"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
As a seasoned and passionate RVing expert, I have dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 5.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road. Join me on this journey and let's make some unforgettable memories.
Dental clinics abound in many border towns. I’m far from Arizona, but found a great dentist in Nuevo Progreso (Tamps), just across the Rio Grande. For a fraction of U.S. prices, she’s fit me up with two crowns and two (three tooth) bridges. Caring, gentle, and has a great sense of humor. EZPZ to park on the US side, walk over and back. Be advised that there are hawkers everywhere, offering dentists and pharmacies. Just politely say “no gracias.”
Thank you for letting us know about your experience! We all know it’s more common for people to comment with their negative or angry experiences about X subject than it is a neutral or positive one.
You’re helping more Americans see that Mexico is not some crazy, scary country. It’s great, especially when it comes to getting affordable (and good) dentistry and other health-related services.
Been to Iniguez dental many times over the last 20 years. Great dentist and well educated in California. Never worry about his work. My friends have gone there too. Everyone been happy so far.
Thank you for your story. Helps others to hear stories from people who have been there and done that and are happy with it!
Great article! My wife needed extensive work done; priced at over $22K in our home city. Made an appointment and got an estimate of $3500 in Los Algodones. The dental practice picked us up from where we were staying in Yuma, AZ, and took us back after her appointments. She needs to come back the next day as some work that was performed by a US dentist had failed after 3 years and needed to be corrected. Total bill was right at $4,000, a savings of $18,000 with a one year guarantee.
Yep, not surprised to hear this story, it’s one I hear so often, from friends, from people I’ve talked to at the border in line, Camp Addict fans, and friends of friends!
I’m thankful that I settled down here near the border so I can continue getting my dental work done by qualified dentists for pennies on the dollar compared to the USA crazy medical prices!
Sounds like you need to take a nice vacation with that saved $18,000!!!
Thank you for sharing with everyone!
People deserve to know that our media in America villanizes Mexico and everything that goes with it! Including AFFORDABLE medical and dental work.
Is there a safe place close to border to park my motor home?
Yes, there is.
If you head down the road that leads to the Algodones/USA border (186), you’ll come to a huge parking lot on the right.
You pay the day fee, and you can park there all day. It’s fenced, safe, loads of Americans use it every day to walk across the border. It’s definitely not a town you need to drive in.
If you need assistance walking, some dentists offer pickup and drop-off services. Inquire with the dentist you are looking at and see if they will come and get you. Chances are they will! Incredible, right??? : )
Thanks for the reply Kelly and for a very informative article.
You’re welcome, Cee!
Nice video. A couple of questions. It sounds like you need an appointment, but the video implies you can walk in without one. Where do you find the phone numbers of the various clinics? Also, one shot showed a sign on the desk that said cash only. Are all the dentist’s cash only? I would like to assess my needs before I decide what to do within my budget. I know they’ll need X-rays, and I would like cleaning if necessary.
Yes, SOME clinics you can walk-in and get an appointment on the spot. Not sure I’d go with those clinics. Be nice if they had at least a day or so before you could get an appointment.
You can call ahead to find out.
As far as cash only? Not sure they all only take cash. It’s likely up to the individual clinic, though I suspect most of them want cash to avoid the exorbitant MC and Visa fees.
You will probably have to go in for a consultation, I’ve seen them offered for free. Once they’ve seen you, they can tell you exactly how much it will cost and that way you can bring the cash.
Just Google search “Algodones dentist” or the like and you’ll get a long list of dentists that you can call. (They will have English-speaking receptionists)
I personally know of two couples, friends of ours, who are bright, we’ll-educated people. They did their homework. They went to Mexico for extensive dental work. Shortly after returning home they developed serious complications, including massive infections. Ultimately, the work had to be entirely redone. I generally like Camp Addict, but this topic is totally unrelated to camping. I find it difficult to read it without wondering why it is unnecessarily over-the-top and effusive in its praise of Mexican dental work; it reads like an infomercial. Hmm….
Thank you for your story, and sorry about your friends. It sucks, and problems DO happen.
I have friends who have had botched jobs done on their teeth here in the USA. (In fact, my sister has been dealing with a horror-story front tooth problem for over a year now, fighting to get the botched tooth fixed PROPERLY without it costing her any more ridiculous $$ for them to fix it.)
