You often hear horror stories about going for dental treatment overseas. What we would always say, is that it is important to do your research and make sure that you are completely prepared before you go.
The important thing is to weigh everything up before going overseas for treatment. But the very fact that you are reading this blog is a good sign that you are doing just that. I don’t agree that people just travel abroad for a bargain without thinking about everything associated with travel abroad.
Nowadays, people are rewarding themselves for their trials in the dentist’s chair. They’re actually heading overseas to exotic places like Thailand as part of the dental experience: Thailand, South Korea, Greece, Malaysia, Mexico, Hungary, Costa Rica, India… and the trip’s actually not part of the dental experience, it is the dental experience.
Most people seeking out dental clinics abroad are doing so because the modern facilities and highly-trained dentists who are delivering their care are doing so at prices much more affordable than what they pay at home in the West; and because these destinations provide them with exciting vacations, too.
The most common procedures among these seekers of budget-friendly beautiful smiles and the rewarding experience that comes with the savings are things that take a bit of work and which usually cost a lot in their homelands. They are heading to places where cosmetic dentistry thrives.
Published reports have estimated the number of Americans who went overseas for dental care in 2012 to be 400,000, driven primarily by savings; and, partly due to the continued increase in the cost of healthcare, that number was expected to grow by 20% in 2013. They are expected to be joined by ever-larger numbers of Brits and Australians, too, which isn’t surprising when you look at the savings.
Savings, savings, savings…what to do with it? Dental tourism is first and foremost about quality and affordability, but the savings and its compatibility with holiday activities – dental treatments very rarely require significant recovery time for patients – provide the chance to really reward one’s self. And that makes it really worth going abroad for.
“Dental Holidays” at a Glance
Traveling overseas for dental treatment is also regarded as Dental Tourism, Dental Travel or Cross-Border Dentistry. Over the past five years in the UK especially, websites, medical insurance, and agents have been set up to attract even more dental patients to clinics abroad.
More people are opting to receive dental treatment overseas because:
Certain treatments (especially cosmetic) are not available.
Their health insurance does not cover the full cost of a procedure.
Most people are not willing to compromise their health just because the treatment costs are too high in private dental clinics.
Why People Go Abroad for Treatment?
The popularity of obtaining dental treatment overseas is influenced by several factors. People seek overseas dental treatment because of:
Exceedingly expensive costs related to dental care.
Central European standards of dental care and technological advancements are renowned all over the world.
Improved and low-cost communication (for example through websites, mail, skype and phone) make it easier to find and contact potential overseas dental clinics.
Of course, the most important factor for most of the patients is affordability of the dental procedure and its cost-effectiveness. The savings on typical UK private dentistry costs range between 30% and 80% of the price that patients would normally pay at home.
Because of these low prices, some people may worry that having dentistry abroad might be fraud or a scam. However, the main reason behind these low prices is lower wages, low insurance costs, lower clinic rental and operating costs as well as cheaper dental supplies. Although the dental treatments are “cheap” compared to UK standards, in most cases all dental procedures on overseas patients are performed by well-trained dental experts who use the extra money gained from these foreign patients to invest in top notch technology and worldwide dental developments.
Many of the doctors that offer dental services to international patients are internationally recognized and members of leading dental institutions. Their dental clinics have also acquired accreditation from well-known international organizations such as JCI, JCAHO and ISO to express their dedication to excellence.
Another advantage of a “dental holiday” is the immediate access to a doctor at a time that suits you. I see it as a chance to be placed on the priority list. When dealing with some matters of dental health, waiting is not always an option.
Most dental procedures performed abroad can be scheduled quickly via the internet or by phone. People have the flexibility to book flights and schedule dental procedures from the comfort of their own home, eliminating the inconvenience of going to a local dentist for evaluations and assessments.
Even though dental tourism is about obtaining cheaper dental care, a side benefit of a “dental holiday” is having the opportunity to travel to other countries. For some of the patients, it’s an excuse to visit a part of the world that they’ve always wanted to see.
The concept of a “dental holiday” is appealing to anyone who is interested in high quality and affordable dentistry. Going abroad to countries like Slovakia is gaining popularity and the number of people going abroad for dental treatment at least in our dental clinic increases rapidly every year.
With so many benefits, advancements in technology and improvements in healthcare standards within central European countries, it is likely that the advantages of a “dental holiday” will continue to provide a striking economical solution to many of the problems facing today.