"DON'T DO IT! YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!" ...said none of the tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians who have been to 'Molar City', Mexico, for affordable dental care. HaHa.
Algodones is right outside of Yuma Arizona. It's a thriving destination for medical tourists seeking dental treatment.
If someone did say it, likely that person is crazy or had a very bad experience getting dental care done in Baja California. Let us not forget, bad dental treatment (root canals and such) can also happen in the good old United States, too.
Los Algodones Mexico is so known for dental care that it's also frequently called 'Molar City'. So if you fear crossing the border to potentially save THOUSANDS on dental care, stop that nonsense thinking right now.
Every day hundreds of SENIORS go to Mexico from Yuma, Arizona for dental care, and you're still too scared? Come on, LOL! Dental tourism is here in Baja California and it rocks!
Is It Safe To Get Dental Work Done In Mexico?
In a word, yes.
Seriously, EVERY day thousands of people cross into Mexico in search of affordable dental work from qualified, friendly, experienced dentists and dental hygienists.
Don't believe me? Just look at this line of tourists and patients going back into the United States. Yes, this was a typical afternoon. Get an early appointment and leave early if you don't want to wait an hour+ in line.
That's right. There are a ton of smart people crossing the border to save hundreds or even THOUSANDS by getting a deep cleaning, dental implants, dentures, titanium dental implants, or other related things in Molar City.
Not to mention you can also get great Mexican food in Molar City -street tacos and margaritas!
How Much Does A Cleaning Cost?
Molar City dental work is SO cheap, folks. Back in 2017, CA Kelly had her teeth cleaned at Dental Betel for a mere $20. TWENTY BUCKS!!!
In 2019, the going Los Algodones Mexico dental treatment rate seems to be $30 for a teeth cleaning. Some places may be lower, but the places most of our Xscapers friends go are pretty much $30. Not sure you want the Mexico dentist that offers the cheapest cleaning, eh?
(I just realized that both times, I went on Feb 15th. WEIRD.)
Cleanings are as thorough as you would expect from a United States dental office visit. Possibly even better.
The $30 price doesn't include being seen by the dentist. If you have something amiss and need to see the dentist, there's usually an extra fee.
Are The Mexico Dentists Good?
I and Marshall have both been perfectly happy with our cleanings in Molar City. We have lots of friends who have also been VERY happy with their crowns, root canals, and others.
Haven't heard a friend complain yet. Only have heard they have been very happy with the $$ they saved.
However, dental work is usually not just good or just bad. Even with a good dentist, there's a chance that you will have work, such as a crown, that isn't perfect. You could even have a bad experience with a dentist who has good reviews. In the United States or elsewhere.
Heck, even Camp Addict Marshall's parents have been going to the same dentist (Dental Betel) in Molar City for over 15 years and have been very happy with their results. On top of regular cleanings, they have had wisdom teeth pulled and have had crowns.
I believe that, like many other things in life, getting a recommendation from someone you know is a good way to choose. (Recommendations from us further below.)
Of course, you also want to make sure that your recommended Molar City dentist is fully certified, has good credentials, good reviews, and they have been in business for a good while.
Common Dental Procedure Sample Prices
How much do more involved treatments cost by Mexican dentists, such as teeth whitening, an implant crown, and denture treatment, fillings, root canal, or an extraction?
They are much less than what the US price will cost you.
Here are some of the prices for treatment plans listed by MolarCity.com, one of the dental clinics in Los Algodones.
Cleaning, Fillings, Extractions
Crowns, Veneers, Root Canal & Braces
This doesn't mean ALL dentists in Mexico will charge the same, but this is a pretty good representation of the amount of savings you can expect by going to a Mexico dentist.
If you are on the fence about going to Molar City for dental work, seeing typical prices and the savings you will get might help you decide it's worth it.
Diagnostics & Other Procedures
Why Is Mexico Dentistry So Much Cheaper?
Dentistry in Molar City is JUST as advanced as in the United States. The reason it's less expensive in Los Algodones is that they don't have exorbitant insurance costs as we do here in the United States.
Also, their rent is much lower in Los Algodones Mexico.
Dentists in Mexico near Yuma know that Americans need affordable dental services. This has created a boom in medical tourists crossing the border.
You can get eyeglasses, veneers, extractions, bone grafts, dental implants, x-rays of your teeth, and SO much more for a fraction of what treatment costs in the United States.
Which Molar City Dentist Should You Pick?
Medical tourists are going to have many providers offering services with a great price difference. I wouldn't suggest going to the cheapest clinic.
It's good if they ask travelers to make appointments ahead of time to get in. This means their dental services have a good reputation and that dental office is in demand.
