Cheap Dental Implant Surgery in Mexico Often Costs More
Dental tourism is booming, following the previous trends of medical and cosmetic surgery tourism waves. Traveling to Mexico for medical and dental procedures has been increasing in popularity. The idea of combing a tropical vacation with some unwanted dental work sounds like a win, but how wise, or truly affordable, is it to trust your healthcare to another country? While you may save a significant amount of money up front off the “sticker price,” it is usually a risk not worth the cost, for multiple reasons. Here are some things to consider before you decide Mexico is the best place for your dental care.
- You must also factor in your travel cost when determining how much money traveling to Mexico will save you. You also need to pay for somewhere to stay during your visit and any follow-up visits required for care. If you don’t already have a passport, they run $165+ currently. There could be a dozen follow-up appointments needed for the routine care, adjustments, bite measurements, etc. for a typical implant treatment that goes according to plan. Double, or even triple that if you incur any issue along the way. These costs may negate any savings you’d have by traveling out of the country for dental work.
- Many Mexican, or other Countries’, dentists perform procedures they aren’t qualified to do. For example, dentists in Mexico go to 4 years of dental school and have 1 year of social service. Many periodontist and oral surgeons have done less than 10 implants by the time they graduate a specialty school. General dentists in other countries have even less experience. There is no continuing education in Mexico, or many other countries. Surgical tourism sites with lead you to believe their providers have the same standards and technology available in the US, which is not accurate. Their cost is also lower because there is no recourse for complications and the language barriers can cause expensive misunderstandings regarding medical laws and patient rights, which are limited.
- Many dentists in Mexico and other “cheap dental tourism” countries advertise they are members of the American Dental Association (ADA). This means nothing for their qualifications, abilities, or recourse for the patient. The ADA does not screen members, and there is little to nothing the ADA will do for someone, especially large dental tourism sites, misusing their logo. Anyone with a valid dental license can join if they pay their dues, even in the US, so don’t be fooled by this as a status marker.
- Due to travel restriction, dental work can often and improperly be rushed to please the patient. Rushing results in proper dental protocols being skipped, the use of low-quality dental labs and materials, using whatever and whoever is on hand and ready ending with poor restorations.
- There is no recourse for patients if you end up with an unqualified or dishonest dentist. Generally, you do not get a refund and are unable to take legal action against a Mexican dentist for the money owed to you. That is only if you are unhappy or something minor goes wrong. The costs to re-do something by the foreign dentist is often not cover, even when performed by them. It would be even more difficult to collect any refund if additional correction was needed, or recovery for damage. It is recommended, even by the cheap dental tourism companies, that you never pay all of the money upfront. They suggest this as a way of alleviating concerns with receiving bad dental care.
- Although more doctors and dentists are becoming prevalent in resort towns, the majority are in boarder towns. This makes for an easier commute, just a quick drive from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona & California, but it is not the ideal location of a tropical vacation. So you will need to lose the idea of getting some dental work while enjoying a nice tropical vacation.
There are too many unknowns when traveling out of the country for many to trust Mexican dental care. Dental treatment, and especially dental surgery, is a medical treatment/surgery. Everything done is specific to the patient and not a one size fits all scenario.
Did your friend that heard about a great experience really happen? Did the just get lucky? Would you be just as lucky? The costs of having poor dental care fixed stateside would significantly outweigh any savings you would gain by traveling to Mexico, or other countries for dental work. Safety is another huge reason to avoid traveling for cheap dental surgery in Mexico. The United States has a detailed list of travel warnings for Mexico found HERE. There are Level 3 travel warnings, meaning Reconsider Travel, to the northern states of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Coahuila. There is increased violence and gang activity, so if you do decide to go, make sure you know what part of the state you are traveling to and just how safe it is. Your life is not worth the risk!
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