It seems you're using an unsafe, out-of-date browser. CLOSE(X)

Is Dental Tourism Right for You? Or How We Saved $30,000 and Got a Great Smile–Dental Tourism: The Good, the Bad and the Molar


Let's face it. Sadly, your teeth will likely wear out before you do. That can mean a substantial financial outlay not covered by Medicare or private insurance.

When my husband, Stu, faced the Cost of extensive dentistry, we opted for treatment in Mexico. While this might seem exotic and even exciting, it was somewhat routine. And that's the way we like our dentistry—no surprises.

What came as a BIG surprise was the extreme Cost of treatment in the US.

Six months ago, Stu was getting sicker and sicker, and his ailment was tough to diagnose. Finally, it was determined that he had gum disease, causing a systemwide infection. Left untreated, it could have led to sepsis.

Our family dentist sent Stu to a periodontist, who did immediate gum therapy, and then to a dental surgeon, who performed four extractions. Next came a plan of care that included five more extractions, two root canals, 16 crowns, and whitening to match the color. By then, we needed a cardiologist more than a dentist as we were about to have a heart attack over the sticker price.

Estimated Cost: $31,800, plus the periodontal work and the first four extractions with no caps, for which we had already paid $3,000.

Here is my first piece of advice if you need dentistry.

Start with your local dentist and be honest, the Cost is hard for you to handle. As a financial writer, folks think that money can never be an issue for me or my family. Not true. This level of non-reimbursed outlay was tough to take, and while it was embarrassing, we said so. Don't hesitate to own up if you have a money issue with the Cost of treatment.

Many dentists offer dental plans, financing, or reduced rates for seniors. The National Council on Aging , benefits checkup site could uncover local dental benefits you are unaware of. When I filled out the form for my mother, I discovered ongoing dentistry discounts from a local dentist based on her age and income.

After much research concerning service quality and pricing, we decided to consider dental tourism. We told our dentist of our plans. It was essential for us to have local support in case Stu's infection returned or there was another problem upon our return. She understood. Frankly, I think she was curious to hear about our experience.

Get on our Ageless Traveler List for discounts on trips, products, and services.

Get early access to special trips so you never miss out on the deals you want.

Get invitations to unique events and happenings.

We will not send you annoying sales emails, will not share your information and will only alert you to worthwhile GOODIES!

Yes...I would like the Goodies

Read More Ageless Traveler Blogs

Road Scholar Pickleball Tour

The Ultimate Pickelball Vacation

From Road Scholar …Here's Why You Should Go Listen to the Podcast Pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in America, has taken ...
Coach Russell Elfterion Podcast

The Astonishing Rise of Pickleball

A Non-Players Perspective Listen to the Podcast As someone who has never swung a pickleball paddle or volleyed a wiffle ...
Circus Blog Post

Find Theatre and Performance Art for Children

A Resource Guide for Children's Theater Listen to the Podcast If you are a culture vulture like me, you love ...