Last fact-checked: 24 January 2019
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Tijuana is a thriving city with a growing manufacturing center and a strong cultural influence on art, politics, education and economics. Its position on the US-Mexican border at San Diego has ensured it has always been a gateway to the US, but the traffic is two-way as many US residents travel in to Tijuana regularly to conduct business, and to take advantage of its inexpensive shopping, restaurants and bars.Tijuana truly is a multi-cultural city, with residents settling here from North and South America, and from as far away as Asia. Tijuana boasts a large and growing tourism industry, with areas catering specifically to English-speaking travelers from the US and Canada. Although Spanish is the main language, many shops and restaurants have menus and signs in both languages. Thousands travel across the border safely from San Diego, accounting for up to 300,000 crossings every day at this border alone. Industry here is flourishing and none moreso than medicine and dentistry. Dental clinics here have seen a steady rise in the number of international patients, tempted by combining a holiday with low-cost dental treatments. Extensive dental services are available here, from general dentistry requirements, such as fillings, to specialist procedures, such as dental implants.
For many of us, the cost of dental implants in the US and Canada is prohibitively expensive, especially if other treatments, such as bone grafts or sinus lifts, are also required.
For US and Canadian visitors, Tijuana's location means it is easy to travel to, as direct flights can be taken either to the airport in Tijuana, or to San Diego. Accommodation is not expensive, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars to suit all budgets and requirements. Tijuana is a modern city, and its dental facilities attest to this: fitted out with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, dentists and implantology specialists here have undergone training as rigorous as it is in the US and Canada. Thousands of satisfied patients a year travel to Tijuana for their treatment, evidence the experience is well worth the trip.
Dental implants replace natural teeth. The procedure involves anchoring the implant, which acts like a tooth root, to the jaw bone. A false tooth (crown) is then attached to the implant. Sometimes, before a dental implant is inserted, a patient may need to have a bone graft, if there is not enough bone to hold the implant. Your dentist will assess the health of your mouth, including gums and jaw bone with x-rays or CT scans, prior to any implant procedure being undertaken. If there are any problems, your dentist will treat these first.The fitting of the dental implant can be done in one day. On your visit for the implant procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area where the implant is to be inserted. If the procedure is likely to be extensive, involving multiple implants, for example, IV sedation may be used.
Your dentist will then open the gum where the implant is to be fitted, and drills a small hole in to the jaw bone. The dental implant is inserted into the hole, and the gum stitched over it. This is then left to heal for a period of time, anything between six weeks to a year. During this time you will be given dentures, or a temporary bridge to wear. After the 'healing period' you will return to your dentist who will fit the permanent restoration. This involves opening up the gum to expose the implant, and attaching the false tooth. This takes one day. Each stage may require several visits for x-rays etc. Generally, it takes around 7 days for the fitting of the dental implant and the second stage needs 7-14 days. If you need a bone graft, or sinus lift, the process may take three to six months for the bone to mesh with the abutment.
Dental implants in the US cost between $1,800 and $2,500. These prices do not include the crown and so the real cost could be double that, up to around $5,000. In Tijuana, a complete dental implant, including the abutment and crown starts as low as $1,200. Tijuana offers competitive prices for dental implant treatment in state-of-the-art facilities. With direct flights and robust accommodation choices it is definitely worth your consideration.
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"Tijuana and the Mexico-US Border Crossing". NASA. 14 April 2018
Weber, Jude. "Tijuana: From Party City to Tech Hub". Financial Times. 20 June 2017