Los Algodones “Molar City” in Mexico: Your Guide to Getting Dental Implants and More

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Did you know there’s a place in Mexico, so popular for dental work that it’s actually acquired the nickname Molar City?

That’s right! Tucked into the corner of Mexico that borders Arizona and California lies the tiny town of Los Algodones (it’s official name). Despite having a population of just 6,000, there are an estimated 600 Molar City dental professionals there. The reason Los Algodones is called Molar City is that thousands of medical tourists flock to Los Algodones every day for dental work.

But why do so many people cross the border to see a Los Algodones dentist? The answer is simple: Los Algodones dental prices are much lower than in the US and Canada. Plus, you can have extensive treatment carried out by a qualified Los Algodones dentist on a single day trip to Molar City.

If you’re considering getting dental work in Los Algodones, Mexico, this guide will help you:

  • Get an idea of Los Algodones dental prices
  • Find the best Los Algodones dentist for your needs
  • Prepare to cross the border
  • Deal with the practicalities of visiting a Los Algodones dentist

We hope this information helps you decide whether to get your dental implants or other dental work in Molar City. Be sure to read our full guide to dental tourism for more advice and information on Los Algodones dental implants and other dental care in Molar City. 

Why get dental implants in Los Algodones, Mexico?

If you’re thinking of going to Los Algodones for dental implants, you’re not alone. That’s because a startling number of Americans, particularly seniors, find themselves without dental insurance when they most need it. In fact, as many as 88% of those of over 65 years of age don’t have dental coverage and therefore skip dental visits. Even those with insurance find themselves facing a bill of thousands of dollars for more expensive treatments like dental implants.

In the search for more affordable dental care, more and more people are heading overseas. But what makes Los Algodones, Mexico dentists so popular with Americans?

Dentists in Los Algodones are on the border

One of the reasons why so many people head to Los Algodones for dental implants is its location. Since it’s located right on the border, you can park in the US, walk across, and be in your Los Algodones dentist’s chair within an hour or so.

Dental trips to most locations are only cost-effective if you need extensive and costly treatment since you have to factor in the cost of flights and accommodation. With Los Algodones, however, people living nearby might decide it’s worth making the trip for just a checkup and cleaning, or a single filling.

dental work in los algodones mexico
Consider the number of trips you’ll have to make to your Los Algodones, Mexico dentist

Similarly, Molar City is one of the few dental tourism locations where it’s possible to get orthodontic work. The need for regular checkups usually prevents people from traveling too far for braces, but the border crossing can be worth it when there are thousands of dollars at stake.

Even if you live farther away and need to drive for a few hours to reach the border, the potential savings on your dental work might just be worth it. And you might not even need to drive yourself, some clinics offer transport for patients as far away as Phoenix, nearly 200 miles away.

Los Algodones dentist prices

Don’t confuse a trip to Molar City with a dental vacation; the only reason to visit is to take advantage of low-cost medical care and pharmaceuticals. If you’re after somewhere more vacation-friendly where you can enjoy some time away, consider Cancun or somewhere in Costa Rica.

For those just looking to save money in Los Algodones on dental implants and other dental work, the numbers speak for themselves. Here are some approximate Los Algodones dentist prices to give you an idea of how much you could save:

TreatmentApprox US priceApprox Los Algodones price
Single dental implant $1,500 - $6,000 $750 - $2,000
All-on-4 implants $15,000+ $7,000+
Porcelain crown $800 - $2,000 $340 - $550
Porcelain veneer $500 - $2,500 $320 - $600
Root canal $700 - $1,000 $200 - $500
Laser teeth whitening $400 - $1,800 $190 - $550
Full acrylic denture $800 - $1,500 $250 - $600
 
Some US dental insurers have network dentists in other countries so it might be worth checking if you could save even more that way. However, there is more to consider than price alone when you book a Los Algodones dental trip.

Quality of Los Algodones dental care

Of course, most patients want more than just cheap dentistry and convenience; they want to know their Los Algodones dentist is qualified and experienced and operates to high standards.

Los Algodones dentist
Research your Los Algodones dentist carefully

Sadly, as Los Algodones has built its reputation for dentistry it has attracted some who are more interested in their profit than in caring for patients. Once you cross the border you’ll be met by hordes of hawkers, usually working on commission. The clinics they represent may be fine, but there is no way of knowing unless you do your own research. The best way to avoid getting less than satisfactory dental work is to explore your choices thoroughly and choose a dentist in Los Algodones in advance based on their experience and reviews.

To get an idea of just how many dentists there are to choose from in this town, take a look at the video below. It also gives you a good feel for the place—you’ll see the majority of people milling about are tourists.