There will be salespeople trying to 'lure' you into coming to a particular dental office. I wouldn't suggest using these dental services. If they have to push sales so much, are they that good?
I've never seen Dental Betel use anything like this in Los Algodones. Instead, you must make that appointment ahead of time. There's usually not a long wait for a cleaning, though. This seems pretty normal.
Treatment for more involved things involving the actual dentist such as dental implants, x rays, or a root canal may take longer. Plan ahead.
Want to find a good dental provider? Try to get some recommendations. Let's help you out with that.
Dental Clinics We Recommend In Los Algodones
We (Marshall and I) believe that word of mouth is the best way to find a dentist or any kind of service provider. You can consider us friends if you'd like!
Here's who we recommend, through experience and word of mouth:
- Dental Betel -Marshall and Kelly have both used this dental group. So have Marshall's parents- for a couple of decades. Dental Betel has been fantastic.
- Dr. Rubio -We have at least four other friends (couples, so actually 8 people) who each have used this dental group and have been happy with this Los Algodones dentist.
No, we don't get any kind of kickback for recommending these two Molar City dentists. They are simply who we have experience with the most, and we have friends who have had experience with the other.
If you want to ask us anything about Dental Betel, feel free to ask in the comments section. There are no guarantees that you will have the perfect experience. All we can tell you is that we have loved them. And so many others have.
If you have no friends who have been to Molar City Mexico before (and you don't trust us, lol), look online for reviews.
Here's a site that reviews dental offices in Los Algodones:
How To Get To The Molar City Of Mexico
The Los Algodones border town crossing is just west of Yuma, Arizona.
To get there from Yuma, you hit interstate 8 west from Yuma and take road 186 south to Los Algodones. (If you're not coming from Yuma, jump into the 21st century and use Google Maps pffffffft.)
On 186, there is a fee-based parking lot you can use. It's on the right RIGHT before the border.
Last time I went was February of 2019. Parking cost $7 for the day. Bring cash. Park and follow signs to walk over WITH your documentation.
Yes, you can bring your RV. I think it's more $ to park an RV.
It's gated and there's an attendant. Lock your doors before you leave, as you should/would anywhere in a populated area in the United States.
Then follow the signs and walk through a huge one-way revolving door (it does NOT revolve backwards, so once you're in, you're in) into Los Algodones Mexico.
Have I been scared my vehicle would be broken into at that parking lot? Never. Would I be scared of that happening in Molar City Mexico? Possibly.
Should I Take My Car Into Los Algodones?
You CAN cross the border into Los Algodones in your vehicle, but there can be complications. First, the line to get back in is INSANE. No way would I want to drive and then wait in that line.
Vehicles may be stopped and searched like my Raptor was at a different border crossing. Grrrr. Because I wasn't connected to my travel trailer, and I had two generators in the back of the truck, they wanted me to PAY TAX for them!
They barely spoke English. I couldn't communicate with them. It was scary. Luckily my friend Bob DID speak Spanish. He translated. I was stressed. Thank god for Bob.
I suppose they thought I was going to sell them. Had to pay tax on the sale there and then for it. Nope.
I drove back across the border. Wasted a day's worth of Mexican liability insurance (about $40).
Mexican Liability Insurance
Yep, you are REQUIRED to have Mexican liability insurance to cross into Mexico. Even for a day trip.
Also, consider that parking lots in Algodones Mexico are not readily available. Is crime on vehicles a thing in the area? I am not sure. I haven't taken my vehicle into that border town. Marshall's parents do whenever they visit, and they haven't had an issue.
For Algodones, it's just not worth it, for us.
But if you must take your car with you, say if you have mobility issues, here's a website where you can get legit liability insurance: MexPro
If you are unable to walk very far, ask the dentist if they can recommend a parking area for you. Some businesses will even provide pick-up and drop off for you.
Be aware that even with pick up/drop off, you will still have to stand/wait in line to cross back over. The earlier you make your appointment, the better. (If you get in the border line before about 11, you may have no wait at all.)
The good news is that they DO have benches to sit on while you wait in line, and it's shaded/covered (unless it's so long the line extends further than the covered area).
What's It Like To Walk Across The Border?
You don't need documentation to get IN. But of course, you WILL need your passport or other qualifying documentation to cross back into the United States.
There's no-one at the border checking your stuff to make sure you have the right documentation to get back in. You simply walk through. Mexico doesn't have entry rules at that crossing.
Once you are through the walkway and In Los Algodones Mexico, you will probably see some police cars. You may see a Mexican policeman standing around holding what looks like (is?) a machine gun. Don't be alarmed. That's normal in Los Algodones.
