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By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 22 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss

A recent survey by a major medical tourism provider found that over 50,000 Britons travel abroad each year for some form of cosmetic or medical surgery. By far the largest percentage of procedures were dentistry treatments with 22,000 Britons choosing to fly abroad and have their teeth treated at a fraction of the cost charged by UK dentists.

The Benefits of Dentistry Treatments Abroad
If you choose to travel abroad for your treatments, you can expect to receive first class dental treatment with up to 25% to 33% reduction in costs. The more dental work you are intending to have then the greater the savings will be. For example, a treatment such as a dental implant, which is not usually available on the NHS, will cost around £1500 to £2000 per tooth. Take a flight to a foreign dental clinic and you can expect the same dental implant, using the same material for around £400.

If you take dentistry treatments as part of a holiday, it will still work out far less expensive than having the treatment at home. By going abroad for your treatment you can also beat the long waiting times for appointments with a British dentist, and finding an NHS dentist to register with is becoming a near impossible task.

Safe Dentistry Abroad
Many people are worried about the safety aspect of going abroad for their dental treatments, but dentists abroad are as well qualified as British dentists. More and more dentists from abroad are being employed in Britain due to dental staff shortages; there are now over 200 Polish dentists working in Britain and that number will continue to rise. Countries such as Hungary, Croatia and Spain have the most up to date dental facilities, many of which are of higher standard than the British NHS facilities.

Unexpected Dental Problems
One of the biggest fears that people have over medical treatment abroad is returning home and finding problems occurring post-treatment. Many of the large medical surgery abroad providers have guarantees that if any problems do occur when you return home, they will book a return flight, accommodation, and dental treatment, all at their expense. If you are intending to use a medical provider you should make sure this guarantee is included in their service agreement.

Dental Treatment Abroad Locations
The prices and services for dentistry abroad will vary, but by far the cheapest are countries such as Croatia, Hungary and Budapest. Facilities in these countries are state of the art and professionalism is of an extremely high level. British dentists have recently gone on record to state that facilities in Hungary are of a higher standard than those in the UK.

The short flight time is also a bonus if you are intending to have treatment in the eastern European countries, and low coast flights can now be arranged from the UK for as little as £20 each way.

Dental Treatments Available
Any dental treatment that is available in the UK can be performed in the dental clinics and hospitals abroad. Costs will vary but you can expect to pay at least a quarter to a third of the cost quoted by British dentists.

Treatments include:

  • Dental implants
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth veneers
  • Root canal treatments
  • Crowns and fillings
  • Bridges and dentures
  • Orthodontic treatment including braces
  • Contouring and straightening
Consulting with your Dentist
It is advisable to consult with your own dentist if intending to travel abroad for treatment. The biggest advantage of this is that pre-treatment such as x-rays and teeth scans can be taken in Britain and then sent abroad in order to save time. By doing this there is the possibility that some of the work, such as implants or crowns, can be pre-prepared and ready for your arrival at the clinic abroad.

With dental staff shortages and the high price of cosmetic dentistry in the UK, it is common sense to travel abroad for dental treatments. If you are intending a lot of high price dental work then the savings by having treatment abroad are significant and you can save thousands of pounds. If you have already booked your next holiday abroad and have been considering some dental work then you can combine the two and it will still work out a lot less expensive than having the dental treatments in the UK.

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It’s probably only worthwhile with more expensive procedures (although no dentistry is cheap these days). You need to ensure that what you’d pay, including flights and hotel and other expenses, is substantially less than you’d pay over here for it to be worthwhile. Remember, too, that you probably won’t feel much like sightseeing for much of the trip.
Harry - 18-Sep-12 @ 3:41 PM
it can be risky, but one of my friends went to Poland to get her teeth whitened. She was really pleased and I got the details off her. I am saving up to try and get my teeth straightened and whitened at the same time. Problem is flights are going up in price but I will definitely consider it as their prices work out around half of what they are here. Wish me luck!
pearly - 17-May-12 @ 10:30 AM
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