female dentist with assistant curing teeth of patient

The Complete Guide to Dentists in Mexico


Going to the dentist in Mexico is one of the great open secrets for getting high quality, affordable care.

Dental care in the United States and Canada has become more expensive every year, and dentists in Mexico have positioned themselves to offer great care at a fraction of the price.

Snowbirds flood across the border during the Winter. Locals in San Diego often see their dentist in Tijuana. Retirees from Phoenix make the drive to Los Algodones (“Molar City”).

It is estimated that Mexico caters to more than 1 million medical tourists every year, and with this guide you will be prepared to join their ranks!

Mexico is famous for its picture perfect beaches, rich culture, and delicious food. Unsurprisingly, the most popular destinations for Medical Tourists are in hot spots like Playa del Carmen, Mexico City, and Tijuana.

Going to the dentist is nobody’s idea of a good time, but treating yourself to a cool dip in a cenote, taking a bite out of a street taco, or thinking about how much money and time you just saved is sure to soothe any lingering aches or pains.

Cenote in South East Mexico
Cenotes full of crisp, cool groundwater are scattered across Southeastern Mexico

Why Should I Visit a Dentist in Mexico?

It is estimated that up to a million Americans travel to Mexico for every year for care. Here’s why:

1. Highly Trained Dentists

Mexico is home to over 83 dental schools. Dentists in Mexico have a rigorous education consisting of a 4-5 year curriculum culminating in an undergraduate general exam. Upon completion of this exam, graduates of public universities must perform one year of social service in under served communities before they are awarded their Doctor of Dental Surgery. Furthermore, dentists who want to specialize must undergo another two-year degree program. Dental tourism is sustainable in Mexico due to the high standards of care.

2. Affordable, Transparent Prices

Unlike in the United States and Canada, patients have access to clear and transparent prices that are not hidden behind a paid consultation. Travelers typically save 50-70% off of what they were quoted back home.

3. English Speaking Providers

In order to attract international patients, dental clinics have hired English speaking dentists and administrators. A language barrier will not get in the way of your care.

4. Travel is Easy and Affordable

Mexico is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Traveling to Mexico is affordable by land or air, and getting around is easy relative to other destinations. Canada and the US have large numbers of daily flights to major Mexican cities.

Map of Mexico

How Good Is the Quality of Dental Care in Mexico?

Dental tourism in Mexico has sustained for decades because the standard of care is high and the prices are affordable.

Just like back home, clinics vary in quality. By taking the time to do your research, you can find a provider that offers outstanding care at an affordable price.

How Do I Find a Great Dental Clinic in Mexico?

It is important to do your research and choose a clinic that you are comfortable with. Below are some methods we use to find outstanding providers:

First, we evaluate a clinic’s online reviews across platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Once we find a clinic that appears to have a great online reputation, we do a site visit.

During the site visit we assess sanitation based on the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention’s (OSAP) Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care. We also document the technology a clinic is using and note if providers are continuing their education. We have a bias towards clinics with in-house dental labs to ensure a smooth and timely outcome.

Finally, we verify the credentials of dentists against the Mexican Government’s National Register of Professionals.

Clinics in our network are members of prestigious organizations like the American Dental Association and the Better Business Bureau and are held to a high standard. We also keep a close touch on patient experiences over time to ensure that a restoration that was good on day 1 is holding up on day 365 and beyond.

With an appropriate amount of research, you can find outstanding dental clinics in Mexico.

All-on-4 Before and After Photo at Sani Dental Group

How Do I Find Great Dentists in Mexico?

Traveling for medical care means you have the luxury of choice. Here is how to find the best dentist for your particular case.

Look For Experienced Dentists From Top Schools

According to El Universal’s List of top dental schools, the top 3 Mexican dental schools are:

  1. The National Autonomous University of Mexico
  2. The Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon
  3. The Autonomous University of Guadalajara

Pay special attention to dentists in Mexico with these schools under their belt!

Check Credentials

You can check a professional’s credentials using the National Register of Professionals by entering their full name or the number of their professional identification number, both of which are typically available.

Request Referrals, View Testimonials, and View Portfolios

Great clinics are proud of their work, and their patients are happy to share their results! Check out testimonials and before and after photos to get an idea about the quality of a clinic.

Good news! You can easily compare dentists in Mexico on our site! We’ve done the leg work, and all of the relevant information is at your fingertips. Below is an example of one of over one hundred dentist profiles listed on Apollo Medical Travel.

Dentist Profile on ApolloMedicalTravel.com
Example Dentist Profile

How Much Can I Save By Going to a Dentist in Mexico?

Travelers who get their dental care in Mexico as opposed to the United States or Canada typically save 50-70% on their care.

While prices vary by location, we’ve included a cost breakdown for our 5 most commonly performed procedures below:

Average Price in the US: $1,500 USD
Average Price in Mexico: $350 USD
Savings: 77% Off – $1,150 in Savings!

Average Price in the US: $1,100 USD
Average Price in Mexico: $350 USD
Savings: 68% Off – $750 in Savings!

Average Price in the US: $1,850 USD
Average Price in Mexico: $380 USD
Savings: 79% Off – $1,470 in Savings!

Dental Implants
Average Price in the US: $4,000 USD
Average Price in Mexico: $1,450 USD
Savings: 64% Off – $2,550 in Savings!

Average Price in the US: $20,500 USD
Average Price in Mexico: $8,100 USD
Savings: 60% Off – $12,400 USD in Savings!

Do Dentists in Mexico Guarantee Their Work?

