Dear International Living Reader,
Visits to the dentist are an attractive draw for travelers to Mexico, since quality dental work costs a fraction what it does in the U.S. or Canada (see the price list below). Many dentists and other medical doctors in Mexico have trained in the U.S. and speak excellent English.
|Extractions||$15 (without surgery)
$40 (with surgery)
|Caps or Crowns||$45 (metal)
|Fillings||$20 to $40|
|Cleaning||from $20 (with gel paste)
from $25 (with ultrasonic)
|Root Canal||from $60|
|Dentures||$300 to $1,000 (both plates))
$175 to $600 (upper plate only)
$190 to $600 (lower plate only)
Remember, however, dental care is like anything else: the better the doctor and the more advanced the facility, the more you will pay. And each case is different. One person’s root canal is not like anyone else’s. One person’s implant…or bridge…or crown, etc. is not like anyone else’s.
The more complicated the procedure, the more it will cost. Costs will also vary depending on the type of materials used for crowns, fillings, etc. Like in the U.S., dentists in major metropolitan areas of Mexico charge more than in smaller cities. Clinics in border towns may be more expensive than in central Mexico. That doesn’t mean the quality is different, it simply reflects the cost of doing business in a certain location. By no means is the guideline we post here carved in stone.
If you need major dental work, our suggestion is to email or call the dentist in advance of your visit so that you can inform him or her of the work you will need. Perhaps you can send copies of past dental records or x-rays so they can get an idea of how extensive the work is that you need. It is extremely unlikely that any dentist can give you a cost estimate over the telephone.
During your telephone interview, ask questions. Ask about their training, experience, the types of materials they use, the quality and hygiene standards they strive for, and ask for references. Ask how long they think it might take to complete the work you need.
If, after your telephone interview, you feel comfortable with the dentist, then plan your trip to visit. Try to schedule your initial appointment for the first day you are in the country. That way, you should have plenty of time for follow-up and to get crowns, implants and bridges made. For extensive procedures, you may need to plan an additional trip. It’s up to you to do the cost/benefit analysis but chances are that if you need serious work done, the cost of your travel to Mexico will be covered by what you save on the dental work itself.
Obviously, if you don’t need extensive work done, you can usually wait until you get to Mexico to schedule your appointment, although to avoid disappointment it is always best to try and do this ahead of your arrival. You can view a list of dentists in Mexico we’ve compiled by location here.
Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher
for International Living in Mexico