When you want to make your money stretch, you’ll shop around, even for dental treatment. There is now a growing trend in people taking dental vacations.
It’s clear there are differing prices for cosmetic, medical, and dental treatment, but what is dental or medical tourism?
Well, in simple terms it’s travelling to another country for treatment.
Some figures state that around half a million Americans leave the States to receive their dental treatment, purely for financial reasons.
Dental Vacations Save You Money
Whether it’s food, clothes, or healthcare you want to get the most from your budget
With dental tourism you get to take a holiday and get cut price treatment at the same time.
The top places for finding cut price dental fees appear to be Mexico, Lima, Costa Rica, Thailand, and San Salvador.
All Inclusive Travel Packages
In place like Costa Rica dental tourism is so big that companies have been set up to arrange all inclusive deals.
Travel packages to Costa Rica, including all of the dental work, can often work out less than just the cost of dental treatment in the States.
If you are looking at all inclusive dental travel packages, it is important that you know exactly what is included.
Some packages will simply include the flight and cost of dental work, but others may include accommodation costs plus travel costs to and from the airport.
The Pros Of The Cheap Dental Work Abroad
There are advantages to travelling abroad for dental treatment. For instance, the dentist in Tijuana Mexico will be able to charge much less than a New York dental clinic, simply because of location costs.
If you’re a ‘dentist to the stars’, your fees will be considerably more than if you were San Salvador or Costa Rica dentist treating everyday people.
Shopping around abroad can get you affordable cosmetic dentistry, but it’s also getting you a vacation. Individual dental crowns and implants or a full smile makeover can all be found at a fraction of the cost at home.
If you’re the adventurous type, dental tourism is one way to travel to somewhere new, explore, and take in the sights, whilst also benefitting from reduced dentist prices for your treatment.
The Cons Of Cheap Dental Work Abroad
It all seems so simple; you’ve found yourself a discount dentist or the perfect cheap dental tourist package.
But, do you have the same redress if something goes wrong?
What about things like;
- quality of products
- insurance coverage
You need to check if your dental insurance covers your treatment abroad. You also need to check whether your dental insurance would cover you if something went wrong after you returned home.
There are many highly skilled dental experts operating in countries around the world. However, not every country has the same rules and regulations.
This means that someone who would be unable to practice dentistry in one country may be able to run a dental center in another country.
Certain products and materials that could not be used in one country may be perfectly acceptable in another country. For instance a dental implant and all that goes with it may not be FDA-approved in the USA, but may be approved in the country you’re being treated in.
You may be able to get cheap permanent dentures abroad, but will they last if the materials aren’t as robust as those used at home?
The Hidden Costs Of Dental Treatment Abroad
It would be so easy to get an estimate for dental fees from your local dentist, compare it to an all inclusive dental vacation in Thailand, and make a hasty decision to book a trip.
But, you must take into account other expenses that you will incur, when travelling abroad.
You must determine exactly what is included in the dentists’ bill. For instance, if you are having dental implants, is the cost of extracting a tooth included?
You might be having extensive work done which could be quite stressful. Say, you’re having your teeth whitened, getting a tooth bonded and four porcelain crowns fitted, all while under IV sedation; are the costs of sedation included?
You need to know these things; otherwise you could find yourself facing a larger bill than you budgeted for.
Other important costs to consider are;
- cost of visas or other travel documents
- cost of food
- travelling expenses to and from dental clinic
The dental tourist is becoming more common, and it’s great to have this opportunity. Of course there will always be people who’ve had bad experiences, and they serve as a warning.
Millions of Americans are living without any dental insurance coverage, and combining a holiday getting their teeth fixed cheaply is a popular choice.
Some holidays fall out of favor, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for dental vacations.