Drilling into Dental Tourism
Have you joined the Cosmetic Dentistry set? Celebrities such as George Clooney, Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise have with their gleaming pegs smiling out to us from our screens and fashion pages.
Vanity comes at a price. Whitening, bridges, crowns, or implants – dental care is expensive, especially if extensive reconstructive or cosmetic work is required.
With high costs for dental work, especially experienced in the UK, more and more patients are travelling to overseas destination which are promoting dentistry at lower and very competitive prices using the latest technology.
A global population living longer, considerable cost savings and ease of travel are the key factors which have led to the rise of dental tourism.
The increasing number of low-cost airlines are today providing more frequent services, opening up new routes and enabling a growing number of people to travel across borders for high quality and low cost care. The savings gained from travel and dental costs have opened up the short breaks market to define the trend in dental tourism. Friends and family can enjoy exploring the destination, happy to accompany the dental patient but to be away from the dentist chair and drill!
Hungary, is a key example of the rise in dental tourism, and in particular it’s capital, Budapest. It has been estimated that around 50,000 visitors to Budapest per year are those seeking dental treatment. Here, average dental prices are 50% – 70% cheaper than in the UK. Hungary boasts more dentists per capita than any other country but more destinations are promoting their services.
Further a field, however, North Americans who are burdened with huge dental costs choose to travel for more extensive care such as full-mouth restorations, cosmetic oral surgeries and implants. Such work can be done at less than half the US price, including travel and accommodation.
Dental care is not just about teeth and gums. Research indicates that a good set of teeth and gums affects health overall. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth and is mainly caused by bacteria from a build-up of plaque. In some patients who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums which then causes too much inflammation. Intense gum inflammation affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.
Gum disease can increase the risk of a range of health complications, including stroke and heart disease. Diabetes is another associated disease, but it can be controlled if gum disease is treated. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can reduce the swelling in their joints and their morning stiffness through proper dental treatments. Gum disease is also a risk factor for osteoporosis, and according to studies at West Virginia University, good dentistry may help senior citizens keep their memory sharp.
The crowning summary is that brushing teeth properly and looking after gums can prevent and treat gum disease, improve overall health and help to reduce the risk of health problems. As an incentive modern dental technology and the increase in well trained practitioners are located in many European cities giving rise to the new trend in dental tourism and membership to the cosmetic dentistry set.