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Dental Tourism to Mexico, What You Need to Know

Updated on March 18, 2012

Many Dental Schools in Mexico are World Class Teaching Institutions

Holiday Dental has unsurpassed connections in the Mexican dental industry and education system.
Holiday Dental has unsurpassed connections in the Mexican dental industry and education system. | Source

Why Dental Tourism?

Many people in Canada and the USA are finding the cost of dental care at home to be getting unreasonable. Since 1984 the rate of inflation for dental care has outpaced overall inflation by more than two to one (source: Dental Economics). It's not surprising that dental insurance companies no longer cover the full billed cost of many dental procedures, even basic ones. This leaves many dental consumers in a squeeze, including those who have dental insurance. As a result, many North Americans are looking for ways to save money on dental care without sacrificing quality. Within any given geographic area in Canada and the US, there tends to be only minor variance in prices charged by different dentists. This is due to demographic and competitive forces within the dental profession that tend to discourage competition on the basis of price. So where can cost conscious dental consumers turn; Dental Tourism, and for Canadians and Americans that means Mexico.

Combine Top-Notch Dental Care With Beachfront Mexico Holidays

Source

Why Mexico?

For Canadians and Americans, Mexico is the logical choice for dental tourism for the following reasons:

  1. Accessibility and Convenience: Compared to almost any other country, Mexico is easy, quick and in-expensive to get to from Canada and the USA. There are direct, affordable, frequent flights from all major cites in Canada and the USA to Mexican vacation destinations.
  2. World Class Dental Education System: Mexico is a net exporter of dental education in that the over 100 dental schools in Mexico train many more dentists from foreign countries than any other dental tourist destination country. Although there is some variation in the quality of schools, several are world class teaching institutions.
  3. Great Vacation Destinations: Many people from Canada and the USA make the mistake of flying to visit Mexican border dentists practicing in gritty border towns. The reason; this is the area where dental tourism (or more accurately dental cross-border shopping) is well established to serve the needs of Americans living along the Mexican border. Dental tourists may not realize that there are dentists practicing in tourist destinations where there are beaches, palm trees and beautiful sunsets, places such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen. Furthermore, dental tourists have never had a reliable source of information regarding these dentists, until now. Holiday Dental Inc. has systematically assessed selected dentists practicing in beautiful holiday destinations.


Extensive Dental Industry Knowledge

Holiday Dental Inc. knows the Mexican dental industry like no one else.  From professional teeth whitening to affordable dental implants, going to the right Mexico dentist can save you a lot of money without sacrificing quality or peace-of-mind.
Holiday Dental Inc. knows the Mexican dental industry like no one else. From professional teeth whitening to affordable dental implants, going to the right Mexico dentist can save you a lot of money without sacrificing quality or peace-of-mind. | Source

Be Cautious: Dental Tourists Need Reliable Information

Overall, the standards of dental practice in Mexico are lower than in Canada and the United States. This has a lot to do with economic reality. Given that Mexico is a developing economy, the majority of it's citizens could not afford to visit the dentist if standards were suddenly raised to be in-line with those in Canada and the US. As a result, around 95% of dentists in Mexico have a lower standard of practice than North Americans experience at home, while around 5% meet or exceed North American standards. With those kind of odds, anyone considering dental tourism needs to ensure they have a good source of reliable information and advice, someone who knows the Mexican dental industry and the people in it and who takes the time on-site to systematically assess dental practices.

There are several potential sources of information:

  1. Dentist Directories and Dentist Websites: The problem with these sources is that they are pure promotion. It is not difficult to develop or buy a professional website. Obviously the dental tourist will not get an objective opinion from a information source that is owned or paid for by dentists themselves.
  2. Recommendations from Friends and Family: The problem with these as an information source is that most people who visit a dentist, only have a basic, consumer level knowledge of dentistry themselves. Even for someone who is knowledgable about dentistry, looking at the practice once or twice only from the patient chair cannot give an insider's perspective. There is so much that needs to be examined and questioned that may not be readily apparent.
  3. A Reliable Dental Referral Service: Although there are a few of them around, it's rare to find one that is completely objective, without ties to any particular practice. It's also very rare to find one that applies a systematic assessment tool on-site to ensure a quality dental practice. It's unheard of for a referral service to have extensive contacts within the Mexican dental industry and Mexican educational system. Additionally it's rare for access to this type of referral to be offered free to the public.

In Summary

It is highly in-advisable to enter into dental tourism blindly. Your oral and overall health are not things that should be left to chance. Consult an informed, objective source, a source who's "been there and done that" but also brings more to the table in terms of knowledge of the industry and the professionals in it.

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