will be a nightmare.
The best way to find a good dentist is by referal. If you know people personally in Mexico, ask them who their dentist is and what they think of him/her. But ask a lot of questions. A lot of people in Mexico can't afford the best dentists and have to do with what they can pay.
When you go into the clinic, check that they have a valid and current operation licence by the local government. They must have it on display in a visible place. Usually in the reception.
Always ask for a receipt. It must include the dentist name and cédula profesional. If you have problems later and you are abroad, let's be honest, you will have little chances to get your money back but you still can contact PROFECO, the Consumer Protection Buro. You can send your complaint from abroad, but you need legal proof you paid for a service and that is your invoice or receipt. Here is their link: http://www.profeco.gob.mx/servicios/quejas_denun.a...
About the water, tap water is not drinkable in Mexico. You can ask your dentist but I am almost certain they will use tap water, maybe filtered but that won't kill germs and bacteria. You can bring bottled water from a respectable vendor. Coca-Cola and several other international brands sell bottled water, just check the labels. Usually, if you don't drink the water you won't be sick, but it is easier said than done in the dentist office.
If you need small work, maybe it's not worth the risk, but if you have a lot to get fix, I think the cost may justify the risk and all the research.
And well, I wouldn't trust what an agency is recommending to you unless you do the research yourself. They may even be receiving money from the dentist they are recommending. I don't know if this is true, but a lot of other businesses work this way. Be careful.
shahanara2013 on April 02, 2013:
We strive to be your dental visits in the same way as comfortable and fitting
in the same way as on the cards, and we know with the aim of the difference is
in the sphere of the details. At this point are barely a only some of the facilities
with the aim of be our administrative center an unusual kind of dental administrative center
Melissa on March 20, 2013:
I have been in Vallarta for the last few weeks getting fillings a few crowns. My dentist came highly referred and has done a great job. 500 pesos for each filling and 3000 pesos for the crown, thats a total of 400 USD for 5 fillings and a crown, (She threw in one for free.) I may need a root canal but that will only cost about $180USD. I have had my reservations about getting my work done here. But in the end everything has been great. I love Mexico and wish that in the US we were provided with similar health care.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 10, 2013:
Thanks for the incisive, experience-based words, Gemma. You offer some very good advice. Viva dentistry in Mexico? Later!
Gemma on March 09, 2013:
I have had good and bad experiences traveling to mexico for dental work. My first three times where fine. My last trip was a disaster. I chose a dentist unfamiliar to me in Cancun and unfortunately trusted the reviews and bought into false advertising. One of which claimed to be Cancun's best Cosmetic Dentistry clinic. The dentist ended up on international television a few years later for injuring many patients. Global Television reporter exposed him as Dr. German Arzate.
Some tips: Do not put money up front. Do not believe the medical travel company assisting you will get your money back. Often they can only retrieve a small portion of your money and that will never ever cover the costs of repairing shoddy dental work back home. Take "good" reviews with a grain of salt. Check memberships of the various association they claim to have. Also be aware that foreign dentists can be a member of the American Dental Association but that does not mean they are accredited, and absolutely doesn't mean they are endorsed by them. In fact anyone can send money into the ADA and then use a logo on there website. Often this is done to give more credibility where it is not warranted Although you may have some recourse in Mexico when receiving inadequate dental work it takes years and the awarded amounts generally wont cover what it costs to proceed with a case. Mexico does not have a national data base to which you can check a dentist out for previous complaints. I really hope that changes. So for now it is a roulette game when choosing dentist in Mexico. My advice would be to do allot of research visit the place first. Talk to locals, expats, and try to find as much information about the dentist that you can . Good luck to everyone searching for affordable dental care. There are good and bad everywhere. I hope you end up with a very good one.
Jack Mason on February 20, 2013:
This is a great blog post! It's definitely worth considering for dental work. As for me, I've been considering http://www.dmdentalgroup.com/. What do you think?
Catherine on February 16, 2013:
Hi. I have been having dental work done in TJ for years and I go to D.A.S Dental Group, Dr. Miguel Montoya. I've had about five root canals and three implants and some crowns. If you show up at the border at 9am Erenstio can pick you up on the US side at Jack in the Box because he lives in SD. Otherwise you meet him just inside the border. Anyway that's who I go to.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on February 12, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, Desperate Girl. You probably have about $4,000 worth of work that needs to be done - and that's only if you don't need a new crown or two after the root canals. Good luck on getting all of that work done for only $1,000. Later!
