What is dental tourism?
Dental tourism is the movement of people from one country to another for dental care. This is, usually, either because it is cheaper in the country of destination, or because the expertise is not available in their home country. In the past, it involved travelling to only neighbouring countries, but cheap and frequent air travel has made farther destinations to be fairly easily accessible.
Most people would usually think of dental tourism in terms of getting a major dental procedure done, but more people are now frequently booking in for cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening or veneers. Dental procedures typically cost 80-90% less than what their dentist at home charges.
Reasons for dental tourism
The main reason for dental tourism may be to cut cost, as dental care, from research, typically cost 80-90% less than what their dentist at home charges.
Other reasons may be as follows;
- Certain dental procedures may only be available abroad.
- Opportunity to explore other countries.
Certain things to consider before choosing dental tourism
Before embarking on a dental tourism, thoroughly research your potential destination, and not just rely solely on PR and Marketing. Ask about. Look for dental tourism patient testimonials.
As well, don’t assume that one person’s experience during a dental tourism will be the same as yours.
It is also best advised to try and look for people who have had the exact same procedure you’re going for, in the same destination you are going to.
Best country for dental tourism
The leading countries for dental tourism include:
- Costa Rica.
- Philippines. Vietnam.
Advantages of dental tourism
Dental tourism offers certain benefits, such as;
- It offers freedom and flexibility
- It cuts cost up to 50-90% in certain home countries.
- Access to quality treatment.
- Up-to-date technologies and techniques.
- Shorter treatment time and quick turnaround time.
Disadvantages of dental tourism
While dental tourism can be very interesting and fun filled, it has a couple of disadvantages;
- The most obvious disadvantage of dental tourism is perhaps the hassle and cost of travelling.
- Communication difficulties.
- Culture shock.
- Continuity of care.
- Stress and unbearably long flight times, especially to the far-East.
- Dental implants is a risky procedure abroad as they require a much longer period for recuperation and necessitate regular re-care appointments.
- Having to go back for check-up several times.
- Standard of care and services.
Tips for Dental Tourism
If you have plans to embark on a dental tourism, the following tips may help you make your trip a successful experience;
- Verify the credentials of the dental provider and their facility credentials. Make sure to ask for specific details about the dentist’s training.
- Plan ahead for possible complications and how to handle it. For example; if complication occurs when you return home, what will you do? How do you care for it? In the case of an additional procedure at a later date, who will carry out the procedure?
- Visit a few dentists around you to learn more about the procedure options.
- Build a relationship with a local dentist who will be available to see you in case of post-procedure concerns that need to be addressed at home.
- Before returning home, ensure you collect your new dental records. Know how the procedure was performed, and the type of devices and materials that were used.