Most people who start looking into dental implants Herefordshire will very soon come across targeted adverts placing the ticket price front and centre, heralding implant options overseas whether it be Hungary, Turkey or Mexico. So why has dentistry become a popular medical tourist option? What are the pros and cons of travelling for your implant?
Price is certainly one very crucial factor, but it must be considered alongside other factors to get a full picture. This article will answer various important questions you may have about getting dental treatment abroad. The aim is for you to do thorough research on them yourself before committing to any oral implant treatments overseas.
Not all treatment abroad is equal
A trend most dental tourists have indulged in is travelling from Western European countries and America to less economically developed nations. Europeans tend to visit Hungary or Turkey whereas Americans are tempted by options in Mexico and Costa Rica.
The economic forces behind dental tourism are multifactorial. The first is the general cost of living and wages being lower in the countries offering treatment, allowing them to consistently outperform higher living cost nations. The next is the currency differences between the regions allowing increased purchasing power for dollars in Mexico or pounds in Turkey.
But one of the biggest and often underappreciated factors is the regulation around dentistry in Western Europe and America. Dentistry is a highly regulated industry in these nations, with strict licensing and mandatory qualifications required to practise dentistry. The additional costs of meeting these regulations have to be passed on to the consumer, but result in a far more consistent service with higher average standards.
Many of the nations that can offer the lowest dental costs do not have these regulatory burdens, but this creates a marketplace for services that has to be approached with a ‘buyer beware’ mindset and a critical viewpoint.
Turkey has particularly seen medical tourism as an important part of its economic future and relies on reliable consistent treatment; it has, therefore, taken steps to improve the quality of its dental services. Whether this will benefit or harm Turkey’s attempts to develop the industry in the long term is hotly debated.
When seeking out dental care internationally, it is important to understand that many of the assumptions made in a highly regulated medical environment will not apply and it is your responsibility to do your homework on any provider you decide to get treatment from. It may be useful to see your relationship more like one with a second-hand car salesman than a patient-physician dynamic.
Do your homework
Find independent dental review websites as your first port of call. They operate much like hotel review sites but for medical providers, giving patients the opportunity to advertise their experiences. Google the clinic’s staff, look for LinkedIn accounts and check national registers of struck-off professionals.
All of these tasks are complicated by not operating in the local language, so hiring a trusted guide with experience in the subject can be a very worthwhile investment, but must be added to the overall cost of treatment.