The Issues with Dental Tourism: Why Patients in Developed Economies Should Avoid It

    We live in an increasingly close and inter-connected world, where concepts such as social media have removed the physical barriers that once restricted business and social interaction. Not only has the pace of technological advancement changed the way in which people communicate and live their everyday lives, however, but it has also created opportunities for those who wish to travel abroad in pursuit of cost-effective products and services. One of the best examples of this is dental tourism, which is increasingly popular among citizens who have low levels of disposable income and are in need of affordable dental care.

    What to Consider Before Investing in Overseas Dental Treatment

    If you live in a developed economy such as Germany, however, choosing to seek out financial savings abroad may well represent a false economy. Not only have 3D printers and digital production systems recently enhanced the delivery of diagnostics and dental treatments in Germany, for example, but the increasing demand for cosmetic procedures has driven down the overall cost of care. In addition to this, there are also numerous pitfalls associated with travelling abroad to seek out dental treatment, especially in relation to the quality of treatment. Consider the following factors prior to investing in dental tourism: –

    Prioritize Value of Bottom Line Cost

    In the current market, finding a cheap dental practitioner in a developing economy is exceptionally easy. This is especially true for German patients, who are centrally located and within close proximity of popular dental tourism resorts such as Hungary and Serbia. Certain specialist operators fly approximately 1,000 patients a year to Hungary for the purposes of receiving dental treatment, for example, with the suggestion that this could save patients up to 70% on existing prices in developed markets. While this sounds good in principle, the value of these savings may be crucially undermined if you are only in need of minor dental work or a simple procedure.  It is therefore important to prioritize the potential value of your investment over the price that you are forced to pay.

    The Importance of Quality and Long Term Financial Planning

    For a German patients, recent developments in the speed and efficiency of treatments have had multiple benefits. Despite this, wider economic uncertainty continues to impact on the decision making of consumers, which in terms of dental care may force them to consider pursuing treatment abroad. It is important to guarantee the quality of your practitioner, however, and this can be particularly difficult when you enter a country with a different language, culture and set of industry regulations. Without ensuring that your overseas dentist is fully certified and compliant with international law, you run the risk of paying for substandard work and ultimately incurring long term costs. Inadequate treatment could also lead to wider and more general health issues, so it is important to consider your options carefully.

    Consider the Options Within your Country

    If you are a German resident, you are fortunate to live in a nation that has a reputation as one of the best health care providers in the world. This is driven by the principle of equality, which ensures that health insurance coverage is delivered to members of all social demographics. Thanks to a robust national economy, approximately 85% of the population are mandatory or voluntary members of the public health care scheme, while the remainder have private coverage. Whether you require cosmetic treatment from a reputable provider like or are in need of a standard dental procedure, it is always worth exploring your options to secure affordable health care or government aided financial assistance.

    The Last Word

    While it is easy to see why dental tourism is experiencing a rise in popularity, the potential savings that it exposes you to must be measured in line with quality and long term value. If you are unable to thoroughly research your options or confirm the credentials of your overseas practitioner, you would be better served by investing in domestic dental treatment.


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