The new phenomenon of dental tourism has received a good deal of attention in the press recently. While one newspaper tells about the benefits and savings of dental treatment abroad, another issues warnings about filthy clinics, bad treatment practices, and procedures gone wrong. As with most things in life, I believe that the truth lies somewhere in between.
My experience in running a dental clinic abroad for the past 5 years has convinced me: With diligence, perseverance, and good information, patients considering travelling abroad for dental treatment do indeed have legitimate, safe choices, not to mention an opportunity to save thousands of pounds over the same treatment in the UK. Therefore, I wrote this article to help dental treatment seekers reach their own conclusions about whether and when to seek dental treatment abroad.
So, why go abroad for dental treatment?
Here are 5 reasons.
1. Cost savings.
Most people like to get the most for their pound. The single biggest reason Brits travel to countries like Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Czech and Slovakia for dental treatment is the opportunity to save money. Depending upon the country and type of treatment, patients can realize 15 to 85% savings over the cost of dental treatment in the UK. Or, as one recent client of ours put it, “I took out my credit card instead of a second mortgage on my home.” As the elderly lose their teeth, having dental treatment in Britain can devour nearly 30% of their retirement and pre-retirement savings. Nowadays, with the word getting out about top-quality dental treatment at deep discounts abroad, brave Brits are finding alternative dentists abroad.
2. Better-quality care.
Regular visitors to my clinic know that the facilities, instrumentation, and customer service in Piestany dental clinic equal or exceed those found in the UK. Along with free transportation to and from the airport, low-cost meals and discounted accommodation affiliated with the clinic, they save a lot of money. Moreover, dentists and staff in our clinic are often far more accessible than their British counterparts. “My Dentist gave me his mobile phone number, and I spoke directly with him at least a dozen times during my stay,” said Paul R., who traveled to Slovakia for dental implants.
3. Exclusive treatments.
The NHS excludes many conditions and treatments such as cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, porcelain veneers, all ceramic crowns – to name only a few. Rich or cash-challenged, young or not-so-young, Brits who want quality dental treatment (even one recommended by their local dentist) often find the NHS won’t cover it.
4. Shorter waiting periods.
For decades, thousands of Brits have endured waits as long as two years to get to see a local NHS dentist. “Some of us die before we get to the dentist,” commented one exasperated patient, who journeyed to Slovakia for dental implants. Some patients figure it’s better to pay out-of-pocket to get out of pain or to halt a deteriorating condition than to suffer the anxiety and frustration of waiting for a far-future appointment and other dental uncertainties. Moreover, most dental treatment can be completed in just 2-3 visits, as opposed to many costly visits in the UK.
5. More “patient friendly.”
As the British government applies increasing pressure on the NHS to process dental patients as quickly as possible, mistakes and “quick fixes” can easily be made. Those visiting our clinic will welcome the flexibility and friendliness of our dental clinic abroad, where you are encouraged to ask as many questions as you like about your dental procedure. The atmosphere is relaxed rather that rushed, and with our “4 clients a day” policy, you can be sure that there will be enough time for all your dental needs to be catered for.
As one of our recent clients put it, “I brought back far more from this trip than a new set of teeth.”