The city of Tijuana in Mexico is known to many Americans as a holiday destination—it offers beautiful weather all year-round and breathtaking beaches. Over the past couple of years, more and more Americans are discovering another gem in Tijuana—high quality dental services from highly qualified, competent, and experienced dental professionals at very affordable prices.
Many people dread a trip to the dentist—in fact, dentists and dental clinics rank high in the list of things that people fear the most—and not just because of the pain and discomfort that might occur during the dental procedures, but also for the high costs of a visit. To maintain good dental health, an individual must visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine check-ups and teeth cleaning. Poor dental health can cause a wide variety of problems, including infections, tooth decay, bad breath, and according to some studies, a predisposition to heart disease.
However, the steep cost of dental care in the United States, as well as the shrinking coverage of health insurance in the country, makes it problematic for average Americans to maintain good dental health. Thanks to the dental tourism industry, good dental health is, again, within reach for all Americans, even those without a good healthcare coverage.
Dental tourism is essentially the practice of seeking inexpensive yet high quality dental care in border cities. At the center of this fast-rising industry is the city of Tijuana in Mexico—a city that is around ten minutes away from San Diego, California, and within convenient driving distance of Los Angeles. There are still people who wonder why they should go to another country (one would need to drive across the United States – Mexico border) for a trip to the dentist, but this trip is well worth it.
The average cost of dental implants—a complicated procedure that involves the placement of titanium roots on the jawbone to anchor an artificial tooth; a procedure prescribed for people who have experienced tooth loss—in the United States is $1,500 to $2,000. This cost can still be compounded by the location and renown of the clinic in question. However, in Tijuana, dental implants can set back a patient a mere $500 to $600. Extensive dental work that will cost more than $20,000 in the United States will be less than $4,000 in Tijuana. With this significant amount of savings, it is understandable why patients from the United States opt to make the trip to Tijuana instead of going to a local dental clinic.
There are many reasons for the impressive cost discrepancy. First, the standard of living in Mexico—even in a border city like Tijuana—is significantly lower. Mexican dentists are not required to purchase malpractice insurance and, in general, they do not have to deal with the arduous process of tracking reimbursements from insurance providers. The cheaper prices do not meant substandard quality—Mexican dental professionals are as qualified as their American counterparts; however, the Mexicans are not as bogged down by countless operating expenses as American dentists, which means they can offer their services for lower rates.