High-quality care, a wealth of options, and great prices help make this healthcare necessity accessible. If the mere thought of a dentist makes your teeth ache, you are not alone. Some experts estimate that as many as four in every five adults fear dental treatment to some degree, and only 20 percent of us see the dentist twice a year as we know we should. Yet there’s reason beyond white teeth and a glistening smile to keep up with your dental care.
Medical travelers who seek dental care outside their national borders have a
single thought in mind: money. In the US, UK, and many European countries, dental care is expensive, especially if extensive reconstructive or cosmetic work is required. In the US, only the most rudimentary dental care is covered by health insurance plans, which is why more than 150 million Americans are without dental coverage.
As we age, our flesh outlives our teeth, often calling for extensive reconstructive or restorative procedures, that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Thus, cost savings is a real factor for a global population living 10-30 years longer than its parents. The traveling dental patient need not sacrifice quality to save money. Highly competent dentists who attended respected schools of dentistry and are certified by boards in Western countries often work “just across the border,” providing excellent services for a fraction of the cost. For people who can easily cross a national boundary, the choice is a no brainer.
Dentistry also attracts what might be termed the “incidental traveler.” Patients who take a vacation in a dental destination country may find that they can work some affordable dental care into their holiday plans. Business travelers whose work takes them overseas may arrange for dental care while on a business trip—saving on both oral treatment and travel costs.
Dental holidays. Where to Go for Treatment.
Dental patients who live close to an international border form the majority of dental health travelers. US citizens living in Arizona, California, and Texas can easily cross the border into Mexico, an hour’s drive can save them thousands of dollars in dental costs. Canadians and US citizens along the East Coast, from Maine to Florida, are flocking to Costa Rica. The dental clinics are only a short hop from Miami, and the dentistry is generally excellent, at costs 50-80 percent lower than those in the US.
Dental holidays Europe.
Europeans find similar advantages in hopping over to Hungary, where they are spoiled for choice among high-quality, low-cost dental clinics. Most people don’t realize that Hungary boasts more dentists per capita than any other country, and some of the best and least expensive clinics are found in rural areas. For example, the small town of Mosonmagyaróvár near the Austrian border is home to more than 160 dental offices!
While it’s economical for Europeans to travel to Hungary for a dental checkup or a cleaning, most North Americans who travel to Hungary are looking for more extensive care, including cosmetic oral surgeries, full-mouth restorations, and implants. Such work can be had at less than half the US price, including travel and accommodations.
Travelers to Asia can often find excellent dental services in Thailand. Bangkok in particular is peppered with dental clinics. A few cater specifically to international tourists. One good example is the Bangkok International Dental Center (BIDC), one of the most enduring and expansive of all international dental facilities. Most of BIDC’s dentists have been trained and certified overseas, and a large number received their degrees in the US.