Yes! An excellent way to make a decision about your care is choosing clinic that has the strongest warranty on their work. Typical warranties range from 2-6 years, but some clinics offer lifetime warranties on procedures such as dental implants. You can check each clinic’s warranty information in their profile.

Customer satisfaction is paramount for clinics trying to attract foreign patients, and your satisfaction is incredibly important.

Why Is Dental Care So Much Less Expensive in Mexico Than in the United States or Canada?

Overhead costs in Mexico are far lower than they are in the United States or Canada. The cost to rent a facility and the cost of labor are significantly reduced. Materials and technology costs are the same on both sides of the border.

Unlike their American counterparts, dentists in Mexico have access to more affordable education that starts with a 4-5 year degree in dentistry rather than with a 4-year bachelor’s degree (often in an unrelated field) followed by dental school. Dentists in Mexico start their careers with much lower student debt than their colleagues North of the border and they have significantly lower costs of living.

As a result, Mexican dentists are able to offer high quality services at an affordable price to American and Canadian medical tourists.

Is Mexico Safe?

At Apollo Medical Travel, we take safety seriously. We keep a close eye on the US State Department’s Mexico Travel Advisory and ensure that we only list clinics in areas that present low risk. We also conduct site visits that include security assessments.
In order to mitigate the risk of petty crime, we advise patients to leave flashy and expensive items at home, be aware of their surroundings, and refrain from drinking alcohol in excess.

It is possible to stay on the US Side of the border in California or Arizona during the evenings and arrange for transportation to your clinic in Tijuana or Los Algodones during the day. For travelers interested in Playa del Carmen or Mexico City, it is possible to arrange for transportation between the clinic and the comfort of your hotel.

Do I Need to Speak Spanish?

No, you do not need to speak Spanish. Mexico hosts some 32 million travelers from the United States and Canada, and getting around without speaking Spanish is easy. You will have no problem communicating with the team at the clinic or with hotel and restaurant staff.

That said, a little goes a long way. Below are some quick phrases that will help you be polite:

Hello: Hola (oh-lah)
Please: Por Favor (por fah-vor)
Thank You: Gracias (grah-see-ahss)
You’re Welcome: De Nada (deh nah-dah)
Goodbye: Adiós (ah-dee-ohss)

If you want to know more, check out this helpful phrase guide.

How Do I Get to Mexico?

There are a number of affordable, convenient ways to get to Mexico. Most people seeking dental care in Mexico from the Southwest United States cross the border by either walking or driving across at a port of entry. Beyond this, most travelers opt to fly in.

Getting to Mexico By Land

Most dental tourists cross into Mexico at either the San Ysidro Port of Entry into Tijuana on the California Border or the Andrade Port of Entry into Los Algodones just across the Arizona Border. The border can be crossed on foot or in a vehicle. Crossing into Mexico is very fast, but crossing back to the United States can take 15 minutes to 1 hour.

The San Ysidro Crossing is the busiest border crossing in the world, but travelers can reduce the wait time by purchasing a Medical Lane Pass for 200 pesos ($11 USD). Passes can be purchased through your dental clinic.

Do I Need Passport To Get Into Mexico By Land?

American citizens entering the U.S. must show a valid passport, U.S. passport card, a trusted traveler program card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry or FAST), or an enhanced driver’s license.

Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need to show a permanent resident card (green card). A passport is not required.

Will I Need Auto Insurance If I Am Driving In Mexico?

Most American and Canadian auto insurance plans do not offer coverage in Mexico. Purchasing coverage is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased through companies including Geico, Allstate, and Progressive.

If you are involved in a traffic accident in Mexico, each party must provide proof of valid insurance or financial responsibility.

Is My Driver’s License Valid In Mexico?

Yes, A US or Canadian Driver’s License is valid in Mexico.

Getting to Mexico by Air

Mexico boasts direct flights from across the United States and Canada, with major international airports located in Tijuana (TIJ), Cancun (CUN), and Mexico City (MEX).

We recommend travelers compare prices using sites such as Expedia.com and Kayak.com. Roundtrip airfare between Mexico and the United States can easily be found for less that $500 USD.

Make it a Domestic Flight

If you are headed to Tijuana, you will find much more affordable flights from destinations in the United States to San Diego (SAN) than to Tijuana.

Likewise, it is less expensive to fly to Yuma, Arizona and take a cab to the crossing into Los Algodones than it is to fly into Mexicali and take a cab.

What Payment Methods Are Accepted By Dentists in Mexico?

Cash is the preferred method of payment in Mexico, particularly for routine procedures such as cleanings. This is not practical for larger procedures, however, and traveler’s checks, personal, checks, Bank Transfers, PayPal, and Credit Cards are acceptable methods of payment. It is important to note that PayPal and credit card payments incur a small processing fee between 3-4% at most clinics.

Up to date information about payment methods can be found in the profiles of all of the clinics on our site.

Can I Use My Insurance?

Most of our clinics in Mexico will assist you in filling out a claims form. Before your trip, you should call your insurance company to make sure you know what forms you will need to bring.

Can I Use CareCredit to Pay a Dentist In Mexico?

No, CareCredit is only accepted within the United States.

Are Financing Options Available?

Yes, financing is available through companies like MedicalTourismLoan, and you can see options available for personal loans at MoneyRate.

Do I Need to Pay a Deposit?

Some clinics require a deposit before starting major medical work. For routine and basic care, no deposit is required. If you have any questions, a patient coordinator will be happy to assist you on your specific case.

How Do I Get Started?

 Get started by browsing high quality clinics on our site. Compare the price and quality of different providers, and get no-obligation, free quotes.

When you are ready, we make it easy to book an appointment through our site.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via chat, or give us a call at +1 (888) 382-4929

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