It’s that time of the year again when Los Algodones experiences a massive influx of Americans and Canadians that are seeking to save thousands of dollars on the cost of their dental bills. Whilst you can travel to Los Algodones at any time of the year, December to March is undoubtedly the busiest period. It is estimated that the Mexican town receives close to 120,000 medical tourists each year, and the majority of these will be undergoing treatment over the next four months.
One of the main factors that contributes to Los Algodones popularity as a dental tourism destination is its convenient location close to the southern borders of both California and Arizona. Mexico’s northernmost town sits just 7 miles west of Yuma and can be easily reached from the U.S. via Interstate 8 and State Route 186, which leads directly to the international border at Andrade in California. From here, many visitors choose to leave their cars overnight in a secure parking facility as Los Algodones can be easily reached on foot. If you prefer to drive across the border, it is worth noting that most US car insurance companies will not offer coverage in Mexico, although a few will provide cover up to 25 miles across the border. It is possible, however, to purchase temporary car insurance for Mexico in Yuma before reaching the checkpoint.
Driving cross-state can take a little longer at this time of the year due to the increased number of medical tourists heading into Mexico to take advantage of the low-cost treatments that are readily available across the border. Many choose to fly in to Yuma and then take a pre-booked cab to the border. Other flight options include Palm Springs, Phoenix Sky Harbour and San Diego, although a rental car will need to be hired as it can take between 2.5 to 3.5 hours to drive to the border from these airports.
As already mentioned, the town is within easy walking distance from the US-Mexico border crossing in Andrade, and there are over of 300 dentists within four blocks of the crossing. Medical facilities and dental surgeries dominate the streets close to the border, all vying for the patronage of the endless stream of U.S. and Canadian citizens that visit at this time of the year. That being said, there are still a variety of retail opportunities in town, along with numerous bars and restaurants for refreshment and entertainment. There are also frequent festivals that take place around this time of the year to capitalize on the booming tourist trade.
The warm, dry climate that is evident at this time of the year appeals to a number of older tourists from across Canada and the United States, many of whom settle down in the winter months in the nearby towns of Winterhaven, Arizona and Yuma. From there, they travel across the border to receive quality dental healthcare for a fraction of the price that they would pay back home.
In recent years, the media has promoted a less than flattering picture of Mexico as a gang-oriented, crime-ridden country – an image that has deterred would-be dental tourists from travelling across the border. Today, the reality is very much different. There are no significant crime issues in Los Algodones and the U.S. government has officially declared the town as being a safe tourist destination. Dental tourism contributes significantly to the town’s economy, especially at this time of year, and the local community strive to create a safe and friendly environment where visitors feel comfortable and unthreatened during their stay.
Convenience and accessibility are not the only driving factors that make Los Algodones the most popular dental destination on the planet at this time of the year. Statistically, there are more dentists per capita here than anywhere else in the world, with more than 900 dentists employed in over 300 clinics within the town. This means finding a reputable dentist in Los Algodones is a relatively simple affair. Many surgeons have received international training and are fluent English speakers, so visitors do not need to speak Spanish to get by. In fact, a large number have studied and qualified in the United States are members of the American Dental Association, guaranteeing that the treatment that patients receive is at least equal to the quality of dental care that they would expect to receive back home.
Perhaps the biggest factor that attracts dental tourists to Los Algodones is the price. Whilst patients experience no difference in the quality of their treatment, they certainly experience a massive difference in the cost. There are a complete range of dental treatments available in Los Algodones, dental implants, dental veneers and dental crowns being some of the more common treatments that are regularly sought out. Generally speaking, savings of up to 70% can be made by travelling Los Algodones compared to undergoing the same treatments in the United States.
This can equate to quite a substantial amount where complex procedures are required. For example, All-on-4 dental implants is a major surgery where a full-arch prosthesis is permanently fitted onto four implants that have been anchored into the jawbone. Dentists in Los Algodones can perform this procedure for around USD $10,000, whereas the same treatment in the United States will cost somewhere in the region of USD $26,000. By transferring the whole family’s annual dental health check-ups and treatments to Los Algodones, even greater savings can be made.
Is it any wonder that hordes of tourists are choosing this particular time of year to flock to Los Algodones for all of their dental requirements? An estimated 3,000 visitors are expected to cross the border every day to enjoy the warm winter weather and take advantage of the exceptional value for money on offer in the Mexican border town. The top-quality service, ideal location and local hospitality make Los Algodones the ideal choice for truly first-class dental treatment.