Medical tourism: 5 surgeries worth a trip

Dental crowns, caps and veneers
5 of 7

Destinations: Mexico, Costa Rica

Estimated savings: $300 to $1,100 per tooth

Most patients want to stick to noninvasive work.

"We see a lot of patients who want cosmetic dental work, like implants and crowns, because those procedures have a very high success rate," says Patrick Marsek, managing director of the medical tourism firm, MedRetreat based in Vernon Hills, Ill.

Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit medical research center in Ohio, reports that dental crowns can range from $500 to $1,100 per tooth, depending on your geography and materials used, while porcelain veneers range from $500 to $2,000. Crowns run from $200 to $600 per tooth in South America, while veneers cost $300 to $900.

"It's not enough savings to justify the trip unless you're having work that would have cost $6,000 in the U.S.," says Marsek. "With the price of flight and hotel, $6,000 would be the financial breakeven point."




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