For the past 20 years, there has been an increasing movement of US dental patients, looking to save money, to go for dental treatments outside the US. The reason that motivates them, is simply, high quality dental treatment can be done for less than 1/3 the price, as in the US. Tijuana, being strategically located, just south of San Diego, CA, has become the principal destination for dental tourism worldwide. However, there are now, even more reasons for going to Tijuana, Mexico for dental work. That being, the volume of dentistry, and the increasing competition for new patients, has motivated dental clinics and laboratories to invest in state-of-the-art technology.
For many years, the increasing numbers of dental patients from the US, has attracted the best dentists in Mexico to set up practices in Tijuana. In fact, one of the top-rated dental Universities is the Country is UABC, located in Tijuana. The competition has fueled dentists offering the newest and best treatments, dental implants prosthetics, including all on 4 and all on 6 technologies. Many local clinics utilize digital x-rays, ct-scans, and oral imaging. Most dental labs utilize laser scans, to make cad-cam restorations.
Another new trend is many dental clinics are now putting their own dental labs on site, at the clinics. Many now offer intraoral scanning and imaging in the dental chair, and with their in-house lab, can offer same day dental restorations, Intraoral laser scanning is done in the patient’s mouth, instead of taking dental impressions. The margin for error is nil, and the crowns are digitally designed in minutes. The cad-cam file directs the milling machine to create monolithic crowns out of zirconia or porcelain material, then heated in a kiln, and glazed. The whole process for 1 to 8 crowns, takes one to three hours. Most dental work, if started in the morning is ready to cement by that afternoon. Just imagine, getting a new smile the same day, or your whole mouth done after 2 days. Not even in the US can you get that kind of service. Most US Dentists will usually drag the whole process out over many visits, over a couple of weeks, and they may use a dental lab where they must send the impressions out by messenger. And if some corrections must be made in the dental work, it can’t be fixed immediately, but will cause more delays.
Not all dental clinics in Tijuana have their own dental labs, but it is a growing trend. Although there are many independent labs that do great work, when an individual clinic has an in-house lab, they can control the quality of the dental work, by better communication between the lab tech and the dentist. They can also make any changes to the design, or corrections very quickly. Having a digital dental lab set up in the clinic, the turn around for dental work can be very fast. According to Dr Gabriela Torres, Administrator of Dr Mexico in Tijuana, “Since we have set up our own digital dental lab, the level of quality has greatly increased, while our turnaround time on dental crowns is about a third of what it has been, the patients are very impressed, as well as greatly pleased with the results.”
When a potential patient does their research on the internet, they should look for a dentist in Mexico with an in-house digital dental lab. This will help insure that they go to a clinic with the best technology, increasing the probability of high-quality dentistry, in the shortest time frame. Not only will they be more pleased with the results, but this will help them to save a lot of time, and hotel costs because of faster turnaround.