Last updated on July 28th, 2019 at 08:19 am
Dental prices in Alberta, Canada are a staggering 20% to 30% higher than any other province in the country. In fact, dental procedures are considered costly everywhere in Canada, but in Alberta, they are insanely expensive.
Living in Calgary for most of our lives, we know having a good dental plan is absolutely necessary if you want to maintain good oral health living in Alberta. Many Albertan's without coverage, can’t afford regular maintenance visits and they hope and pray that no dental emergency crops up.
We know how shocking costs can be for emergency dental procedures in Alberta.
While we’ve been back home for a visit, Rob broke a back molar. The pain and discomfort were so bad he knew he couldn’t avoid getting it dealt with for long. He made an appointment with a Calgary dentist, one we used to see when we lived in the city.
Understandably nervous, he sat in the dentist's chair bracing himself for a lot of physical (and financial) discomfort.
The quote Rob was given for the procedures he needed ended up hurting a lot more than his tooth pain. The estimated cost for a root canal, crown, and a titanium post was between $3000-$3200 CAD!
Travel has taught us that dental procedures can be incredibly cheaper in other countries.
I had dental work done in Panama a few years ago and was shocked how much cheaper quality dental work was there.
Rob knew he had to have the procedures done to fix his broken tooth, but we had to find a way to get them done affordably.
Lucky for us, we knew someone who had had excellent dental work done for an incredibly cheap price. Rob's Mom had some dental work done while vacationing in Puerta Vallarta Mexico last year. She was so impressed with the dentist, the work she had done, and the price.
We had to find out how much it would cost for the procedures Rob needed with the dentist Mom had seen in Mexico.
Just Smiles Dental Clinic in Puerta Vallarta offers a variety of dental services including crowns (dental implants), root canals, periodontal services (treatment for gums), and orthodontics. The clinic was recommended to Mom by Canadian friends that live in Puerta Vallarta part time. Mom's positive testimonial was the inspiration we needed to find more affordable dental procedures.
After contacting Just Smiles to find out the costs for the work Rob needed the truth became crystal clear. It would cost less than half of what Rob was quoted to travel to Mexico and have the dental work done there! That's including a return flight and accommodation costs for over a week.
Here are all of the reasons why we would recommend dental tourism to Puerto Vallarta
Here's the breakdown for what we spent to fix Rob`s tooth:
- Flight- $566 CAD for a direct return flight from Calgary with West Jet.
- Accommodation- Free, Rob ended up staying with family friends in Puerto Vallarta. He had originally booked a top rated hostel close to the dental office that cost a mere $10 USD a night. If he had to pay it would have cost him under $100 USD for the 9 nights he spent in Puerta Vallarta. We were looking for the cheapest way to stay. But the truth is, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of accommodation choices in Purto Vallarta.
- Dental work- Root canal was $200 CAD; Crown and titanium post combined cost $566 CAD for a total of $765 CAD. The total is 76% cheaper than what it would have cost him for the same procedures in Alberta!
- All other living costs (food, eating out, buses, a cab)- Rob spent a total of $175 CAD on all other essential living costs! Food and transportation are cheap in Purto Vallarta. Rob tended to venture off the tourist trail where Mexicans like to eat out. The most expensive dinner out; grilled octopus, oysters Rockafeller. and two beers cost less than $20 CAD.
The total cost for the entire trip and dental work in Puerto Vallarta came to $1506 CAD.
It was 50% cheaper to fly to Puerto Vallarta, stay 9 days and get the dental work done than getting the procedures taken care of in Calgary.
It almost seems too good to be true, right? We've read horror stories about botched medical procedures done in other countries. Dental tourism can end up costing you more than what you'd spend getting dental work done in your home town. Cheapest is definitely not always best. Don't let price be the only thing you consider when choosing a dentist in another country.
We had the benefit of personal testimonials. Mom's friends have been using the dentists at Just Smiles for years and have been very happy with the work and the service offered at the clinic. Mom's glowing review was another vote of confidence that inspired us to consider dental tourism to Puerto Vallarta.
Make sure you do thorough research before booking dental procedures in Mexico. Look at Google reviews and independent testimonials. Rob and I are both really happy with the affordable dental work we had done while traveling. Dental Tourism could make a dental procedure you need a lot more affordable. Just be sure you do your research before you book.
If you'd like to know when we think the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is if you can book in advance check out this post Top Reasons Why Fall is the Best time to Visit Puerto Vallarta.
Have you benefitted from dental Tourism? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
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I live in Arizona, USA and you are right dental procedures are very costly in Alberta, Canada. An average dental checkup fee is approximately $200 there.
Very informative article. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Nice blog posting.
Thanks for sharing this, I live in Arizona so this is very relevant to me, i am right next to mexico
Not really a huge fan of dentists. I think they do great work but I get nervuous with all the drills in my mouth. Dental is expensive in Canada so I’m greatful that I have a government job with dental coverage. I have a friend in Budapest and she tells me that people travel from all over the have dental work done in Budapest as it is cheap there too…
Yes, Medical treatments can really be expensive and which is why a lot of medical tourism is on rise. My country – India is quite popular for it. Glad you found something closer to your home for it.
Karla | Karlaroundtheworld
I heard about this. A lot of people actually come here for the same reason. It’s way cheaper here too.
Carmen's Luxury Travel
It almost does sound too good to be true. But WOW, I’m so happy it’s not! Great post, really interesting to read about your experience. Thanks for sharing 🙂
It’s amazing that it’s cheaper to fly internationally than it is to get basic health care in Western countries. We’re the same in Australia – there’s a bit tourism market for medical procedures in Asia where we’re closest to. Great work coming up with a creative alternative to having to pay almost 3,000!! I figure if you have to go to the dentist, why not incorporate a holiday as a reward for being so brave!
Absoutley Meg! Hahaha, a reward is definitely deserved for enduring a root canal.
Sandy N Vyjay
With escalating costs for medical and dental treatments in many countries, it is becoming more and more cost effective to fly to a cheaper country to avail of simiar quality treatment at much lower rates. I think you have really given some useful information that is going to be an eyeopener for many.
I still can’t believe how much we saved Sandy. I hope sharing Rob’s story will inspire people that can’t afford a dentist at home to find a way financially to get needed work done.
Dental work and a vacation- interesting combination! I hope I never need another crown though!
I lived in Mexico and never thought of getting dental work. I have had dental work done in Thailand because it’s great work and it’s a fraction of the price in the USA.
Funny how a few years ago people could never imagine travelling for medical purposes. Medical tourism such a big thing nowadays. Of course one has to research to check the safety procedures and the quality of work as you mentioned. But “Hello internet/google… “
Research is so important indeed! The savings can make all the work finding a reputable dentist in another country totally worth the effort.
I am currently based in Chiang Mai Thailand and people travel here for dental tourism too! It’s not a bad idea and friends who have gotten work done here were more than happy with the results! Glad to hear Mexico is a good option too.
My Grandmother used to travel from Scottsdale AZ to Mexico for all her dental work for YEARS! After she moved back to Canada she wasn’t as capable of the travel, but her dentist here in BC often complimented the previous work she had done.