True cost of dental tourism exposed

The price of travelling abroad for cheap dental treatment can work out to be more costly than visiting the dentist here.

That’s according to new research that reveals the cost of so-called ‘dental tourism’ holidays which are proving popular in a recession-hit Britain.

An increasing number of dental patients are flying to other parts of Europe in the belief that they can get expensive courses of treatment at a lower cost.

But the costs can mount up.

Research this week suggests that treatment is so expensive in Britain that 260,000 people a year go abroad to get their teeth fixed.

Between 2004 and 2008, around 1.3 million had dental work done overseas and nearly 70% of those were under the age of 34.

Research by implant clinic Dentale suggests the recession has driven more people abroad for treatment.

Although many people think that they can save money by doing this, it warns that depending on the dental treatment required, it could end up being more expensive due to the costs of hotels and flights for multiple visits.

Londoners were most likely to visit clinics abroad, with almost a third of the overall number – 408,000 people – coming from the capital.

Scots are the second most likely to seek treatment abroad. A dental implant in the UK costs about £1,918, whereas across Europe the average cost is £660.

But Dentale’s Jason Buglass warned: ‘It’s important that when people are looking to go abroad for dental treatment that they not only investigate the cost of the procedure, but also the other added expenses such as hotels, flights and how many times they will have to see the dentist before the treatment is complete.

‘In the case of dental implants, you need to make a number of follow-up visits and if your dentist is in another country this can not only be very time consuming but also costly.’

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