According to Patients Beyond Borders, Mexico and Costa Rica are the most popular destinations for dental care, cosmetic surgery and prescription medicines. The industry has been booming in Mexico as travelers seek care at a lower cost than in their home country, saving between 40% and 65% at Mexican medical centers.
Within Mexico, the top hot spots for medical care for foreigners include Mexico City, the Cancun area, and the border towns with the US. Puerto Vallarta, however, is not too far behind. Within the last few years, dental professionals around PV have seen an increase in tourists seeking to have dental work done and most claim that demand is increasing mainly from American and Canadian tourists.
Dr. Oscar Brizuela, with Dental Integra, tells us that most of their patients are foreigners.
“Even though our clinic has open doors for anyone that needs dental care, approximately 95% of our patients are tourists or residents in Mexico and only 5% are nationals,” he explained. “This gives us an idea of the great popularity of dental treatments among foreigners that seek treatment in Mexico”.
Dr. Orlando Godínez, Dental Life Puerto Vallarta, tells us a similar story.
“We attend to locals and foreigners, although 70% of our patients are Canadian, American, and European tourists,” Dr. Godínez said. “For them it’s the same quality of work as in their home countries yet at a more reasonable price”.
Dr Arturo Pereyra, Dental Solutions Puerto Vallarta, receives tourist patients mainly from western states like California, Oregon, and Nevada for its relative proximity to PV and direct flights.
“For eastern states, many prefer to go to Cancun for their dental work,” he said. “In regards to Canada, patients come from all parts of the country; being older people, they prefer the calmness that Puerto Vallarta offers, they like that a lot”.
The most sought-after procedures in dental offices around Puerto Vallarta are veneers, dental crowns, and dental implants.
According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, traditional veneers in the United States have an average cost of about $925 to 2,500 USD per tooth ($18,500 to $50,000 Mexican pesos) and No-prep veneers starting at $800 USD ($16,000 pesos).
In Puerto Vallarta, you can find reputable dental services that charge half of that.
“Depending on the material the patient selects, prices for veneers and crowns can go from $8,000 to $9,500 Mexican pesos per unit ($400 – $475 USD)”, Dr. Brizuela says.
For Dr. Godínez, the most common procedures are esthetic veneers, with a price of about $350 USD ($7,000 MXN), dental cleaning and dental whitening. An average dental cleaning service in the US could cost $75 USD ($1,500 pesos) on the low end. Dr. Godinez’s office offers this service at just $25 USD ($500 pesos).
Nick Vannello, an American visiting Puerto Vallarta, received extensive dental work in Puerto Vallarta and says he now smiles with confidence.
“I did a full set of veneers, a bridge, and other issues,” he said. “After 55 years, I finally smile with confidence! I paid $12,000 Mexican Pesos for all my work. The quote back in the States was $38,000 USD. It was a 10-day process but you are not there every day. Each tooth is handcrafted out of porcelain. I was able to eat almost immediately after each session.”
Seasonal Puerto Vallarta resident Gavin Garner says he was satisfied with his dental procedures in Puerto Vallarta.
“I had a permanent bridge done and the basics like dental cleaning and x-rays. Back in Seattle, one single crown is $2,500 USD,” he said. “So this would have set me back $7,000 USD, but here in Vallarta I paid $1,050 USD total and they did it on two appointments instead of four. The work was excellent, I must add”.