Your Ticket to Healthy Teeth: Get the Real Deal on Dental Tourism


Medical and dental tourism are a rapidly growing phenomenon. The range of treatments available in developing countries can appear the equal of anything that is available in the US or Europe at a fraction of the price. It is also tempting to combine a trip for necessary treatment with a visit to an exotic location. If you are having trouble with your teeth, should you consider dental tourism?

Why Travel for Treatment?

One overriding incentive explains the boom in health tourism—cost. The expense of extensive dental treatment can be less than one-third of the equivalent treatment at home. Many insurance policies will only cover essential dental repairs, and if you want surgical procedures to restore your mouth in a cosmetically attractive way, you are likely to be meeting the cost yourself.

The quality of much overseas treatment is excellent. Many dental surgeons are trained in the best western schools of dentistry and are completely up to date on techniques.

In some countries, you can get ground-breaking treatments before they are approved for use in the United States.

Where Can You Get Treatment?

Many developing countries are becoming hotspots for health tourism. In the Americas, Mexico, Peru, and Costa Rica are gaining a reputation for good treatment, and are also countries where a vacation is an attractive bonus. It is not hard, for instance, to find a dentist for all on 4 dentures in Costa Rica, where investment in health has been a priority in recent decades.

Further afield, India is promoting itself as a prime destination for medical and dental procedures. Thailand was the first country in Asia to be receive Joint Commission International accreditation for its high standards, and visitors often combine conventional and traditional treatments.

What Should You look Out For?

Before signing up for a trip abroad for your dental treatment, research your preferred destination carefully.

  • You will probably be able to find the price easily enough—it is the major selling point.
  • Find out where your surgeon was trained. Ideally, this will be in a western school of dentistry but, if not, find out as much as possible about their own school.
  • Be clear about any follow-up that might be necessary, and whether you would have to return to get it done.
  • Ask about their professional insurance. One of the reasons why US treatment is so expensive is because of the high premiums required.
  • Find out if the procedures they offer are approved in the US—if they are not, they may still be very effective but it is more of a gamble.
  • Check that they are fully accredited by the dental authorities of their own country.

Packing Your Bags

Dental tourism can result in some excellent treatment, as well as providing you with a vacation in an attractive location. Do your homework well and you should be able to approach it with optimism and confidence, and return with a smile on your face.

Maria Smyth writes about dentistry matters having worked in the industry for several years. Her articles are published on health and lifestyle blogs mostly.