Desperate Girl on February 12, 2013:
I'm going to take a trip to chihuahua Mexico for a family vacation, but mostly to go get my teeth fix. I have 8 to 9 cavities, 2 root canals and want new teeth!!! I'm not sure how much the cost will be, but I don't want to spend more than $1,000 in USD dollars. I hope I find a great dentist that can take care of me!!! Wish me good luck peepz!:)
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 22, 2013:
Thanks for the heads up about Sam's. Everyone should be warned about incompetent dentists. Later!
Alex Herrera on January 22, 2013:
DON'T go to Sam's! I went there and everything went wrong. My appointment with a certain dentist wasn't respected. They must have finally dissed some other patient, because when I said that I would walk, they relented and gave me my dentist of choice. Maybe God was giving me a heads up that I didn't listen to. She pulled the wrong cap, broke a root (not mentioning this after viewing X-ray, but waited until later to tell me). She ripped my gum so bad that the new cap (yes, I was fitted for a cap, paid for it and later was told of root breakage) looks old with a big black space (margin). No apology. Do not go there. They're too young.
jrathi on October 10, 2012:
I went to Biodental studios in Tijuana and had dr. edgar montano remove silver fillings. he drilled DEEP all of my fillings and 3 out of the 4 now need root canals. The fillings were small to begin with. I honestly think and intuitively get that he wanted me to come back to get his zirconium implants. Beware dr. javier morales and edgar montano.
Dawn on October 04, 2012:
My husband and I went to Progresso, Mexico and had dental work done. Progresso is onbrhe border with Texas. It was about a nine hour drive from our home outside Houston to Progresso, Mexico. I had about 20 of my teeth done. I opted for veneers. I also have two bridges. I also had a root canal. If i remember right my cist was around $5,000.00 for an extensive amount of work. The only complaint I have is a tooth had a cavity and they did not fill it before doing the veneers. Because of this my tooth began to decay, the veneer fell off, and because of the ground down tooth and the missing veneer, the tooth broke off and so the veneer I have can not be put back on. It doesn't fit now. So i am now missing a tooth on the side. My husband had caps done by a different dentist. His cost for the caps and a couple bridges was around $4,000.00. He is very rough on his teeth, he eats hard candy, chewy sticky candy, and he also grinds his teeth. I believe it is because if the rough manner that he pulled the caps out one by one. Either by chewing on hard sticky candy or just the roughness if grinding them. So now we can not afford to have dental work done here in the US, and I feel Mexico is too dangerous to visit at this time. There are both pros and cons to going to Mexico. Obviously the price is a pro. The con is that if you develop a problem later on with the work, you are just out of luck. Safety takes priority over my lost tooth right now.
flytoagreatsmile on August 14, 2012:
If you are able to visit Costa Rica, you can find great dentists that offer high quality service at a low cost. It's just a short flight from many US cities and the prices are about 60% (or more) less than anywhere in the US. The clinics are internationally certified, and they use cutting edge technology. Aside from that, Costa Rica is a delightful place to visit with many wonderful activities and attractions to enjoy.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on June 20, 2012:
Hey, John, in general it seems safe to visit Mexico for dental work or whatever. Just try to avoid the really bad places, such as Juarez. As for the comments for this story, many are much more recent than two years. Read and learn, okay? Later!
John on June 20, 2012:
Since these answer are from like 2 years ago.. Is it still safe to go to Mexico.. Since the violence went up
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on June 11, 2012:
Thanks for the advice, Lori. I'm sure many people would like to hear what you have to say about avoiding the dental tourism regions in Mexico. Later!
Lori on June 11, 2012:
I can only speak from my experience. I currently live in Mexico and had to have some dental work done. I happen to live in Morelia, far removed from the dental tourism region. The cost of each tooth extraction runs less than 10.00 usd. My temporary, aesthetic partial plate 28.00 usd. The dentists here require that patients wait one month for the mouth to heal before they will do another impression for the actual partial. I just started on this journey, but I already know the partial will cost me less than 200.00.
