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Data: The State of Mexican Dental Tourism in 2024

Updated: Jun 28

At least partly due to the rampant inflation we've experienced in recent years, U.S. consumers are continually on the lookout for ways to save money. One way to cut costs, at least for those within a day's drive of the Mexican border, is dental tourism. Rather than getting their dental work done in the U.S., many people are opting to have their dental work done for 20-40% of the U.S. price in a Mexican border town.

In what follows, I review

  1. Search volume data from Google

  2. Border crossing data from the U.S. Department of Transportation

  3. Pricing data from dentists in the U.S. and Rocky Point, Mexico

My goal is to gauge the current state of dental tourism in Mexico.

U.S. Interest in Mexican Dentistry Is Up In Recent Years According to Data from Google

According to data from Google Trends, after hitting a pandemic low in 2020, interest in Mexican dentists reached an all-time high in 2022 before dropping off slightly last year (2024 data is incomplete making it too early to draw conclusions).

See the change in Google search traffic in the last few years for "mexico dentists" in the chart below.

Chart: Relative Google Search Traffic for the Phrase, "Mexico Dentists," from 2007 to 2024

About the data: Data is pulled from Google Trends, covering a period from January 1, 2007 to June 18, 2024. The numbers represent relative search volume on a scale of 1 to 100.

Pedestrian Traffic Still Down at Los Algodones, a Popular Dental Tourism Destination

Despite the increased interest indicated by heightened Google search traffic for terms like "mexico dentist," actual foot traffic to and from Los Algodones is still down following the pandemic. This is meaningful because a large share, and perhaps the majority, of tourist traffic to and from Los Algodones, Mexico, also known as "Molar City," is solely for dental tourism. In the chart below, vehicle passenger traffic, which has nearly recovered, is indicated in green. Pedestrian traffic, which has not bounced back, is indicated in blue. A large portion of dental tourists to Mexico cross from Yuma, AZ into Los Algodones, Mexico on foot. This softer demand for dental tourism since the pandemic comes despite (a) rampant inflation and (b) increased Google search traffic. Given these two factors, I expect Mexican dental tourism will make a full recovery and surpass previous numbers but is probably not there yet.

Chart: Border Traffic 1996-2024 at Los Algodones, Mexico Border Checkpoint

About the border crossing data: Data is from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The data presented represent all inbound (Mexico -> U.S.) pedestrian (blue) and vehicle passenger (green) traffic into the U.S. at the two crossing points nearest to Los Algodones, Mexico (Andrade and San Luis crossings). The U.S. government does not count traffic into Mexico from the U.S. A note about the chart: The higher numbers from 1996 to 2010 likely relate to a higher rate of non-dental tourism border crossings in earlier years. In general, the rate of Mexico-U.S. border is down quite a bit across the entire border since 2000.

The Most Popular Mexican Border Towns for Dental Tourism in 2024

There are three options for dental tourism: (1) border towns, (2) large cities, like Mexico City, and (3) resort towns like Cancun. U.S. tourists are having dental work done in all of these areas. The most popular among them, however, are the border towns. Every year, millions of U.S. consumers flock to Mexican border towns to save on dental care. The map and accompanying data table below rank the most popular Mexican border towns for dental tourism based on Google search data. The bubble size of each border town in the map below indicates its popularity for dental tourism. The reason for lower popularity of dental tourism on the Texas border is due to the presence of organized criminal activity in the area. It is generally considered to be much safer to cross the border from California or Arizona.

Map: 2024 Most Popular Mexican Border Towns for Dental Tourism



YoY change

U.S. border state





1 (tie)

Los Algodones










Nuevo Laredo




Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco)





Texas/New Mexico

About the data: These data are pulled from Google Keyword Planner tool, and indicate volume of demand for 12 months leading up to June 18, 2024.

The reason I only looked at border towns and not resort towns is that people go to border towns specifically for dental care. Conversely, people typically choose a resort town destination for the vacation aspect and dentistry is secondary.

The Most Popular Procedures for Dental Tourists to Mexico in 2024

According to data from Google, dental implants are the most searched for procedure for potential dental tourists.


Dental procedure

U.S. cost

Mexico cost

Cost savings

Cost comparison notes






Implant + zirconia crown






Zirconia crowns


Orthodontics (braces)




Standard metal braces






Emax/Zirconia - post or build-up not included



$4,100 $4,800 $5,700

$875 $1,125 $1,375

79% 77% 76%

Acrylic Valplast Metal acrylic

5 (tie)

Periodontics (diseases of the gums and jaw)




Periodontal scaling and root planing (per quad)

About the data:

  1. The most popular procedures are determined from Google search data, using the Google Keyword Planner tool, using 12 months of data ending on 18 June, 2024.

  2. Mexico pricing is from a top dentist in Rocky Point, Mexico, quoted June 2024.

  3. U.S. pricing is from a large, multi-location U.S. dentist as of June 2024

Other Popular Destinations for Dental Tourism

Mexico is not the only country people visit for dental tourism. Again, according to data from Google, Costa Rica, India, Colombia and Thailand round out the top 5 destinations for U.S. dental tourists.


YoY change

Top destination cities




Tijuana, Los Algodones, Mexico City, Juarez, Nogales, Cancun


Costa Rica


San Jose




Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad




Medellin, Cali, Bogota, Cartagena




Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai

About the data: These data are pulled from Google Keyword Planner (12 months of data, ending 18 June 2024)

Interested in Dental Tourism?

Although our specialty is vaccines for people traveling abroad, we are going to begin offering tour packages for people wanting to travel from Phoenix to Rocky Point, Mexico for dental care. Rocky Point is unique because it is not only a border town, but it is also a resort town, located on the Sea of Cortez. If you want to learn more, give us a call at (480) 712-8865‬.

A Note About Republishing Data, Tabes & Charts

Everything in this blog post is free to reuse with attribution. Please just link back to where you got it from!

About the Analyst

Aaron Charlton, PhD, is a science blogger and entrepreneur who is sometimes quoted in the media on matters of scientific integrity. He does content marketing and outreach for medical practices in Arizona, including Away Clinic.


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