Americans are heading to a Mexican town for affordable dental work

Aug. 8, 2017Updated: Aug. 8, 2017 6:42 p.m.

1of54Los Algodones, near the US/Mexico border, has become known as Molar City due to the number of affordable dentists that reside in the city. 

See historical photos from the U.S.-Mexico border.

GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images

Historical photos of the U.S.-Mexico border 2of54

Historical photos of the U.S.-Mexico border 

Time Life 3of54

While some politicians like to paint a picture of the U.S.-Mexican border as a pre-militarized zone waiting for a wall and a soldier to keep it safe, in many cases the border resembles a neighborhood much like any other.4of54While some politicians like to paint a picture of the U.S.-Mexican border as a pre-militarized zone waiting for a wall and a soldier to keep it safe, in many cases the border resembles a neighborhood much like any other.US Customs And Border Protection

What the U.S./Mexican border really looks like While the border is often depicted as a desert wasteland filled cacti and rattlesnakes, in many cases the border resembles a neighborhood much like any other: some nice houses on one side of a street, some more nice houses on the other side of the street. See some of the more interesting cross-border pairings between the neighboring countries.5of54What the U.S./Mexican border really looks like

While the border is often depicted as a desert wasteland filled cacti and rattlesnakes, in many cases the border resembles a neighborhood much like any other: some nice houses on one side of a street, some more nice houses on the other side of the street. See some of the more interesting cross-border pairings between the neighboring countries.

Photo: US Customs And Border Protection6of54

Near Brownsville, Texas This protect wildlife area buffers the Gulf of Mexico as the border's most eastern point. The area serves as rich nesting habitats and wetlands for birds on both sides of the border.7of54Near Brownsville, Texas
This protect wildlife area buffers the Gulf of Mexico as the border’s most eastern point. The area serves as rich nesting habitats and wetlands for birds on both sides of the border.
Photo: Google Earth

Brownsville, Texas - Matamoros, Mexico Well cared-for homes with backyard pools are sought after features for homebuyers on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border.8of54Brownsville, Texas – Matamoros, Mexico
Well cared-for homes with backyard pools are sought after features for homebuyers on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border.
Photo: Google Earth9of54

Laredo, Texas The city of Laredo has not one, but two, baseball parks overlooking the Rio Grande and Nuevo Laredo on its western shore: the community-friendly Father Charles M. McNaboe Park seen here and the Anna Baseball Park to its south. A school ballpark also sits near the river.10of54Laredo, Texas
The city of Laredo has not one, but two, baseball parks overlooking the Rio Grande and Nuevo Laredo on its western shore: the community-friendly Father Charles M. McNaboe Park seen here and the Anna Baseball Park to its south. A school ballpark also sits near the river.
Photo: Google Earth

Heroic Nogales, Mexico - Nogales, Arizona At more than 10 times the population of its northern neighbor of a similar name Heroic Nogales certainly does look like quite the superpower.11of54Heroic Nogales, Mexico – Nogales, Arizona
At more than 10 times the population of its northern neighbor of a similar name Heroic Nogales certainly does look like quite the superpower.
Photo: Google Earth12of54

Hidalgo, Texas - Reynosa, Mexico Few borders are a straight line, but here the winding Rio Grande border makes a peninsula for all practical purposes out of Renyosa, Mexico.13of54Hidalgo, Texas – Reynosa, Mexico
Few borders are a straight line, but here the winding Rio Grande border makes a peninsula for all practical purposes out of Renyosa, Mexico.
Photo: Google Earth

Antelope Wells, New Mexico - El Berrendo, Mexico The only residents of Antelope Wells, New Mexico are the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who protect the smallest of 43 border entry points along the U.S.-Mexico border.14of54Antelope Wells, New Mexico – El Berrendo, Mexico
The only residents of Antelope Wells, New Mexico are the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who protect the smallest of 43 border entry points along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Google Earth15of54

Plaza Monumental de Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico The 16of54Plaza Monumental de Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico
The “Bullring by the City” hosts more than 21,000 for regular bullfights, and sits less than 200 feet from the California border.
Google Earth