We always hear the bad stories (as opposed to the good) as it’s human nature to complain about such things when they happen. Also, the USA docs don’t want everyone going south of the border, cause they would all be out of jobs.
Many of these Mexican dentists have stellar medical customer service, going as far as picking you up on the USA side, taking you to the appointment, and dropping you off afterward. They even do follow-up calls/texts and visits, too, and it’s included in the cost. They are board-certified (make sure they are) and many even get their education here in the USA. I hear it over and over.
As far as it being RV-related, it’s VERY RV-related. When I researched RVing I remember it being one of the first things I learned, that so many RVing ‘snowbirds’ head south and get their teeth cleaned or repaired during the winter months (as well as a 90-day supply of their meds and prescription meds for pennies on the dollar, too), as it’s so affordable.
You’ll find most RV bloggers talk about dental work in Mexico if you look around (Check out the Wynne’s video we used, for example).
There’s nothing we gain from speaking about it other than spreading awareness that so many Americans aren’t aware of, or changing the fear-based ideas they have about Mexico being so dangerous when it’s not (thanks to our media).
Again, there are plenty of botched stories of bad dental work happening in the USA. I am grateful to have settled down near the Mexican border so I can keep getting my work done there from a dentist I trust for pennies on the dollar.
You have failed to address why your article goes to such extreme lengths to advocate aggressively for dentistry in Mexico. No, I am not a dentist, but this particular comment from you stands out: “Also, the USA docs don’t want everyone going south of the border, cause they would all be out of jobs.” What a disingenuous, hollow, mindless statement. I am no longer interested in your site or your comments. Please remove me from your mailing list.
We’re sorry you see it that way, Greg. My saying ALL dentists would be out of jobs wasn’t intended to be literal. Every person in the country doesn’t have the means to jet down to Mexico, so…
We don’t feel we’ve gone to ‘extreme lengths’ to advocate. We are simply educating the public of the options in Algodones.
We’ve removed you from our mailing list. We’re sorry to see you go.
Better beware…A dentist was recommended by readers…made an app’t. $1200 for crowns and a root canal…. that all would have been 10X that price here in USA. When I returned home at my next dental appt my dentist was horrified at the damage that had been done. The needed root-canal was
attempted, but half-done. I had to have a REAL root-canal at home. The crowns were all connected together like a train and cost me $35,000 to remove and re-crown each one correctly. Beware. Cheap isn’t always best. .
Wow, what a horrible story. Sorry to hear you went through that. We have no way to find out why you had that bad experience.What we do know is that bad stories happen on both sides of the border.
That said, for every story like this, there are thousands who cross the border for dental every year and are very satisfied with their results. We know many, many friends who have utilized the Mexican dentists (including ourselves), received great work and EXCELLENT care, and also saved themselves a buttload of cash.
I even wonder if you were taken by the USA dentist. I’ve (and friends of mine) have been taken by canine dentists in the USA. And I KNOW over-diagnosing happens in the USA all to make more money.
It’s sickening that we have to even wonder AT ALL if our providers are on the up and up. But here we are.
I was there about 4 years ago and all was good except for one thing. You save on everything except the so called deep cleaning, which was kind of pushed on me by Jose at Dental Beta. Done with the same kind of high pressure water as for cleaning teeth, but below the gum line. Two 45 min sessions and $800.00. He was not even my dentist, but came in chatted away with my dentist which I of course could not understand, and was kind of like the stereotype of a used car salesman! At that time he was the only male in the office. The owner is female too. All the women were great. I got the feeling he felt he should in charge because he’s a man. That Mexicsn Machismo thing! So say “no way Jose” and let all the nice women take care of you.
Interesting take on the male/female thing. I, too, decided that they just do things differently in Mexico. I remember someone coming in during my cleaning and chit chatting with my technician for a bit here and there. (Speaking Spanish, of course). I figure they have a different level of professionalism, and I respect that things are and will be different down there. $800??? That sounds pretty expensive for the service!
Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience! The more people hear about others who have gone down and had services, the more comfortable they will feel trying it out for themselves.