Dental Tourism

posted 2 years ago in Finances
Post # 16
9127 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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bewitched :  also many other countries (not 100% sure if Mexico is one of them) don’t regulate cosmetic procedures the same way they do medical care which is where a lot of those problems come from. 

Post # 17
1063 posts
Bumble bee

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LilliV :  that makes sense. I’d still be worried about any complications. Even a reaction to anesthesia or a new medicine could a patient in the hospital. I’d make sure my insurance would cover that stay. Otherwise it’s not financially worth it. She could even end up paying more out of pocket. 

Post # 18
817 posts
Busy bee

I haven’t personally done it but i’m originally from Europe and many of my family members have done this on their visits back. If your husband knows the language and is Mexican himself I’d see if he can get recommendations for you through friends and family. Although not always, some people like taking advantage of tourists so him doing the initial inquiries would be helpful. 

Post # 19
2623 posts
Sugar bee

I actually know several of my parents friends in their 60s that go to Mexico for certain dental work. And these are highly educated, well off people.

My uncle for example is an astrophysicist and they own a fancy home in Mexico where they spend half the year. We’re from a large city in Canada and they could afford it here, but they always wait to have any dental care until they’re there because it’s cheaper and as high quality. A number of their other friends that also have vacation homes in Mexico do the same. 

I can’t personally attest to any experience myself or give any other direction/information than that, all I can say is that I know that it’s done and they’re very happy with the outcome. I believe they travel from the beach town where their home is and go somehwere in Guadalajara. 

(eta: I know that the opinions of the educated and well off aren’t more important than others’ I just mention that to point out that going to Mexico isn’t their only option. Also that they most likely researched it, and are familiar with it because they’ve lived there half the year for 5-10 yrs)  

Post # 20
1306 posts
Bumble bee

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gardunobee23 :  

 “I am 26 years old now, and my teeth are causing me to dig into a deep, dark state of depression I don’t know how to pull myself out of. “

First of all, hugs.  I empathize with you.  I went without dental care for much of my youth and as young adult (right through your age) I couldn’t afford much beyond cleanings and it was so hard to keep up with a treatment plan.  Even though I have more money to throw at dental now I still have such anxiety about the whole thing because of all those years.  It sucks.  And it can destroy confidence & self image. 

Horseradish gave good advice on the nuts & bolts of embarking on implants in a foreign country.  Your husband being Mexican & I’m assuming speaks the language and has connections there is helpful.  I have met (casually) medical tourists in Mexico that had good experiences and it is a totally normal thing to do.  Don’t have reservations about it on the surface. Just think it through (the concierge & recovery mentioned)  and do your research and there is no reason not to pursue.

You are young, with a lot of life ahead of you.  Do get your grill fixed in a way that won’t be such a burden anymore. It’s a huge thing.  And you absolutely deserve it.  



Post # 21
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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LilliV :  Agree. The idea that American health and dental care is better because it’s more expensive is just Stockholm syndrome. 


Post # 22
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Urgh dental work. Even if you have the best insurance here in Australia they will only cover a fraction of the cost of major dental, which gets to 5 figures faster than a fat kid on cake

I just want to extend my complete sympathies. Dental work in Australia is akin to the cost of work in the US and so for many is entirely unaffordable. Many people here go to Thailand or Malaysia. It’s rare for there to be complications, just be wary of the “packaged deal medical holiday” as they’re usually too good to be true. I brush and floss every day, but it’s in my genes to have weak teeth and I feel like I’m just racing against the clock. Constantly paranoid to the point I have a phantom pain in my top right jaw. It’s been looked at by 4 different dentists, x-rayed multiple times, nothing wrong. Just my mind playing tricks.

Also doesn’t help that I struggled with a non-aggressive B/P disorder from 2012-2015 – that acid did some damage I tell you.

Dental work man. It’s a stressor.

I would say absolutely go for the dental tourist thing. You’d be silly not to. Just make sure you do your research first.


Post # 23
9184 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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gardunobee23 :  I go to Thailand for all my dental work. I get it all done at the Bangkok-Phuket Hospital. Those saying that getting dental work done outside of the USA is unwise have obviously never done any research on the subject. 

All of the dentists where I go are highly trained, usually in the US, UK or Australia. The clinics are well beyond what you get here even in the high income areas. If you have significant work complete they even pick you up and drop you off or they offer a hotel attached to the hospital where nurses look after you. All for a fraction of what it costs me back home (Australia). The staff are friendly and professional as well.

