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  • Mary Schreiber Swenson Phd.

How Mexico and Costa Rica Became North America’s Top Destinations for Dental Medical Tourism

While many medical patients are determined to receive care from local service providers for the sake of convenience, prevalent issues like pricing transparency and insurance coverage issues have left many consumers around the world without the care they need – especially when it comes to dental care.


Uncovered by most employers’ insurance plans in the United States, the majority of U.S. consumers are forced to pay for their dental care out of pocket, pushing many Americans to forgo their regular cleanings in hopes of reducing financial strain.


But for many across the globe, a solution has emerged to combat the affordability at its roots: medical tourism, the act of traveling to another country to receive medical cost-efficient care with effective results.


For dental, medical tourism (also known as travel for treatment) has provided amazing opportunities for people all around the world that can’t stomach the cost of procedures to actually receive the care they need and put their teeth health back on track.


Though there are many prominent dental medical tourism destinations to choose from – Thailand, Poland, Turkey, and the Philippines, just to name a few – in North America, it’s Mexico and Costa Rica that have earned the top travel spot for dental care, bolstered by their internal dental infrastructure and close proximity to the United States and Canada.


In Mexico – where the town with the world’s highest concentration of dentists is just a quick drive across the southwest U.S. border – low pricing and an abundance of trained dental professionals has quickly turned the emerging country as one of the must-visit destinations for dental care, where out-of-pocket pricing is even more affordable than care provided under U.S. dental insurance.


For common yet necessary procedures like root canals, U.S. dentists charge between $1,000 and $1,500 on average for the treatment, while Mexican dental professionals offer the same service at up to 80 percent less. This extends into cosmetic treatments as well, as a set of high-end porcelain veneers can carry a price tag of at least $2,000 per tooth in the United States, while a single porcelain tooth of the same quality is only a fraction of the cost in Mexico at an average price of $330.

Costa Rica has likewise emerged as an sought-after medical tourism destination over recent years, with the dental industry rising in prominence alongside the country’s overall tourism demand. Here, patients can find crowns for approximately $550 a piece, some 70 percent less than pricing in the United States.

Though the pricing of these life-changing health and dental fixes is an undeniable draw for patients, so are Costa Rica and Mexico’s abundant natural landscapes. Many medical tourists are inspired to plan their medical journeys around the country that they visit, so they can enjoy the best of the unique attractions a place has to offer before receiving treatment, and Costa Rica and Mexico’s breathtaking nature is certainly no exception.

While planning a medical tourism trip for dental or other needs can be confusing, it doesn’t have to be: please contact MySmilesChoices’s Mswensonphd@gmail.com for more on how you can get started on your dental travel for treatment journey today.


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