Eagle Pass, Texas During the Mexican-American War, the U.S. government established Camp Eagle Pass as a militia outpost to protect Texas from Mexican forces. More than 150 years later, the same government had to sue the city of Eagle Pass in 2008 in order to turn over land to build a border fence through the town. Today, some of the city's finest homes enjoy Rio Grande River views.17of54Eagle Pass, Texas
During the Mexican-American War, the U.S. government established Camp Eagle Pass as a militia outpost to protect Texas from Mexican forces. More than 150 years later, the same government had to sue the city of Eagle Pass in 2008 in order to turn over land to build a border fence through the town. Today, some of the city’s finest homes enjoy Rio Grande River views.
Google Earth18of54

Puerto Palomas, Mexico From above, the distinction between Puerto Palomas and tony Columbus, New Mexico is nearly unrecognizable.19of54Puerto Palomas, Mexico
From above, the distinction between Puerto Palomas and tony Columbus, New Mexico is nearly unrecognizable.
Google Earth

Ciudad Acuna, Mexico Youth sports fields sit waterside on the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas.20of54Ciudad Acuna, Mexico
Youth sports fields sit waterside on the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas.
Google Earth21of54

Slaughter Ranch, Arizona Located outside Douglas, Arizona, the Douglas Ranch overlooks the Mexican border and charges visitors $5 to tour its grounds and learn about legendary lawman 22of54Slaughter Ranch, Arizona
Located outside Douglas, Arizona, the Douglas Ranch overlooks the Mexican border and charges visitors $5 to tour its grounds and learn about legendary lawman “Texas” John Slaughter
Google Earth

Riverside Middle School, El Paso, Texas On the corner of Midway Drive and Cesar E. Chavez Border Highway sits this middle school, home to the Riverside Rebels. The high school's baseball and football stadium's sit just east; Ciudad Juarez, Mexico sits just west.23of54Riverside Middle School, El Paso, Texas
On the corner of Midway Drive and Cesar E. Chavez Border Highway sits this middle school, home to the Riverside Rebels. The high school’s baseball and football stadium’s sit just east; Ciudad Juarez, Mexico sits just west.
Google Earth24of54

Chula Vista, California - Tijuana, Baja, Mexico The international fenceline separating the two cities stretches out into the surf of the Pacific Ocean.25of54Chula Vista, California – Tijuana, Baja, Mexico
The international fenceline separating the two cities stretches out into the surf of the Pacific Ocean.
Google Earth

These images were captured by cameras along the U.S./Mexico border by the Border Patrol and other agencies.26of54These images were captured by cameras along the U.S./Mexico border by the Border Patrol and other agencies.Texas Department Of Public Safety27of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.28of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.29of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety30of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.31of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.32of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety33of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.34of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.35of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety36of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.37of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.38of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety39of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.40of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.41of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety42of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.43of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.44of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety45of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.46of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.47of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety48of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.49of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.50of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety51of54

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.52of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety

Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.53of54Photos captured by motion-activated cameras posted along the Texas-Mexico border. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas Department Of Public Safety54of54

For some Americans without dental insurance or looking for better prices, the best bet may be to head south.

Just a few miles south of California and Arizona is Los Algodones, a Mexican town of roughly 5,500 people with more than 600 dentists, according to NBC Nightly News. The town has so much access to affordable dentistry that it is being dubbed Molar City.

BAD WORK: NOLA woman accused of performing amateur dentistry, advertised on Instagram 

In fact, Google shows more than a dozen dental facilities within two blocks of the U.S.-Mexico border.

NBC reports American and Canadian couples flock to Los Algodones to save up to 70 percent on procedures. One couple told the news outlet that they traveled 1,000 miles to save $35,000 on dental implants. 

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According to the Molar City price list, a regular teeth cleaning is $25 instead of the U.S. price of $140. A surgical extraction in the Mexican city costs $80 instead of the estimated $420 it does stateside. 

Those who want to do more research about the quality of dental work available in Molar City can compare reviews at Dental Departures. 

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