These days of austerity are encouraging people to budget wisely. Many are discovering they can save money with dental treatment abroad by combining it with their annual holiday. Others who are lucky enough to live near an international border with a country whose dental care is less expensive, are making regular trips over the border and saving hundreds, if not thousands a year.
The simple fact is that dental care has become too expensive for many residents in Western countries. In the United States alone it is estimated around 130 million Americans do not have dental insurance, and of those that do their insurance rarely covers their dental bills, leaving them with around 30% to pay out-of-pocket. Dental patients are between a rock and hard place – pay the high prices or forego the treatment – neither of which are satisfactory and why traveling abroad is becoming an attractive alternative.
How Much Can I Save On My Dental Treatment Abroad?
It is not unusual to make savings of around 70% on the cost of your dental care abroad, although it does depend on what treatment you have having done and where you are traveling from. Although there are low-cost, high-quality dentists in many developing nations across the world, most dental tourists tend to go to dentists in their own continent. So, Americans and Canadians will go to Mexico or Costa Rica; Europeans to Hungary or Poland and Aussies and Kiwis to South East Asia, particularly Thailand, Malaysia or the Philippines.
Some typical prices are:
Average cost of dental crowns in the United States $1,150; in Mexico only $180
Average cost of dentures in Australia AUD $2,000; in Thailand AUD $450
Average cost of dental implants in the UK £1,500; in Poland £800
Of course, the more expensive the procedure the bigger the savings but people are beginning to incorporate everyday dental care into their trips abroad – having check-ups, teeth cleaning or fillings while on holiday, or on a business trip.
What About The Quality?
Thailand was one of the first countries to embrace modern medical and dental tourism, opening its doors to foreign patients in the early 1990s, and establishing itself as the world leader in medical tourism.
Dentistry in Thailand is a major draw and it is not hard to see why with world-class facilities, expertise and a service culture which visiting patients have said put their own dentists at home to shame. While dentistry in Mexico was once regarded as cheap, not just in terms of price but also in quality, more are coming to realise that the quality is just as good, providing they choose their dentist wisely.
If dental tourism is something that appeals to you it’s important to follow a few simple rules to ensure you minimise any risks to your health by choosing a reliable dentist who is qualified for the work you need.
There are now specialist online dental tourism companies who can organise your trip for you. They differ in the services they provide so you will need to check out each one, but above-all choose one that has quality-checked their dentists. The kind of things you should be looking out for are:
1: Dentist Qualifications and Professional Memberships – Are they verified?
2: Online reviews – Former patients’ testimonials are an invaluable gauge of quality
3: Clinic information – Are there photos, maps etc. online to compare?
Is It Worth It?
Only you can decide that, but certainly from a financial point of view, huge savings on dental care abroad are there to be made. From a quality perspective, there are good and bad dentists wherever you go in the world. The key to good dental care abroad is to find a reliable dentist so that your treatment won’t be any more risky than if you had it at home.