Dental tourism

in Special Feature 23 July 2015

People are jetting off all over the world for surgery and dental treatments

For the last decade, the fashion and popularity of dental holidays has come on leaps and bounds. For many people, hopping to a neighbouring country to access the latest treatments is now a common thing, and yet here in the UK we have, to a certain extent, remained cautious. Across the media, there are cautionary tales of when things go wrong but gradually, from the mist of myth, people are realising there could be many advantages to being part of the dental tourism scene.

Not just Europe
Many people are opting for surgery and dental treatment in Europe for example, offer fully escorted trips to Krakow in Poland but many people are also opting for far-flung, exotic locations; hip replacements in India and major surgery in Thailand, Mexico and Costa Rica are not unheard of.

But hot on the heels of such surgeries are the city breaks and short holidays to Europe, taking in some dental treatment whilst there! And when you consider that cosmetic dentistry fees for bridges, crowns and implants are 50% less on the continent than here in the UK (and America and Australia too), it is no surprise that the numbers opting for such treatments are increasing.

In the UK, such dental work is considered restorative and cosmetic, hence it is not covered by the NHS. Opting for private dental treatment is an option if you can either fund it yourself, or if you have a dental plan that will cover it. However, the economic climate in recent years has seen many people struggle financially and the prospect of taking on yet more monthly payments or premiums has meant that many people have left their dental treatment to chance and luck.

However, those who have sought treatment abroad will tell you that price is only one option the quality of service they received from the moment they arrived at the clinic, to the treatment they received, was of the highest quality. Take a look at what the health profession is saying about dental tourism

And for many, it was also a chance to take in to sightseeing of some great places. Many people enjoy the delights, sounds and sights of Krakow, a city that has many years of rich history and stunning architecture.

Is it just about the cost?
No it isnt but this, for many people, is the greatest advantage; for a fraction of the cost, they can opt for treatments that are out of their financial reach here in the UK. Dont forget, if you travel independently you will need to factor in airfares, accommodation, taxes etc., things that are included with packages.

There are several companies that offer holidays as part of this dental tourism. Check what you get as part of these packages and make sure you dont get any nasty financial surprises.

But are the dental qualifications correct and treatment performed to a standard we would expect?

Dentists in Poland, along with other countries, are highly qualified and skilled professionals, who may have trained or partly trained here in the UK. If you are unsure, check with the clinic in question or, better still book with a recognised and experienced provider of dental holidays.

Language barrier?
The vast majority of highly reputable UK based companies offering dental holidays do so using clinics and dentists who are English speaking - and to a high standard. Many dental holidays on offer are also escorted too, so if you need any help understanding all the dental options available, you have someone on hand. If you are choosing to organise your own trip, you will need to check this in full with your chosen clinic.

What if things go wrong?
Treatments rarely go wrong but it pays to be prepared! Ordinary travel insurance will not cover you in the event you will need to stay and have more treatment. It seems a wise and prudent move to buy insurance that specifically covers this type of city break and dental treatment.

Are treatment options limited?
There are a huge number of treatments and options open to you with your initial appointment including a full, detailed consultation so that a course of treatment can be created specifically for you just as you would expect here in the UK!

Many people opt to have anything from veneers to bridges, crowns and dentures. It is also possible to have cosmetic dentistry such as braces and other specialist treatments which, for many people seeking such treatment in the UK, is far too prohibitive.

Getting the perfect teeth is not just the domain of Hollywood stars and celebrities; discover a great smile!

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