Dental Tourism
January 20, 2022 4:21 PM   Subscribe

My mouth is in a helluva state. I need implants and god knows what else. Though I have dental insurance (Aetna PPO), my out-of-pocket cost for even a part of the work needed is several grand. I live within driving distance of Tijuana, Mexico though (I have an American passport) so I was wondering about getting the work done there - or somewhere else? Have you done this? Is Tijuana safe at the moment for me? How does it work? Other threads on this are pretty old. Thanks for any insight!
posted by pH Indicating Socks to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

I believe that in addition to Tijuana, you should look into Los Algodones, across from Yuma, Arizona (but I've never been).
(2018 previously)
posted by Rash at 6:03 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

I am also considering Los Algodones, and a lot of that is that I used to live in San Diego and for a short time had an IT job that required traveling to our factory in TJ on a regular basis. The border-crossing (and this was pre-MAGA, pre-COVID) even at the quieter Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing, was often busy and intense, and on the Tijuana side is fraught for the first two miles or so.

It's not that Tijuana is patently unsafe, it's just like trying to duck into NYC or San Francisco - it's a massive urban area, ton of commercial traffic, very confusing if you're not familiar with the area, plus the added layer of border tensions and a high effort at tourist scams of various flavors.

My understanding is that the smaller border towns are much more likely to be able to offer concierge services like either coming into the US to pick you up, or picking you up at a pedestrian border crossing, so you don't have to bring your car into Mexico and deal with the insurance hassle. Pre-everything, I was told by a friend from a big cross-border family that there were TJ dental spas that offer car service from San Diego to TJ and back, you can certainly search around and see if that's still an option.

Everyone I've known who uses dental services in Mexico raves about the quality of service and work.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:41 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

I'm in Costa Rica right now doing this. The procedure cost for one molar implant is 40% of my US dentist. Although it'll take two visits 6 months apart I figure ill come out ahead and get two short vacations out of it. I have multiple friends that have done this with the same CR dentist. Happy to DM details.
posted by achrise at 6:46 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Here's an amazing soup-to-nuts of the whole experience at a place in Los Algodones.
However, the US Gov't says reconsider travel there. Hm.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 6:51 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

Bangkok, Thailand. It's a bit farther a field but, very good dental clinics at about 40% of the cost.
posted by JohnC at 11:09 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Our next door neighbor went to Serbia for his. He has nice implants and was very happy with the price and the care.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:04 AM on January 21

My father went to a dentist in Tijuana for all of his work. He drove to the border, walked across, and the dentist is within walking distance. He said the quality was just as good as any dentist he's been to here in CA but much cheaper. Overall he highly recommends it. It's somewhat more convenient than the farther away places because you can plan to just spend a day down there.
posted by escher at 7:31 AM on January 21

To add: My dad went to I Love My Dentist. He went there several times over the course of a couple years, his last visit was 2-3 years ago. He went several times for several visits since he needed a lot of work. He would drive to the border, park on this side of the border and then it was around a 30 minute walk to the office. He said it's all very modern and a really nice dentist, absolutely recommends them and will be going back once he feels it's safe for him (Covid reasons).
posted by escher at 1:30 PM on January 21

I went to Split, croatia. I highly recommend watching the Mediterranean sea will doped out on pain killers
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 3:54 PM on January 21

Budapest is great for this.
posted by tarvuz at 5:11 PM on January 21

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