Last fact checked: 4 January 2019
Book an appointment with one of Dental Departures' quality-checked dentists for low-cost dental care, where every year thousands of dental travelers save thousands of dollars on treatment!
Los Algodones (which has now earned the reputation of "Molar City") is known as the dental capital of the world, with more than 300 clinics and 900 dentists. Patients from all over the United States and Canada travel to this small town in northern Mexico for the express purpose of finding excellent quality dental care for 70% less than at home.
Many of our patients save thousands – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars – when visiting one of our dental clinics. Traveling to Mexico for dental care has exploded in popularity over the last 20 years and Dental Departures is proud to work with the very best dental clinics in Los Algodones that can provide you with top-notch care! We pre-screen every Algodones dentist we work with so you end up with the best possible experience. Take a look at some of our top clinics in Algodones:
Los Algodones is the northernmost city in Mexico, located just seven miles west of Yuma near the southern borders of California and Arizona. Most patients arrive by car from the large metro areas of Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles. Molar City dentists also treat tens of thousands of patients each year from Canada, the UK and all over the world.
Located just past the border near Yuma, AZ
Los Algodones is a great destination to visit for affordable dental care, particularly for budget-conscious North Americans and Canadians who don't want to travel far for excellent care. Here's why:
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There are only a few hotels in town, but free or discounted rates can be arranged at the Hacienda and free stays or discounted rates can be arranged through your appointment with Dental Departures, depending on the type and amount of work you require. Many patients choose their lodgings in nearby Yuma or stay at the Quechan Resort & Casino, just two miles up the road from downtown Algodones.
Yes. While horror stories abound about crime and social turmoil in Mexico, patients do not experience problems in this popular dental destination. The city has been recognized by the US government as a safe destination for tourists. Algodones is quite small (population 6,000) and relies upon providing tourists and visitors with a safe and friendly destination for their dental care. Thousands of seniors and retirees visit weekly to tend to their teeth, fill prescriptions inexpensively at one of the many reputable pharmacies or visit an optical clinic for a vision examination or new pair of specs. The town is safe for walking, safe to carry cash, and easy to navigate.
At a good clinic, absolutely. In fact, many of our patients tell us the facilities and quality of care is far better than what they experience at home. That said, of the more than 900 doctors in the area, some are better than others, and some have special skills to match your treatment requirements.
Let Dental Departures help. We only work with the most reputable clinics that have been background checked, pre-screened, and vetted for quality. Read reviews, search and compare prices. We guarantee you will receive the lowest price offered to any patient by all our clinics: no haggling is required, and you can be assured you will have a great experience. We can assist you in finding the best possible dental care.
Should you have any issue with your dental care, the procedures and lab work are covered under warranty. Competition for patients is steep; clinics only survive by providing excellent quality care. Further, when scheduling your appointment through Dental Departures, you can be sure you are visiting a quality-checked clinic and have an advocate for your care working on your behalf.
While no practitioner can guarantee 100% perfect work, fewer than one percent of our patients experience complications or other issues related to their treatment. If something needs to be fixed, we are here to help resolve any problems.
No. Most of the dentists and docs in Molar City speak fluent English or, if not, a dental assistant or staff member will be available to translate.
While US cash is preferred by most dental offices, all the quality clinics accept traveler’s checks, personal checks and credit cards. Credit card payments are typically subject to a small processing fee (typically around 3-4%). Inquire in advance which offices accept credit card payment.
The dental clinics are not typically able to bill your insurance company directly, although you may be eligible for reimbursement upon your return home. Contact your dental insurance company to inquire if they reimburse for out-of-network care and if so, what documents might be required in order to successfully process your claim.
Parking on the US side is only $10/day. Ask about free shuttles to your clinic
During the winter months, retirees and snowbirds from all over North America pack the town. Peak season is December-March, and the dental clinics are quite busy this time of year. If you plan to visit during these months, border waits can be long, and you will need to schedule your appointment further ahead of time. The good news is the weather is the best during the winter; if you can’t stand the heat, scheduling your visit during the winter is ideal.
Summer is the slowest time of the year, and while temperatures can run quite hot, you can take advantage of summer promotional prices while avoiding border waits. Late spring and early fall are also good times to visit a Los Algodones dentist.
While the streets and sidewalks improve every year, navigating a wheelchair remains a challenge. Many of our dental clinics offer shuttle services from the border, with ample lobby room for wheelchairs as well as disabled-friendly bathrooms. Many patients in wheelchairs do visit; we’re happy to help facilitate your trip and get you to one of our great clinics. Please contact us to find a clinic that can help shuttle you to the office from the border, and accommodate your needs.
Unlike many of the more exotic dental destinations like Cancun or Los Cabos, Algodones is not a resort destination and thus lacks the appeal and amenities common to leisure tourism destinations. Don’t be put off by appearances; once you step inside our dental clinics on Algodones, you can expect to find first-rate facilities and cleanliness on par with your local dental office.
