Dental Tourism on the Rise

Aspiring Mexican dentists are moving to border cities in droves and are luring American patients away from farther flung discount destinations such as Hungary and Thailand. A dental crown in the United States costs upward of $600 per tooth, compared to $190 or less in Mexico. Americans have long crossed the border for cheap medicines, flu vaccines, eye surgery or specialist doctors, but dentists are now in highest demand. “We`ve gone from a handful of patients when we started 2-1/2 years ago to 150 new patients a month,” said Joe Andel, an American who owns the Rio Dental clinic in Ciudad Juarez with his Mexican dentist wife, Jessica. Rio Dental, which uses U.S. labs to make its crowns, picks patients up at the airport in El Paso, Texas, across the border and has treated people from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. “The Internet makes this possible. It allows patients to find us and research us and shows we can do dental work of equal or superior quality to the United States,” Andel said.
Internet bloggers swap stories and compare notes about Mexican dentists, but it always comes down to money.

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