I also have had a breast reconstruction done in Thailand. I got a doctor with more training and advanced latest procedures for less money than what was on offer in Australia. 

My tip is to do your research. Not just of the clinic but the practioner as well. There are of course dodgy operators that will take advantage of people but that happens in your home country as well. 

Also want to point out that a tourist having botched medical treatment o/s is a headline that sells stories, especially in this political climate for Mexico. Do some investigation into complaints against medical practioners in your state and you will find some scary stuff. It just doesn’t make the news usually.

Post # 24
6166 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

I have and will again. We are traveling to Europe in the summer and I need to have 2 caps on root canals that I had done last year. Our insurance doesn’t cover the 3k cost. I’m going on vacation there anyway & I already have my appointments set. The total for both is only going to cost me roughly $700 at a modern, reputable dental clinic. If you need a lot of work done I would definitely go for it.

Post # 25
1703 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Dental hygienist here, I work in an office that specializes in high anxiety patients and sedation dentistry, and my doctor does All- On – Four cases several times a year (one today in fact). 

Honestly, if you can get some good recommendations from locals and do your due diligence with research, I see no issue with having dentistry (or medical procedures for that matter) done in another country where it is much more reasonably priced and you will likely get a good result. 

That said, we have had some patients who went to the Phillipines for their work, in one case the work was clinically sound but very unattractive, and the other has decay around several of the crowns as well as abcesses that were either untreated prior to the work or caused by it and now they are having to spend thousands more for us to fix it. 

The All-on-four is a fantastic option, but a brutal surgery (done under sedation thankfully), and you will have to go back to the clinic 2-4 times depending on the case, and you will need a local dentist for the 1-2x yearly maintenance cleanings for the supporting implants (yes, implants need to be cleaned too, preferably by an office that utilizes an air polisher for biofilm removal). 

America is not the end-all-be-all of exceptional medical and dental care, we are pretty far from it actually as much as it pains me to say it. I love my job and taking care of my patients, and never judge if someone needs extensive work but cannot afford for us to do it. My doctor doesn’t like it when I tell patients it’s okay to look in to having it done out of country, so I just wait until he is out of the room for that conversation, because it is so much more important for overall health that the work get done than it is for *us* to do it, you know? 

*hugs* I am so sorry you are struggling with this, and I hope you find a great clinic that can get you a smile you can feel confident in! 


Post # 26
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

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gardunobee23 :  The saddest part of your post is the fact that you sound resigned to the fact that losing all your teeth at your age is a viable option. Who discussed these treatment options with you? Your current dentist? Why did he go ahead and do the root canals and schedule for 3 crowns if your teeth were not salvageable? Implants are now lasting quite a long time, but I’d be hard pressed to find an ethical  dentist willing to remove teeth that can be saved , just because a patient wants them all out. 

Currently, implants are lasting approximately anywhere from 10-20 years, and without having any problems, that means you’d be needing to be thinking about replacing them in your mid 40’s.They won’t last forever! They can break, get infected like natural teeth, loosen and generally fail. There is no guarantee that you will be happy and dental care free for the rest of your life, if that’s what you’re thinking. 

It sounds to me like what you really need is to have a good diagnostician handling your care and have your treatment spread out over time. When everything else has failed, then look in to implants. Has your current dentist helped you figure out why your mouth is not responding as hoped? Has your bite been adjusted or are you taking any medications causing your mouth to be more dry, thus setting you up to have a high decay rate? There are many things that can be done to save what you have before going to such a drastic step. I hope you reconsider throwing in the towel and going this route. 

Post # 27
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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gardunobee23 :  I haven’t done it myself, but being in Australia, I’ve had several friends with terrible teeth go to various parts of Asia for dental work.  I think the most popular was Sri Lanka. 

They got various types of work done, such as crowns, dentures and caps.  All of them came back with perfect smiles and no complications.  They were incredibly happy with the result.  

Of course there is a risk, and you have to really thoroughly do your research, but there are also risksin western countries too.  I think there are forums about dental tourism that you can look at. 

Post # 28
21 posts
  • Wedding: November 2014

I am a dental hygienist and have written a magazine on this exact topic. My advice would be do your research. In mexico to be a dentist it a 4 year education in the states it is an 8 year education. If you could find a US trained dentist practicing in mexico i would be more comfortable.. Mexico also has different rules on the materials being used. I am not sure what you are getting but if its implants( i think what you mean) i would not go overseas. Offen implants fail and need close monitoring, it would be hard to find a dentist who would try to treat or save a tooth that has been working on in a different country.

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