Dental implants and crowns in Korea are gaining popularity among people all over the world seeking a permanent solution to replacing their missing teeth. The elderly and others in need of implants, find the low cost dental implants in Korea a refreshing change from the exuberantly priced root devices in their native countries. Dental implants in Seoul, South Korea can be a good option for those considering a dental-value-trip to a foreign land.
Medical tourism is a thriving industry, especially in Asian countries such as Korea, India and Singapore. Korea, with its top notch medical institutions, well qualified medical practitioners and highly developed system of oriental medicine has carved a niche for itself in the medical value tourism segment.
As per figures revealed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea, approximately 80,000 medical tourists visited the country in 2010, an increase of 36% over the previous year.
Dental Implants in Korea – An Overview
Dental implants are titanium fixtures which are surgically placed in the jaw. These implants support teeth crowns or porcelain teeth and hence replace missing teeth.
Dental Implants and Crowns in Korea, offer dental tourists the following advantages:
- Dentists in Korea have the same level of expertise as their counterparts in the first world countries. In fact, implant dentists in Korea have to undergo vigorous 11 year training before they can specialize.
- Korea is one of the world leaders where technology is concerned and healthcare centers in Korea have state of the art dental and medical equipment. Da Vinci robot surgery, TomoTherapy and proton therapy are a few techniques employed in this country, which also boasts of one of the highest cancer survival rates in the world.
- Revolutionary IT infrastructure, which enables patient records to be kept safely and allows quick access to them.
- Affordable medical care which can be gauged from the fact that on an average, any in-patient procedure in the US costs almost thirteen times as high as in Korea.
- Foreigners covered by the National Health Insurance, find the prices of dental implants in Korea cheaper than the costs in their native countries. The cumulative amount spent on transportation and accommodation in Korea, along with spending on low cost dental implants in Korea, will be only a fraction of the amount spent on the dental treatment alone in the first world countries.
- Approximately thirty South Korean hospitals and clinics are members of the Council for Korean Medicine Overseas Promotion (CKMOP).
- There are over 24 hospitals and dental clinics in Korea which are accredited by the JCI (Joint Commission International). Sanitation practices such as sterilization of instruments and use of barrier techniques are followed by all of them, which make the entire procedure of getting dental implants abroad safe and convenient.
- The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is in partnership with over 70 hospitals in the country which employ multilingual medical staff.
- Post dental treatments, patients experience a boost in self confidence, esteem and an overall improvement in the quality of life.
Where to Go in Korea for Dental Implants?
According to an article by the IT Times, South Korea earned $48 million from medical tourism in 2009, attracting a total of 40,000 foreign patients. Some of the cities in the country which offer affordable dental care and cheap dental crowns are as follows:
- Seoul – The capital city of South Korea and is home to a number of leading hospitals. It recently hosted the International Conference on Medical Tourism in 2010.
- Daegu – The city recently won a bid of $5 billion dollars to build medical complexes and has launched Medi City, a combined name for over 40 hospitals, to make healthcare services in Korea more accessible to Chinese, Japanese, and English speaking patients.
- Busan – It is a popular destination for medical and dental treatment and ensures quality dental implants for foreign patients and is also host to a number of call centers providing interpretation services for offshore patients.
- Gangwon-do – The city recently signed an MOU with the KTO (Korea Tourism Organization) and aims to draw 10,000 medical tourists in the coming years.
- Jeju Island – Jeju Healthcare Town is a joint venture between the government and the private sector. It is being developed in three stages – Wellness Park for relaxation, Medical Park equipped with cutting edge technology and the R&D Park. Once functional, its location and ease of accessibility will make it the ideal destination for getting affordable dental implants in Korea, along with other dental treatment.
Who should seek Dental Implants in Korea?
- The uninsured – As per statistics released in 2006 by the US Census Bureau, 16% of the American population is uninsured and any medical or dental treatment for those lacking insurance coverage proves to be a financial nightmare. Korea, with its latest technology and skilled dentists, provides quality dental care like full mouth restoration, at a fraction of what they cost in America.
- The underinsured – The decreased coverage by the insurance companies and increased cost has resulted in many Americans finding themselves underinsured and has forced quite a few of them to seek out alternative treatments. Dental implants in Korea are a lucrative option for such people looking for a permanent solution for their missing teeth.
- Others – Korea is a pioneer in the world of technology and one can get all types of medical and dental procedures in a shorter time there. In a market survey conducted by Renub Research in 2009, 48% of the foreign patients cited “the quality of healthcare services and technology” as the primary reasons for visiting Korea.
Tips for Medical Tourists in Korea
Foreigners coming to Korea for affordable dental implants must keep the following points in mind:
Keep the local doctor informed
Keep in touch with the local doctor as one might need his/her assistance prior to the surgery for furnishing health records and after the procedure for any follow ups.
It is essential for foreign patients to carry the following documents carefully. Making copies of these and leaving one set home is a good idea as well:
- Dental records – X rays, OPGs, models, photographs and a record of previous dental treatment, if any, would be helpful to the implant dentist in Korea.
- Passport and visa.
- Credit cards, debit cards, or travelers’ cheques – It is advisable to exchange money into the local currency prior to arrival in the country, though most of the hotels provide money exchange facilities.
Be flexible about the length of the stay
While getting implants in Korea, the patients will have to be flexible about the length of their stay in Korea. Although getting implants is a relatively simple procedure, the response to its placement may vary slightly from patient to patient. In some cases, the doctor may advice a longer stay, while in others shorter.
Get in touch with Denta Vacation
DentaVacation helps iron out all the hurdles one faces while traveling abroad for treatments like Straumann teeth implants in India or upper and lower jaw bone grafting in Mexico and makes the entire experience pleasant and convenient.
Travel Options in Korea
Dental tourism in Korean cities like Seoul, Busan, Gyeongju, and Daegu also gives tourists the opportunity to experience the rich culture of this Asian country. Some of the top tourist attractions are:
- The awe inspiring peaks of the Baekdudaegan,especially Seoraksan and Jirisan.
- The mysterious caves of Danyang and Hwanseongul.
- Beautiful beaches of Haeundae and Mallipo.
- Boryeong Mud Festival and the Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival are some of the local festivals which hold great appeal for tourists.
- Jeju-do islands, with their Natural World Heritage Site of Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes.
Korea with its technological expertise, skilled medical personnel and reduced prices is the ideal location for foreigners seeking medical treatment abroad. Dental implants and crowns in Korea are a permanent solution to missing teeth without burning a hole in the pocket.