I am very happy with the temporary, as the lab did a wonderful job matching the color of my lower teeth. It's actually amazing. My suggestion for anyone wanting dental work done in Mexico, is to stay away from the dental tourism regions near the border, if at all possible. There prices do not even begin to reflect the actual prices paid by most Mexicans. It also helps if you can speak some Spanish or have a friend with you, who speaks the language.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 12, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, Midnightbliss. Life is full of trade-offs, you simply have to pick what's best for you. Later!
Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on April 11, 2012:
Thanks for sharing. The trade off is still questionable, especially because I don't own a "flak jacket." :) I will say, however, and along the same lines of getting medical support outside the US, that getting prescription medication from Canada is much cheaper when compared to prices in the US as just as good, regardless of what the media reports (which likely represents biased advertisements paid by big pharmaceutical companies).
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 22, 2012:
Thanks for the enlightening comment, Diana. I'm sure many people would like to go to this dentist you found in Los Algadones. That's cheap work you got done! But will it last? Later!
Diana on March 21, 2012:
I just got back from my second trip to Los Algadones which is just across the mexico border near Yuma. The place is full of hundreds of dentists in a 4-5 square block radius. I researched a dentist that I found good reviews on and was very impressed. Her office was nicer than any I had been to in the US...she had more advanced equipment than I had been around as well. They all spoke english and she had been trained in the US...actually lived there as well. All the office water was triple filtered and all their equipment was sanitary...covered with plastic and they used new tools on me that had been sanitized and sealed in bags. I had a root canal for $375 and a Crown for $200. We will be going back in a few weeks for more work. We have found that it's best to stay in a cheap hotel in Yuma (use Priceline and bid about $40 to see what you can get) then drive down to the border and park on the American side and walk over. Our car was safe in the secure fenced parking lot for $5 a day. We felt very safe on the streets of Los Algadones...mostly Americans down there. Lots of mexican merchants selling typical things too. We had an early morning apointment and there was no line going to mexico...however there was a long line coming back. The fastest way is NOT to wait in line, but to stand on the street corner by customs and hail a bicycle carriage for $5 a person. They can cut into traffic and take you tight to the border...save you about an hour of your time and you sit down while waiting in the cart instead of standing! I am planning on having this dentist do a full restoration of my mouth because her work is incredible and the price is right. I highly recommend Mexico if you do your research.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 13, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, Terese. You're right; one must always be leary of the tap water throughout Latin America. Later!
Terese on March 13, 2012:
While I agree that dental costs are outragous here (In westetern Washington State many dentists are no longer even taking many insurances, if you have it - which I no longer do!)I have to wonder about how the water in Mexico would affect American patients.
It may sound silly, and I'm sure they try to use sterilized water in the office, but my daughter recently visited Mexico and while she was careful not to drink the wateer, she somehow, through showering or something, was the only member of her visiting party to come down with "Montezuma's Revenge." She recovered,but was mainly disapponted that she was sick throughout her trip.
I need quite a bit of dental work and while traveling from the Northwest to Mexico would be spendy, it would be less than spending a lot of money (my husband and I are retired) for U.S. dentists to demand thousands of dollars from us.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 01, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, PaulStaley1. I'm glad you added that cheap - or at least "cheaper" - dental care is available in Colombia as well. However, that's not the safest place to travel either, is it? Later!
PaulStaley1 from With the wind---(or against it) on March 01, 2012:
I do it all the time---real cheap in Mexico but the technology is from the 80s at most of the real cheap places---Colombia is a great option as well---medical tourism--it is less expensive even after the ticket--
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 02, 2011:
Thanks for the interesting comment, Dick. It appears there are some very good, inexpensive dentists in Mexico and other foreign countries. Anyway, I can't believe American dentists charge $500 for a nightguard, which is little more than a sports mouthpiece, which you can buy for - one dollar! Later!
Dick on December 02, 2011:
My American Home Denitist who... I think is very good.....wanted $4100 for a "Metal" bridge and $2400 for two crowns
For a total of $6500..I am retired...no insurance......Outrageous!! that half of a NEW CAR!!!!
I contacted a Dental Online Service who prescreens only the BEST Dentists in other Counties arranges everything with a 100% garrantee
I got a the more expensive than "metal" Zirconium Bridge and crowns for a total of $2400
still a lot but reasionable
I even got a teeth saving "NightGuard"" mouthpiece made which my home dentist wanted $500 for...for only $60 for the same thing!!!
