You may have heard of overseas dental holidays as a means to get access to the best dental treatment abroad. That’s right, traveling to a foreign country thousands of miles away for a combined holiday and medical services. It is more common than you may think, and it has mostly to do with providing a more cost-effective solution.
With the cost of dental treatments continuing to climb, heading overseas for dental implants abroad, as well as many other dental procedures, is becoming an affordable alternative. Here we discuss some of the top tips to getting the best dental treatment when abroad
Tip #1 – Get Dental Work in Thailand – or Somewhere Else
With savings reported to be in the range of up to 75-percent from costs in North America, Great Britain, and Australia, South-East Asia is a popular choice as a destination for dental work. Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for overseas dental care, closely followed by Malaysia as an option for the best dental treatment overseas.
In fact, a 2007 survey by a UK consumer association could not determine actual numbers but did discover that dentistry was one of the top planned treatments for overseas travelers.
The Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok sees a considerable amount of traffic from patients traveling from overseas. Marketing Director Kenneth Mays says close to 11,000 patients come from outside of Thailand for treatment. The facility has a complete dental clinic with a total of 55 dental specialists on staff. They see about 600 Australian visitors alone per year.
Aussies have discovered significant savings when searching for the best dental treatment available abroad. Travel agent Barbara Sherriff of Queensland, Australia says her husband was quoted $25,000 for dental work at home but received the same care for just $5,500 in the Bangkok Hospital in Phuket. In 2011 alone she sent more than 160 Aussies to Thailand for health services. The majority of them, 75% to be precise, went overseas specifically for dental care.
Tip #2 – Overseas Dental Holidays – Understand The Risks
Dental industry experts recognize the increase in popularity for those seeking the best dental treatment overseas but also want travelers to recognize that risks do exist.
The overseas trips are typically for complicated dental procedures. Although they can cost as little as a third of the price of the same work being done at home, consumers are reminded that you often get what you pay for. Typically, the more complex the dental work being performed, the more likely a complication or problem will arise. When this happens, correcting the problem at home will only add to the cost, reducing the amount of the overall savings on top dental treatment abroad.
Tip #3 – Reduce The Risk – Do Your Homework
In order to get a complete picture of what you are getting into should you or your family choose an overseas dental holiday, there are a number of things you can do to better prepare yourself.
First and foremost, do some research. This includes online and in-person if you are able to visit the facility in advance. Look for and review online comments – good and bad – about any and all medical treatments in the hospital(s) you plan on using. If they appear to be particularly good at one specialty this does not always mean they are good at all of them. Also, seek information from actual patients living in the country you plan to visit.
While researching the best dental treatment you can get overseas, ask questions related to your specific procedure. Ask about the complete treatment schedule, how long it will take, and what the full price will be. Be prepared for the possibility of having to return for additional dental work and should this be required, understand that the amount of savings you made in your first trip may be affected by follow-up visits.
Also, research what kind of after care is provided should you encounter issues with your dental work weeks or months afterward.
Tip # 4 – Insurance – Will It Help or Not?
While it is usually quite easy to apply for and receive standard travel/medical insurance for a regular trip overseas or to another country, using it for an overseas dental holiday is a whole different matter. The chances of qualifying for travel/medical insurance coverage for this kind of holiday is very unlikely.
In other words, you’ll be covering all the costs out of pocket which may require some advance planning and saving. Even booking your holiday through a medical travel agency means you will be on your own as they do not underwrite services provided by any doctors or healthcare facilities they network with.
Tip #5 – What Procedures Are Available Overseas?
The interest in finding the top dental treatment abroad has created a new kind of tourism which has opened the doors for the establishment of medical tourism agencies. These operations provide a one-stop experience where they will organize flights, accommodation, sightseeing and hospital recommendations.
Medical tourism agencies have overseas holiday packages that cover a number of different kinds of medical procedures. They include cosmetic and elective surgery, eye surgery, fertility treatments, and a completely separate division that focuses entirely on dental procedures.
There are many different dental procedures available when traveling abroad, including dental implants, bridges, crowns, teeth whitening and veneers. Basically, anything that you can do at home can also be done abroad.
These agencies can be a good way to go as they have the experience and knowledge to get you where you need to go without you having to plan your flight, hotel, and procedure separately trying to match them up for the same general time frame. These agencies do not provide any kind of travel/medical insurance.
Check out the video below which outlines someone’s experience with receiving dental work abroad.
The cost of dental care at home has pushed many to seek dental treatments overseas. With substantial savings of up to 75%, depending on the complexity of the dental care, foreign countries with the lure of overseas dental holidays are attracting what has been developed into a new form of tourism – medical tourism.
With cheaper expenses, there are risks. They include complications related to the dental work and no insurance coverage should a problem develop. These risks should not be ignored, no matter what the savings may be. You should understand the risks as best as possible before committing to any procedure.
Medical tourism agencies offering dental holidays overseas have been popping up and assisting in the planning and booking of medical procedures combined with travel arrangements. But once again, do your research.
Should you opt for what could be a huge saving on dental care by opting for dental work in Thailand or any other overseas country, it is always a good idea to consult with your local dentist. The risks of going overseas and lost savings from follow-up visits for work to be finished or repaired may still make staying home the logical choice… even if the best dental treatment abroad appears to be the most affordable choice.