I wanted to video every dental office in Los Algo. I failed, as there are just too many of them. They are stuffed into every nook and cranny of the place. But I did my best, so enjoy it! Note: I do not endorse any specific dentist. I have actually NEVER had dental work done in Los Algodones, although I have had dental work done in other Mexican border towns and it was OK. I have heard good things in general about Los Algodones but I don't have experience with any specific dentist there.

Keep in mind that all the research in the world won’t guarantee successful treatment from the Los Algodones, Mexico dentist that you choose. There are good and bad dentists everywhere, and even the best dentists occasionally get things wrong. Plus, treatment can fail for reasons beyond their control. Because of this, it’s important to also find out what guarantees your dental work comes with.

Planning Mexican dental tourism in Molar City

Once you have chosen a Los Algodones dental clinic, there are still some other aspects of your trip to consider. It can be helpful to have someone accompany you, especially if you’ll be sedated for your treatment. Here is a quick guide to some other things you’ll need to think about.

Getting to your dentist in Los Algodones

There are a number of ways to reach the border. Most people drive, but you can also fly to nearby Yuma International Airport and then take a taxi or public transport to the border. You can see the position of the border crossing in relation to Yuma and Los Algodones in the map below:

Los Algodones map
The crossing is actually in California

Here are approximate driving times from nearby cities:

  • Yuma: 15 minutes
  • San Diego: 2.5 hours
  • Phoenix: 3 hours
  • Los Angeles: 4 hours
  • Las Vegas: 4.5 hours

As mentioned above, many clinics offer a pick-up service from certain locations to make the journey more convenient.

Crossing the border for Molar City dental care

You’ll cross from the US to Mexico at the Andrade, California border crossing, a few miles northwest of Yuma, Arizona. A passport is the only documentation you’ll require, but upon returning to the US you may be asked about anything you bought in Mexico, especially liquor and prescription drugs.

dental los algodones
Crossing on foot for Molar City dental care is usually quicker than by car

The majority of Los Algodones dental tourists find it most convenient to park on the US side of the border and walk across. There are ample parking lots charging around $6 per day or $16 if you stay overnight. There is really no need for a car in Los Algodones since everything is within walking distance, and it’s generally faster to cross by foot than in a vehicle. If you do decide to drive over, ask your Los Algodones dentist where you’ll be able to park.

Crossing from the US to Mexico is generally straightforward but people report a wait time of up to two hours at busy times for the return trip. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes just in case! This video shows what to expect as you make the Los Algodones border crossing:

This video accompanies a blog post with tips and precautions for a successful visit to Los Algodones, Mexico. See the post: http://www.heatherinternational.com/los-algodones-mexico-dental-review/ While preparing for this trip, I searched for such a video and was unable find one, so I made this for you all. Familiarity eases the nerves. This is literally the first video I ever put together. It's shaky and the audio is terrible (it's just my iPhone), but Please don't be too critical! Buena Suerté en Mexico!! Website: http://www.heatherinternational.com Contact: http://www.heatherinternational.com/contact

Hotels in Molar City

Many patients just visit Los Algodones for the day. Even if your treatment requires multiple visits, it’s much easier to return home in between trips to your dentist in Los Algodones than it would be if you visited somewhere further away.

If you do need to stay in Los Algodones for a few nights, ask your clinic if they provide free or reduced-rate accommodation as this is often included with treatment packages. Otherwise, there are a handful of Los Algodones hotels you can book online. You might also choose to stay in a hotel on the US side of the border and travel across each day.

Although Los Algodones is a small town, you’ll probably appreciate being able to stay as close as possible to your dental clinic. The less traveling you have to do after major dental work, the better. Your clinic might even provide free transfers to and from your accommodation so you can avoid walking the streets with your mouth still numb. So make sure to ask your dentist in Los Algodones if there is a particular hotel that they recommend. 

Paying your Los Algodones dentist

Los Algodones dental care
Take cash to pay for Los Algodones dental care

US dollars are widely accepted in Molar City so you don’t need to worry about changing money.

If you pay your dentist in Los Algodones by credit card, your card provider will probably charge you an overseas transaction fee, typically between 2.5% and 5%. Clinics may also charge a fee for debit or credit card payments. You can avoid any extra fees by bringing cash with you, to really optimize your savings on Los Algodones dental prices.

It’s common for dentists in Los Algodones to split payments according to the work you have done each day. Be wary of paying in full upfront since it ties you into that dentist. If you later change your mind it could be hard to get your money back for any incomplete work.