I went to Cancun for to have the work done by a Mexican Profesor of Dentistry and Oral Surgen ...who was great..devevoted the entire time to me...not hopping around room to room with other patents like most American dentists..big CLEAN Office...
he does implants too...
they even picked me up at the airport and picked me up at the hotel for my appointments in a Cad
For major work I no longer pay for my Dentists Fancy Fish Tank... latest "Toys" and HIS Trip to Cancun
and saved $$$
I had also had a great Vacation! And excellent dental care.....its NOT rocket science!
Ck on November 01, 2011:
I vacation in Texas and people say that a lot of the mexican dentists went to school in the u.s.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on September 15, 2011:
Thanks for the comment, Matt. I've suspected that the dental work in Mexico may be substandard. What a person would need to do is find one of the best Mexican dentists and then proceed with caution. Later!
matt on September 15, 2011:
Im an american dentist in Texas who is constantly fixing problems with work in Mexico. You people are so ignorant. What degree do you have to Believe me, you get what you pay for. Going cheap on medical care will eventually cost you dearly. Why not buy everything over there?
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 13, 2011:
Thanks for the comment, Don Bobbitt. Going to Mexico to get dental work definitely seems like a good option. Unfortunately, I live too far away for this strategy to work for me. Later!
Don Bobbitt from Ruskin Florida on July 13, 2011:
I am an RFer,and was just in Arizona in November. My wife and I needed some dental work, so we talked to some of our full-time fellow campers, and they recommended going over to Yuma and crossing the border there for good dental work.
So, we did, and what an experience. there were over 200 dentists and 7 major drug stores in a 8 by 4 block area, just as we crossed over. The majority (80%+) of the people there were American and Canadian, looking for the same service as us. Long story short, we both got our teeth cleaned, and she had 5 cavities repaired, and I had four. All for a total cost of $195. The work was good, and we are still happy with everything. So, relatively speaking, is the dental industry a rip-off in the states? Well ........ Yeah! To some degree, in my perspecrive.
Dental Work in Mexico on June 18, 2011:
I also advocate the practice of dental tourism.
Jacob Darkley from California, USA on May 15, 2011:
Wow, good info. Get some British people over here to read it!
denture cream lawsuit settlement on March 28, 2011:
Wow this amaze me for Mexico is really an affordable to fix my teeth done. Thank you Mexico Traveler for this kind of input and well informed detailed about the cost and comparison of US against MEXICO price.
Jake Ray on March 26, 2011:
its very safe i have done mayor sugerys in mexico. Doctors and dentists are very good there
sam on January 07, 2011:
i found a great high quality clinic in romania, i had 4 implants, and 10 ceramic crowns all for 3000 usd
i am very satisfied from the results and highly recommand it to everyone, specially people like me who does not have insurance. u can find details on the link :
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 16, 2010:
Stephanie, you certainly saved lots of money getting all those root canals, crowns and bridges for only 6K! I'm astonished. In the U.S. that much work would have cost around $30,000. Well, this is a testimonial I'm sure many people will find enlightening! Thank you very much for taking the time to leave this long comment. Hasta luego!
Stephanie Henkel from USA on December 16, 2010:
Although the problems with drug cartels might discourage people from going to the larger Mexican border towns, some of the small towns seem quiet and safe. We went to Los Algodones last winter not too far from Yuma. My husband and I got major dental work done after corresponding with someone who recommended the Bernal Dental Clinic. I had 6 root canals, 17 crowns and 3 bridges for around $6000. My husband also had major work. It's been a year and all is very well.
There are many good dentists in Algodones. Every office has English speaking staff and most of the dentists speak English. While the offices are not fancy, they are clean and have modern equipment. For those concerned about problem work, we happened to be in our dental office when a couple of people came back with loose crowns or other problems. They were fixed free of charge that day.
By the way, our dentists were certified members of both the Mexican government and the U.S. Dental Association (don't remember the official name). They went to school in Mexico, but also trained in the U.S.
We'll be going back this winter for our annual check-ups.
