Having lived in San Diego for awhile, and having done medicine on both sides of the border I can tell you exactly why.
First, with dentistry, some dentists are really cheap and bad, but others are really good, but it appears that competition is based off of reputation and service, and not on regulations. On the US side, dentists do not get to their position by service, reputation, or competition but by regulatory capture. The number of people who can practice dentistry and who can get the proper schooling is very restricted. However, in Mexico I found that many dentists provide far better services at a far lower price. The poor people go to the lower quality dentists, and the rich people go to the higher quality ones, but in the end everyone gets care at a price they can deal with, and the rich dentists are still cheaper than then ones in the USA by several orders of magnitude.
Also, if I have an ear ache in the USA, first I must go to my primary, then I will likely be made to go see a specialist, they will probably run some tests, and then they will give me a prescription, which will almost always be to some patented overpriced drug, that I must wait several hours to fill, cost, at least $230 between the medicine and the doctors. In Mexico, you just walk into the pharmacy, say you have an ear ache, and they hand you a bottle of generic antibiotics, cost $25 max, within 10 minutes.
Even though the government does pay for health care and dentistry, medicine in Mexico is far less regulated than in the USA. They can't pull off the crap that we do in the USA, because if they did people would start to die all over the place.
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