Molar City, Mexico – Making us grateful for the UK dental system

We’ve heard a lot in the press about the movement of people from Mexico to the US, and vice versa, but one story caught our attention recently, one that bucked the trend of stories about crossing this contentious border. Apparently, there is a city close to the Mexican border which is nicknamed ‘Molar City’, and vast numbers of Americans are crossing the border to have their dental work undertaken there. And why are they doing this? Mexico can offer something that the USA cannot – affordable dental care.

In the USA, those who can afford to have dental insurance. This means that when problems strike, they have a safety net that will help cover the cost of the work required. There are, however, many who cannot afford to pay for dental insurance, which leaves them in a predicament when something goes wrong with their teeth, as the cost of dental work in America can be cripplingly expensive. In fact, according to Sky News, “for some, it is cheaper to take a flight, hire a car and even have a flutter than go to a dentist in America.”

In the most recent census, it was reported that just over 5,000 people live in ‘Molar City’ and that there are over 50 dental clinics. That certainly offers a wealth of choice for Americans who are looking for a more cost-effective way of looking after their teeth and gums.

Difference in the US and UK dental health systems

As with many things, dentistry is managed somewhat differently here in the UK, with a state-subsidised National Health Service and a private model. Many clinics will offer a combination of the two, giving patients the opportunity to select which they feel is most suitable for their needs.

In the UK, there are a range of generalised procedures and treatments that are available under the NHS. Some are covered with the routine appointment cost while others require a supplement. Private practices offer a broad range of treatments that are not covered on the NHS, for example tooth whitening.

Here at 76 Harley Street in central London we are proud to be able to offer a wide variety of treatments for patients, across a range of price points. Encouragingly though, even the most expensive dentistry in the UK has a long way to go before it reaches the sums charged by dentists across the pond in the USA. Whether you choose NHS or private practice, dentistry in the UK is a lot more affordable.