Crime in Molar City

Some dental tourism locations in Mexico have suffered because of problems with crime. Fortunately, Los Algodones is not one of these. The little town exists on medical tourism and doesn’t have the issues with drugs or violence which put people off visiting larger Mexican cities. It’s a small community where people look out for each other, making going to Los Algodones, Mexico for dental work a safe option.

Reviews of visitors to Los Algodones, Mexico for dental work say they feel quite safe walking the streets as they do some shopping or visit local restaurants. There isn’t much else to do there, so you might fill some time by going for an eye test at one of the many opticians there. You could also stock up on prescription drugs at a pharmacy.

Although Molar City is a safe place, it’s still a good idea to take some common-sense precautions when you travel there. Don’t take valuables unless you need to, and keep any cash safely hidden away until you need it.

You can find more general advice and information about getting dental work in Mexico here.

How to find Los Algodones dentists

Word-of-mouth is a great way to find the best dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico for your needs. If you live close to the border you may well know someone who has been to Los Algodones, Mexico to see a dentist. If so, ask them for their advice and recommendations for dentists in Los Algodones based on their experience.

Molar city dental
If you’re getting implants, find a Molar City dental implant specialist

At the same time, remember that different dentists specialize in different fields. The dentist that did a great job on your friend’s veneers isn’t necessarily the best dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico to do your implants.

Your Los Algodones dentist will no doubt be able to provide you with patient testimonials, but it’s a good idea to research independent reviews for Los Algodones, Mexico dental work as well. Review sites and forums are a good place to look for these. We also have a separate article featuring reviews from people who visited dentists in Mexico, including Los Algodones.

Los Algodones dentist review

To get you started, here is a Los Algodones dentist review from one patient who got a dental implant in Los Algodones, Mexico. He had an extraction and bone graft as part of his treatment.

Erik & Kala travel south of the boarder to Los Algodones, Mexico where they prepare for a tooth extraction and dental implant for Erik. Full article available at http://livinlite.net/mexico-dental/ Walking Maps of Los Algodones: http://livinlite.net/mexico-dental

The accompanying blog has a lot more useful information for anyone planning a Molar City dental trip.

Los Algodones dentist qualifications

When looking for the best dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico for you, you need to make sure that they have the necessary studies and training. You can even take it a step further and check to see if a dentist you are considering in Los Algodones is board certified by going to the Mexican Dental Association’s website. 

Does your Los Algodones dentist include aftercare?

Especially with rather invasive procedures, you’ll probably need follow-up appointments with your dentist in Los Algodones in the weeks or months after your Molar City dental procedure. As the Los Algodones dentist that you are considering if aftercare is included in the care they provide. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for affordable dental work, then you may want to consider a visit to a Los Algodones dentist. Molar City is a popular place for Americans needing dental work, because it’s located right on the border and hundreds of qualified dentists work there. Before you go, make sure to read plenty of Los Algodones dentist reviews to make sure you find the best dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico for your needs. 

FAQs

How can I find Los Algodones dentist reviews?

This is a great question because reading reviews in one of the best ways to find your Los Algodones dentist. You can find Los Algodones dentist reviews and recommendations by first visiting the dentist’s website and reading patient testimonials. These should be taken with a grain of salt of course, since the provider probably won’t include any negative reviews on their site. 

It is also important to search the internet for independent Los Algodones dentist reviews. It may seem obvious, but sites like TripAdvisor are a great place to start. 

How much do dental implants in Los Algodones, Mexico cost?

The Los Algodones, Mexico dentist prices that you will find depends on your individual dentist in Los Algodones. That being said, you’ll find that Los Algodones dental prices are much lower than you would find in the United States. The average cost for a single dental implant in Los Algodones is between $700 and $2,000, whereas in the US a single tooth implant can cost you between $1,500 and $6,000!

Just remember that price isn’t everything and you shouldn’t choose your dentist just by trying to find the Los Algodones, Mexico dentist with the best prices. It’s important to read plenty of Los Algodones dental reviews as well before you decide. 

What is Molar City?

If you’ve been on the search for cheaper dental work in Mexico, chances are you’ll have heard of Molar City by now. Molar City is the nickname given to Los Algodones, a town on the border of Mexico and Yuma, Arizona, because it’s become such a popular place for dental work. Molar City prices for dental work are comparable to other cities, and the quality and convenience factors are quite high. 

 

Los Algodones “Molar City” in Mexico: Your Guide to Getting Dental Implants and More
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Sources

Johns Hopkins: Fewer Older Americans Have Dental Insurance. Consulted 1 October 2019.

LivinLite.net: Mexico Dental Part II — A Guide to Dental Surgery in Los Algodones. Consulted 1 October 2019.

 

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