Straight ahead will be the big purple pharmacy. You can't miss it. It's not the only pharmacy in the area, but it's the largest, occupying both sides of the street.
There are MANY pharmacies in town.
In addition to getting affordable dental care, you can get prescription drugs in Molar City Mexico at a SUPER low cost! (Need to have a prescription for certain drugs like opioids, as the Wynne's state in the below video.)
Yes, you can even get VIAGRA! Tee hee hee.
As you walk along looking at shops, there will be friendly 'salespeople' standing around on the street asking you what you need, if you want cheap dental work, glasses, etc.
They may try to hand you a card, or usher you into the dental office or eyeglasses shop they are working for.
Algodones Is Perfectly Safe For Americans
It's Mexico. It's not the United States. So, it's a little different. But there's nothing to fear.
Streets are bustling. Cars and pedestrians everywhere. Stray dogs abound.
You will be asked to buy this and that. You will be made offers. This is ALL normal. And safe. They are trying to make a buck.
You can ask them how much or you can simply say 'no thank-you', or you can ignore them. Your choice! (Though I don't recommend choosing your dentist from a salesman on the street.)
In Mexico, friendly bartering and bantering is a way of life. Just expect it. There's a lot of shopping you can do before and after your appointment. The area is full of businesses such as restaurants, bars, clothing stores, hairdressers, massage therapists, and more.
If you ARE interested in what's for sale, a general rule of thumb is to offer half of what they offer and go from there. Not sure this will, or should, work for dental fees.
You will probably also see beggars curled up on the sidewalk asking for money. All everyday life in Los Algodones and nothing to fear.
On the street, you will see people are there for the same reasons you are. Lots of them are seniors who are getting other medical needs taken care of as well.
Almost all of the Mexicans there speak pretty good English. Visitors don't have to speak Spanish.
By the way, here's a great example of what you will experience while getting dental work done in Mexico, by Gone With the Wynnes
If you are still nervous and decide to bring a friend with you to Molar City, and they don't need dental work, they can either wait for you in the lobby or go shopping or take advantage of one of the many restaurants for a meal in Los Algodones.
Everything is within walking distance if you stay in the 'Americanized' area. (It's easy to tell where it ends.)
Is It Safe To Cross The Border Alone?
Los Algodones is extremely Americanized. As in most of the Mexicans there can speak English, they take American currency, and pretty much anyone on the street is very helpful if you need to find a place or somewhere good to eat.
There is nothing to fear at all. I promise. Especially if you stay within the 'Americanized' area, you are among a TON of other US and Canadian citizens walking around.
What is there to fear? Sure, there is a little bit of military (police?) presence in the area. That's just how it is around Molar City Mexico.
It doesn't mean that something is likely to break out/happen. Far from it.
No, they aren't trying to 'get' you, nor do they want to put you in jail. They want Americans there in Los Algodones because their livelihoods depend on it.
Because of this, they are going to treat us well, and they do! Stop watching the news. They use scare tactics all of the time. It's exhausting and it's not the reality of everyday life.
Besides, this is BAJA California. It's pretty different from MEXICO Mexico. (From what I hear.)
Both myself and Marshall would feel perfectly safe crossing over alone. It's always a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
Cellular Service In Molar City, Mexico
Speaking of letting someone know, do it before you cross over. I can hardly use my Verizon right across the border. Nor can my friends. (ATT or Verizon or T-Mobile.) An occasional text may punch through, but that's about it.
The closer you are to the border, the better your chances of it working. Most stores are very close to the border. But if you go into a store, you are almost guaranteed to have no signal.
People have mixed experiences with differnet phones and providers. Bottom line? Make sure you don't have to depend on using your phone or internet once you cross.
I have pretty much not been able to contact friends who were in Algodones while we were all in Algodones. So if you get separated, make sure you have a meet-up plan.
If you're looking to cross the border to try some Mexican dentistry, Los Algodones is your destination for great dental discounts. Park outside the border, and find over 70 different dentists within walking distance. You'll quickly see that dental tourism is in full swing.
You can find specialists, get a free consultation, get a root canal, and fill your prescriptions on your way out for pennies on the dollar compared to United States prices.
The dentist prices in Los Algodones are almost hard to believe. But when you do the research, you'll find that Molar City dental practices are safe, they beat any US price, and you'll see that Mexico dental tourism can save you thousands of dollars on keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Things like dental implants have never been more affordable!
Just ask any of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have done it.
Author: Kelly Beasley
Kelly Beasley is co-founder of Camp Addict and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since May 2015, Kelly's playful writing style helps make learning about the sometimes dull subject of RV products a bit more interesting.