Pushy street vendors are common. In addition, you will also encounter “pickers” who are paid by unethical clinics to lure patients to their offices. They can be seen on the Mexican side of the border and will approach you when you cross. Clinics that employ pickers are generally not good quality; the best dental clinics consider it unethical to employ street salesmen. Politely decline their offers and move on. Or, to avoid this annoyance, visit a clinic that offers shuttle or border escort service.
Border wait times for returning to the US can be quite long. During peak months (December-March), the wait can be 1-2 hours. Bring bottled water to refresh you while you wait. Or you can drive into town and take advantage of the air-conditioning in your car while waiting. To avoid the longest wait times, either visit first thing in the morning for your appointment, or come during the spring, summer, or fall. Summer is the slowest time of year, with minimal border wait times.
Just as anywhere, Algodones has great dentists and not so good ones. The majority of clinics are tiny single-dentist offices occupied by a general dentist and an assistant. For a filling or a cleaning, they are probably okay. While these clinics may offer full dental services, if you require more complex care, you should visit an established dental clinic that has a specialist qualified to treat you. Our highest-rated clinics are hand-selected and thoroughly screened for quality. We can help find the appropriate specialist for your case.
Sedation is not widely available in Algodones, and gas (nitrous oxide) sedation not offered. Of course, local anesthetics (numbing) is used for any treatment requiring it. For patients who require sedation or anxiety medication for treatment, it is important to find a dentist who offers this. Anxiety medication such as Valium is available, which you can request prior to your visit. If you require full sedation, select clinics can provide this service with a licensed anesthesiologist available to provide sedation. The cost is typically $400-$600. Inquire to find a clinic that offers this service.
Dozens of reputable pharmacies and optical clinics provide prescription medication and optical services for steep discounts compared to the costs in the US and Canada. Save on your prescription medications and optical care needs while visiting! Curio shops, al fresco restaurants, liquor stores, and souvenir stands provide other shopping opportunities. Our Customer Service Team can help refer patients to reliable vendors for these important add-on services.
Most patients drive to the border to find affordable dentistry, although there are several options for flying in as well. To find the border and access the dental clinics from I-8, head south for 2 miles on Highway 186 (Algodones/Andrade Road).
For directions to the border on Google Maps or MapQuest, you can type in the address of the border crossing below:
235 Andrade Road Winterhaven, CA 92283
A large secure parking lot is located on the US side of the border with thousands of parking spaces available for all vehicles. RV’s, large trucks, and 5th wheels are easily accommodated. Overnight parking is available as well. The parking lot is owned by the local Quechan Indian tribe, and quite safe. Parking costs $5-10 a day. Or, if you're staying at the Quechan Casino Resort near the border, parking is free.
Usually, US car insurance companies don't offer coverage in Mexico, though some cover the first 25 miles. (The clinics are all less than one mile from the border). If your insurance company does not offer coverage in Mexico, you can buy temporary car insurance for Mexico in Yuma. However, car insurance is not mandatory in Mexico and car theft or prowling is extremely rare, especially during the daytime. Some clinics do offer secure parking, and we can direct you to those offices.
The closest airport is located in Yuma (YUM), though flights into Palm Springs (PSP), Phoenix Sky Harbor(PHX), and San Diego (SAN) are also options. From the Yuma airport, you can take a taxi to the border at a cost of around $30. We recommended that you call a local taxi company ahead of time to schedule, as there are no taxi stands. Also, many of our better clinics offer free or inexpensive airport pickup and drop-off.
Yuma City Cab: (928) 783-4444 (928) 783-4444Foothills Taxi Service: (928) 446-8782 (928) 446-8782
A taxi can take you right to the border crossing, and the dental clinics in Algodones are all located within a four-block radius of the border. Rental cars are also available at either airport for you to drive down.
Approximate distances and driving times to the border crossing:
Entry into Mexico to receive dental treatment is quite easy: simply walk in. There is no checkpoint and no documents are required. For re-entry into the US, a valid passport or passport card is required.
The Andrade border crossing opens daily at 6:00 am and closes at 10:00 pm.
At Dental Departures, you can choose from thousands of clinics and oral surgeons from Los Algodones and around the world who deliver top quality crowns at a fraction of the price that you would pay at home.
Our website contains all the information you need to research top clinic locations and start comparing prices. We offer a best price guarantee to ensure that you get an unbeatable deal, and we also enjoy close affiliations with several independent insurance providers who can provide dental insurance for extra peace of mind.
If you have any queries, our Customer Care Team is always happy to answer your questions via our online chat facility, by e-mail or on our toll-free telephone number.
“Dentistry”. Patients Beyond Borders. 8 September, 2018.
“Dental Tourism in Latin America”. International Living. 9 August 2018.
“Mexico’s Molar City: Where Americans Go for Affordable Dental Care”. Sky News. 12 July, 2017
Moon, Freda. “Five Ways to be a Savvy Medical Tourist and Enjoy a Vacation”. New York Times. 8 March, 2017