Dental tourism

What is dental tourism and why does it exist?

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(Last updated on: 22/03/2022)

Dental tourism is on the rise – but what is it and why does it exist? Read on to learn all about it!

What is dental tourism?

Dental tourism

Dental tourism is a specific branch of medical tourism which involves travelling abroad to undergo some sort of dental treatment. There are many reasons why someone might engage with dental tourism. Treatment can be very expensive in certain countries like the UK and the USA – so people opt to travel abroad and have a holiday while getting their teeth treated. Another reason might be that the specific treatment they want or need is not actually available at home. People may also travel as they believe clinicians to be more experienced in different countries.

Whatever the reason is, dental tourism is an industry that has been booming over the past decade or so. According to the brand Dental Tourist, it is growing 15% annually across Europe!

Where is the cheapest country for dental treatment?

So what is the cheapest country for dental tourism? This entirely depends. Costa Rica is one of the cheapest places for actual dental treatment but if you’re visiting from the UK, the overall trip would work out more expensive than if you travelled to Hungary – which is another destination popular with dental tourists. India is another of the all-round cheap destinations for dental tourism, however, with up to 90% savings compared to the cost of treatments in the USA. It is also a beautiful country well worth visiting, as many of the destinations for dental tourism are…

Where is the best country for dental work?

Dental tourism

The best country for dental tourism again depends on what you’re after. In terms of finding the very best dental treatment available, India is one which comes out on top. They have access to the latest technologies, and many dental practices over there are accredited with Western hospitals. It is also one of the cheapest places to stay and explore – flights may be expensive if you’re travelling a long distance but once you get there, you’ll be surprised by how affordable India is. There is so much culture and history to discover, delicious food (if you’re able to eat it with the dental treatment you’re going for…) and stunning scenery around every corner.

Dental tourism agents

There are many different travel agencies which specialise in dental tourism. They tend to be medical tourism agents, but they arrange for dental tourists to travel for specific treatments too. You can see some of them below:

Sani Medical Tourism 

This company helps to arrange medical procedures in Mexico. They can also arrange lodging, and are affiliated with some different restaurants too. The company can arrange shuttle services, shopping trips and more. Alongside dentistry, they can also arrange stem cell transplants, optical treatments and more.

Metta Health

Located in the UK, Metta Health offers a range of packages to ensure you get the best out of your dental treatment here. They offer airport transfers, arrange hotel stays, source your clinician, book the treatment, stay in touch with you throughout the process and so much more! If you are living in the UK, you may still use an agency like these if you are looking for private treatment in a different part of the country…

MediCzech

The Czech Republic is a great destination for dental tourism, and this agency is located in Prague – they offer a free initial consultation. MediCzech provide airport transfers with a local guide, and will sort out accommodation and treatment for you.

These are just three examples of dental tourism agents and what they offer. Most agencies will find the right clinician to treat you and book your treatment, sort out your accommodation and provide practical support throughout your trip and recovery.

Is dental tourism safe?

Is dental tourism safe? For the most part, yes – it’s no different to having dental treatment done in your home country, you’ve just travelled for it. Most countries use the same technologies and techniques; usually, you’ll travel because the treatment is better, meaning it is safe. 

Of course, it is vitally important to do your research. Booking through an agency will help prevent you from getting scammed in the process of booking and travelling – and always read the reviews. Ensure that the type of treatment you are getting is safe and well-researched. If you know people who have had dental treatment done abroad (and you probably do, as the industry is huge and ever-growing), ask for their opinions and experiences! There are risks to everything, including dental tourism, but it can be a great option if you do it sensibly.

One issue you may come across is language barriers. Generally a lot of people speak English to a good level, but there may be times when you are struggling. Agencies may offer a translator when you book with them if it’s deemed necessary. This is just one thing to look out for and consider when thinking about dental tourism!

Dental tourism destinations

There are many destinations where dental tourism occurs. You might even be a dental tourist in your own country if you travel to another city (particularly your capital city) for better, private or exclusive dental treatment. Below you’ll see some of the most popular destinations for dental tourism, and why it’s so big there…

Dental tourism in India

I have already mentioned India in this article because it is one of the most famous and popular places for dental tourism. Treatment is cheap but done well, and the country is beautiful in every aspect. It may be a higher flight cost and longer travel time if you’re coming from Europe or the US, but it’s more of an exotic holiday for you. You could even tie your dental tourism into a gap year or backpacking!

What is industrial tourism?

Dental tourism in Hungary

Hungary is one of Europe’s top destinations for dental tourism. As such it sees many dental tourists from other European countries – people from the US or Asia are unlikely to travel over here for dental treatment as there are closer places they can choose. Again, though, if they were planning a big trip to Europe anyway they might! Mosonmagyarovar, at the Western border of the country, is one of the most well-known destinations for affordable dental treatment with small waiting lists and professional clinicians. It is also a beautifully quaint place to visit.

Dental tourism in Thailand

Thailand is known as a budget destination, especially for backpackers. It is absolutely beautiful, with a lot of culture, history and architecture to enjoy. Thailand is also known as the Land of Smiles, so it is a top location for dental tourism. It’s cheap, it’s quick, and they offer a wide range of treatment and individual dentists. There is so much to do in this beautiful country, you can follow your treatment with a day of exploring temples or riding around in a tuk-tuk! Read travel blogger Robert Schrader’s experience HERE.

Dental tourism in Turkey

When you think of dental tourism, your first thought might be of so-called ‘Turkey teeth’. These bright white dental implants are popular with celebrities, models and so on – but the average man (or woman) on the street is now just as likely to have teeth like these. This is because of dental tourism, in Turkey and of course the other destinations mentioned here. Turkey is now one of the easiest places to find well-renowned dentists, agencies and treatment centres. This site has plenty of reviews from Americans who have had their teeth done in Turkey. It is such a stunning country with a real variety in terms of culture, food, religion, art and more.

What is wellness tourism?

Dental tourism in Bulgaria

Another gem in Europe for dental tourism is Bulgaria – a generally affordable country to visit, with cheap dental treatment too. It’s one of the cheapest places in Europe for treatment: up to 70% cheaper than the UK in some cases! You can get quality work done here for a great price, and many people have brilliant experiences of getting dental treatment in Bulgaria. One of the top destinations is Sofia, the beautiful capital city, so you can experience the buzz of the place before or after your treatment!

Dental tourism in Vietnam

As with many Asian countries, Vietnam is very cheap to visit. It is popular with backpackers, digital nomads and gap year travellers for that reason – as well as the abundance of things to do and beautiful scenic views. There are many dental clinics across the country, offering affordable and good work. This is what makes it so popular with dental tourists. You can book packages which include your travel, accommodation, meals and treatment. The ‘all-inclusive’ nature of dental tourism here makes it a firm favourite.

Dental tourism in Mexico

Another destination popular with dental tourists, especially those coming from the nearby USA, is Mexico. For example, Los Algodones (known as Molar City!) is very near the borders of both California and Arizona – and tourists can walk straight across into a very safe tourist area. It is a very popular destination for all medical tourists, including dental tourists. Prices here are 40-60% lower than in the USA, but travel costs can be kept right down. Clinics across Los Algodones offer dental implants, full mouth restorations, dentures, dental veneers, laser, dental crowns and more!

Dental tourism- further reading

If you enjoyed reading this article, I am sure that you will find these articles interesting too!

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