Dental tourism, which is also known as a dental vacation or dental holidays, is one of the many sub domains of medical tourism. Owing to rising costs of healthcare in most developed countries, many people prefer to travel to developing countries or nations that offer economic healthcare. Not only does one manage to get cheap dental care but also gets to have a holiday in the process. The holiday doubles up as a vacation as well as time to completely recover after a treatment, if there are any down times.
Dental tourism India is big business and is only getting more popular. More and more people are traveling to other countries like India to get medical or dental procedures done because of the low cost and high standards. The facts show that close to half a million people traveled to India in 2012 for medical / dental procedures of all kinds.
Besides having highly qualified dental personnel and state of the art facilities a lot of places are going all out to attract dental tourists. Personal suite, gourmet cuisine, resort like settings, spa treatments and more are being offered by facilities. Imagine staying in a resort like setting, with private care, in an exotic location for less than what the same procedure would cost in your home country.
That’s what Maria Roche did when she visited me. For those who don’t know yet, I’m a cosmetic dentist based in Agra, India and if you don’t find me travelling on feet, I’m playing with teeth in my dental spa.
Maria Roche has plenty to smile about. A 20-day holiday exploring the wonders of Taj Mahal and other nearby cities ought to be reason enough, but the real sparkle comes from the fact that she managed to save about 1,920 pounds (Rs. 1.36 lakh) during this trip.
The savings come from her decision to get her dental treatment done in Agra. Back home in London, a root canal and teeth whitening procedure would have cost her around 2,200 pounds (around Rs. 1.56 lakh), which was “insanely expensive”. When she consulted her medical insurance company, it advised her to check out a dental hospital in India. Treatment here cost her only around 280 pounds (Rs. 20,000)!
“That’s when I decided to come to India. For the money that I would pay my dentist in London, I could afford air tickets as well as a holiday package,” says the finance analyst, whose entire holiday, including the dental treatment, cost her Rs. 1.45 lakh (about 2,042 pounds).
She confirmed her appointment with me at my Relax Dental Spa, Agra six months before her visit in November.
In between the weekly sittings, she saw most of Rajasthan, New Delhi, Agra and Mount Abu. The sittings were planned in such manner that she could holiday and cover as many places as possible and come back in time for her treatment.
Kerala and Goa have been dental tourism hubs for decades. Now Agra has become a surprise addition to this list, with about 10 sophisticated hospitals and a dental spa coming up in the past five years.
Why foreigners find India and Agra so attractive is because of the high cost of dental treatment and the long waiting lists associated with government health schemes back home.
A study says that close to one-third of the people in the US do not have dental insurance. Even the insured struggle because a surgery could cost anywhere between $3,000 and $15,000 per tooth and the insurers pay only $1,000 to $1,500 per year. Only bare minimum treatments or procedures are covered under insurance and not costly, cosmetic or laser dentistry surgery. The case is similar in the UK and in most parts of the Western world.
The Indian health system is basically enticing foreigners by showing them how much money they can save on ultra modern dental procedures and even on sophisticated cosmetic dentistry treatments.
For example, in most US or western European dentistry practices, patients have to take out-of-pocket around $300- $400 for dental fillings. For the exact same procedure, in India the patient is required to pay anything between $20 and $40.
Then, root canal treatments are known as being notoriously expensive especially in the US- the price for this particular procedure might go up to $1,400. In India, one has to pay between $200 and $300 maximum for a root canal treatment. For dentures, in India one will pay as little as $300, while in the West the costs for this procedure exceed well over $1,000.
Similar is the case with Dental Implants. Top class US made dental implants like Nobel Biocare and Bio Horizons will cost you around $1,200 in India, whereas for the same implant in US you need to shell out at least US $ 3,500. With options of having the implant placed with crown in just 3 days in case of Immediate loading implants, one can plan to visit other tourist places in between the dental sittings.
However low-cost dental implants do not refer to the fact that you will get cheap or poor quality implants. It means that you will get the same high quality dental implants as you would at home country, only at a fraction of the cost. If you decide to get your dental implants in one of India’s top dental clinics, you will pay fees even 40% or 50% lower than at home.
Here you will find plenty of high quality dental clinics where the dental staff speaks English, and many of these professionals have actually graduated at universities in the USA, UK and many other European countries. For a start communication will not be a problem and this is a very important aspect to keep in mind.
Over the last five years, India has become the most preferred destination for Americans and Europeans for dental care and other medical procedures. Since the country also offers a great vacation along with state of the art dental care, it is a natural choice for a dental vacation.
To read more about my dental spa, check out the website Relax Dental Spa, Agra