The main reason that people would have doubts about getting dental work in Mexico is that they are not native to the country, or due to language and custom barriers. Those who are native to the country, do not have much of a choice in the matter. The one thing that tends to attract outsiders to having dental work done south of the border is that there is a significant monetary advantage which does make it worth looking into.
Though Mexico has become one of the primary destinations to get dental treatments, there are a lot of rumors about Mexican dentists and their practices, so let us clear up some of the fog for you.
Don’t Go to Mexico at All (Myth)
Just like many other places with large concentrations of people (New York City, Los Angeles, etc.), not all parts are safe. In Mexico, there are specific cities that are not safe at the moment, but that is no reason not to visit the country as a whole. Many feel that Los Algodones is fine. This is a tourist town adjacent to the border with thousands of people traveling through each day. The businesses in that area depend on the tourists to keep them afloat.
Get Any Type of Dental Work in Mexico (Fact)
The city mentioned above actually specifically caters to tourists that have traveled there for prescription drugs, eyeglasses, and dental work. The town is just 5 blocks yet there are more than 300 dentists, all with specialties, from a basic cleaning to a full mouth of dental implants. Lots of tourists turn to dentists in Mexico to perform major work because of the major cost advantage.
Dental Work is Cheaper in Mexico (Fact)
The dental work done specifically in Los Algodones will cost about 1/3 of the price it would in the United States, and this holds true for most of the other border towns. This can be done because there are low operating costs, low insurance, low labor costs, and more. Of course the cost will vary office to office, so ask around prior to making an appointment.
Mexican Dentists are Trained in the U.S. (Myth)
This myth is mostly perpetuated on internet forums, and the truth is that almost all Mexican dentists are trained in schools right there in Mexico. It is possible that they have come to the U.S. for postgraduate training or specialty training, but most dentists in the border towns have degrees from Mexican institutions.
All Mexican Dentists are Good (Myth)
This is actually pretty apparent and applies to all dentists in any county. In Mexico, however, it is possible to receive bad care, mainly because they do not have the same agency oversight that is in the United States. For this reason, it is smart to be picky about who you choose as your Mexican dentist. Many of the dentists are specialists, so be sure to go with a dentist with an established reputation.
You Need an Appointment (Depends)
It can be safe to assume that if traveling in Mexico and a cleaning is needed, you will likely be able to walk into an office and have one done. However, if specialty work is being done, do research before and then make an appointment.
Everything Can Be Done in a Day (Myth)
Mexican dentists are not miracle workers. Just like in the United States, some things can be done right away and will take only one appointment, while more intricate procedures will take a few visits.
Foreign Currency is Necessary (Myth)
While this is a myth, do bring cash. Many tourist border towns happily take US dollars for anything, but numerous dentists offices will only take cash or check, so don’t arrive with just a credit card. It is not likely that foreign currency will be necessary, so just have some cash.