A recent NBC news story highlighted the phenomenon of low-cost dental care in Los Algodones, Mexico, better known to those that live along the Mexican border as Molar City. Up to seven thousand people cross from Yuma Arizona into Los Algodones almost every day during the winter high season to save money on dirt-cheap pharmaceuticals and dental care. Recent reports show that more than 140 Million Americans have no dental insurance, forcing many to forego critical dental care or to seek more affordable care outside of the USA.
Why Choose Los Algodones?
For starters, dental care in Mexico is equal and in some respects better and more attentive than the care in the USA and Canada. In fact, a recent patient survey conducted with LosAlgodonesDentalGuide.com and CostaRicaDentalGuide.com reveals that pricing for high quality dental implants in Costa Rica and Los Algodones is very competitive.
What makes Los Algodones a great dental destination? We thought we’d ask some patients.
Joshua Long, a resident of New York, received 2 dental implants and crowns in Los Algodones almost two years ago.
“Los Algodones was a great introduction to getting dental care outside of the U.S.,” says Long. “I enjoyed my experience in Los Algodones and felt that I received good quality care for my right budget.
Los Algodones is a quaint, Mexican border town with more than 300 clinics in a very densely populated area. Patients cross the border on foot or by car. Accommodations are sparse and entertainment is limited. Food options are limited and the weather forecast is always hot with a chance of even hotter. On the upside, the street tacos are amazing!
For patients needing low-cost, basic dental care, Los Algodones is an ideal option. In Los Algodones, a patient can get a crown or fillings for much less than in the USA.
Patients considering dental care outside of the USA should consider that there are both good and not so good dental clinics all over the world. Patients are encouraged to do their research and to seek the best value, not just the lowest possible price. During our research, speaking with more than 118 dental patients for this article, we encountered a few patients that had chosen a dental clinic based on pricing alone. “Low pricing blinds some patients to seeing the flaws in the practice,” said a participating research assistant. Further research revealed that these patients chose clinics with a reputation for “less than stellar” dental care experiences because of perceived price savings. Several of these patients were attracted to package pricing that included dental care and accommodations. These price-focused patients reported post-care complications that cost them additional money to repair back home, adding hundreds or even thousands of dollars to their final cost for care.
For patients seeking affordable dental care outside of the USA, dental destinations such as Los Algodones and Costa Rica offer an abundance of clinics with competitive pricing and varying degrees of quality and reliability. In all cases, patients reported savings of 50% to 70% when compared to pricing for similarly priced dental care in the USA and Canada. As dental prices in North America continue to increase, more and more patients will seek care south of the border.
Our advice? Earmark some of your savings for a little vacation and have some fun. It’s called a dental vacation for a reason!
Contributing Editors: Reid Genarro, George Stanhope, Elena Martinez, Martin Elias:
Research Assistants: James Dunmore, Rachel Marks, Su Li Pak
Sources: Los Algodones Dental Guide – Costa Rica Dental Guide