Smile Planners on September 19, 2010:
In addition to Mexicao the other major destination for dental makeovers, dentures implants and immediate dental implants in Thailand. For more info and procedure prices see http://smileplanners.com/
Gainesville Dentist on September 05, 2010:
I believe it is cheaper, but do those dentists know what they're doing, or it's a gamble?
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 07, 2010:
Even insurance only pays for so much, perhaps $1,500 per year. Thanks for the comment. later!
Virginia on July 07, 2010:
My nephew lives in San Diego and he goes into Tijuana for all of his work and he swears by it. My daughter is flying out tonight from East Bay. She needs 2 crowns and not sure of whatelse. She will go across with her cousin. My neice is there and they will be driving back together. She had some kind of oral surgery and it only cost her $250. She said it was kind of a hole-in-the-wall place, but because of her proceedure going well, we are sending my daughter. Its the best way to go if you have no insurance.
Metzary on July 06, 2010:
I went Revolution Dental Care in Tijuana, MX.
and loved the work I got. revolutiondental.com see for your self...
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on May 28, 2010:
This says something about the ridiculous costs of medical and dental care in the U.S. Very interesting Hub and I would not hesitate to go to Mexico if I needed expensive work done.
moncrieff on April 23, 2010:
Interesting! I live 4 hours away from Mexico. Not knowing Spanish or having any connections in that country keeps me from trying it, but I think about it. Dental service is way too expensive here indeed.
Tulum Hotel on April 08, 2010:
Mexico for your teeth, Brazil for your facelift - Happy days! You can look great for half the price (with a bit of luck as well!) :)
Puerto Escondido Hotels on April 01, 2010:
I live in Mexico and always get my teeth taken care of here. I would say the dentist offices aren't as 'flashy' as in the states but the work I've needed doing has been great. It's about 40 bucks for a good cleaning - how does that compare to the US?
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 09, 2010:
Thanks for the comment, Loveofnight. I've also spent a bundle on my teeth. It's beginning to appear that getting one's teeth fixed in Mexico is a very good bargain.
And thank you, MexicoTraveler, for your major insight into getting one's teeth fixed in Mexico. If you want to give an endorsement for Sam Dental in TJ it's okay with me. Later!
Mexicotraveler on March 08, 2010:
I have gone to Mexico for over 25 years to get my teeth taken care of. I have some mexican crowns that are over 20 years old, and still in fine shape. I have also had work done in the US that lasted just a couple of years. I used to live in Denver, CO and had established myself with a dentist in Chihuahua, South of Juarez. Because of a move we made to Florida, it became easier to fly to San Diego than to El Paso, and having to take a bus to Chihuahua, so I looked for a new dentist in Tijuana, I actually found the dentist that you have listed on the price list you posted. all I can say is that the dentists at Sam dental in Tijuana did an excellent job on both my wife as well as myself. I have been going to Sam Dental for two years now and between my wife and I have had 14 crowns made. Several for cosmetic reasons. I recommend them to everyone. Here is a link to their website: http://www.goodsamdental.org
Loveofnight Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on March 08, 2010:
this is something that i've never considered although i have invested a lot of money in my teeth. considering the fact that i do need more work i might try and see if it is cost effective....thx 4 the info
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 04, 2010:
I agree. If you live too far away, the cost of travel would make the work prohibitively expensive. However, anybody with a mouthful of trouble should give it great consideration. Thanks for the comment. Later!
9to5 on March 04, 2010:
Maybe from the US & Canada it could be worth it, but traveling from somewhere like the UK is far too expensive and time consuming in my opinion. Just not worth it!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 03, 2010:
Thanks very much for the relevant comment, Immartin! I'm glad your cousin has had very good experience getting his dental work in Mexico. If many others have equal success, I'm sure folks will dash down to ol' Me-hee-co and save thousands. Dentists here in the U.S. charge way too much, and something ought to be done about it. Later!
lmmartin from Alberta and Florida on March 03, 2010:
Great hub, Kosmo. My teeth tingle just thinking about it. Dental work is expensive in Canada, too, though not quite as costly as here. However, in response to your comment travel costs may eat up the difference -- I disagree. Travel to Mexico is now so cheap, even from Canada (under $500) and accommodations would hardly make up the cost difference. And you'd get a vacation, too. My cousin has all his dental work done in Mexico, and he's very satisfied. So it must be worth it, if he travels from Canada to Mexico just to see the dentist.