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Dental Work Abroad: Expert Guide

Dental work abroad? Yes, you read that right! It’s a great option if the cost of dental work is too high in your home country. Dental tourism is has become a popular way for millions of people to combine dental treatment with a holiday.

Best of all, you’ll save huge amounts of money on all types of dental services especially higher-cost treatments such as dental implants, crowns, and even veneers. Read this article to find out what to consider while choosing dental work abroad.

Dental Work Abroad

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Should I Travel Abroad for Dental Work?

The primary reasons to travel abroad for dental work are high treatment costs and lack of insurance coverage in one’s home country. You can save up to 70 – 80% at a dentist overseas. But keep in mind, higher amounts of savings are only possible on extensive restorative and cosmetic dental work.

Along with savings, it is crucial to consider two other factors: additional costs and safety. Therefore, while planning a dental tourism trip, thorough research is essential.

As a dental tourist, your additional costs may include air travel cost, travel & stay in the city, and cost of time away from work & home.

As a dental patient, things to consider are the experience of the dentists, the reputation of the clinic, safety protocols followed, and the quality of materials used.

When planning a dental trip abroad, keep the following factors in mind:

FactorsHomeAbroad
Cost savings on dental work
Online consultations
Easy access to dentists🤔
No waiting for appointments🤔🤔
Experienced & certified dentists
Standard equipment & materials
Standard sterilization protocols
Travel & stay cost
Cost of time away from work & home
In-person follow-ups
Vacation

Applicable Not Applicable 🤔 Depends

Mexico, India, Costa Rica, Thailand, the Philippines, Hungary, Colombia, Turkey, and Poland are the most popular destinations for dental tourists. They offer affordable and quality care to patients.
Also, because recovery time—even for complex dental procedures—is relatively short, patients can spend the remaining time enjoying a vacation.

Why Is Dental Work Cheap Abroad?

You may be wondering why dental work is so cheap abroad. Low salaries, low student debts, low cost of living, and lower real estate prices are some reasons.

However, it is important to realize that cheap does not mean low quality. On the contrary, reputable dental clinics in these countries use globally renowned brands and maintain the highest safety standards. They meet and often exceed international standards.

Below are a few detailed reasons for low-cost dental work abroad:

Lower Cost of Setting Up a Dental Office

Even though, cost of equipment and technology in some of the countries like Thailand could be higher than many western countries due to higher taxes on imported goods; The cost of building a dental office is generally lower due to cheap labor costs.[1]NPR Mexican Town Is A Destination For Dental Tourism “Dentistry is cheap here for some obvious reasons — inexpensive labor and real estate.” View in Article

Low Cost of Living

The low cost of living in other countries leads to lower treatment costs. For instance, people traveling to Turkey from the UK save about 70-85% on dental treatment.[2]Expatistan Cost of living in Mexico compared to the United States “Cost of living in Mexico is 49% cheaper than in the United States.” View in Article

Low Salaries of Dental Staff

Due to the low cost of living, minimum wages, even for skilled workers, are significantly less than in the US.[3]Chicago Health Dental Tourism ” There’s also a glut of dentists, keeping their salaries low, and many don’t use dental assistants.” View in Article As a result, they don’t charge as much for the same procedures.

Lower Cost or Absence of Malpractice Insurance

Dentists in the US spend more than 5,000 – 20,000 USD annually on malpractice insurance. Meanwhile, a dentist in Thailand spends less than 1,000 USD per year.[4]NCPA Medical Tourism “Malpractice litigation costs are also lower in other countries than in the United States…” View in Article

Lesser or No Student Loan Debt

In countries like Mexico, the government subsidizes dentists’ education. So, dentists do not graduate with huge debts. Additionally, many public dental schools offer free dental education when students pass a highly competitive university entrance exam in Thailand.[5]ADANews Dentists share student debt stories. “On behalf of the ADA about the impact educational debt has on small dental practices…” View in Article

What Is the Quality of Dental Care Overseas?

Dental tourism is an excellent prospect for those who lack insurance or whose insurance does not cover a certain procedure. With that said, not all dental clinics deliver quality care. Therefore, you must exercise caution when selecting a clinic.

Many dental clinics overseas are recognized by national associations. This indicates high standards of dental care and patient safety. Additionally, it is vital to choose a dentist who has received formal education to obtain a dental degree. Look for one with international training and a good amount of experience for added safety.

Dental Associations Abroad

Best Countries for Dental Work

Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica, Turkey, and India are considered some of the best countries to travel to for dental work. Other popular destinations are Vietnam, Cambodia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Colombia. Here is some detailed information on these countries to help you decide.

Mexico

Mexico is a people’s favorite country for dental work. It is an attractive destination for Americans due to its proximity to the US.

Mexican cities like Tijuana, Juarez, Cancun, Merida, Los Cabos, and Los Algodones offer affordable, high-quality care. Indeed, Los Algodones has earned the title of “dental capital of the world.”

Dental treatment costs in Mexico are roughly one-third of what you can expect to pay in the US.

Cancun, Mexico | Dental Work Abroad

Cancun, Mexico
Pros & Cons of Dental Work in Mexico
ProsCons
Affordable dental treatments.The crime rate in Mexico is the highest in the world.
Dentists in Mexico practice as a group, enabling all specialists to work under one dental practice.Continuous learning courses are not mandatory. Hence, some may fail to keep up with the latest advances.
Cultural diversity, along with a view of pristine Caribbean beaches, attracts tourists.Language can serve as a barrier as Spanish is the most spoken language.
You can obtain prices via virtual consultation.Few dentists may perform procedures without adequate training.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is blooming as a dental tourism destination for Americans and Canadians.
Many quality-conscious dentists in Costa Rica are members of the American Dental Association, assuring a high standard of care.
Quality dental treatment combined with a visit to the country’s wildlife reserves and beaches makes for a perfect dental vacation.

Costa Rica | Dental Work Abroad

Costa Rica

Pros & Cons of Dental Work in Costa Rica

Pros:

  • Affordable costs for otherwise expensive dental procedures.
  • Quality of care is comparable to the US.
  • Healthcare providers are proficient in English.
  • Relatively short waiting time.
  • Short travel time of less than 3 hours from the East coast states like Florida, US.

Cons:

  • The legal system isn’t the same as the US.
  • Lack of liability in case of a mishap.
  • Most locals do not speak in English.

Turkey

Turkey is growing as a popular place for dental tourists from the UK and other European countries.

People can save 70-85% of the cost of dental treatment. It is because of favorable exchange rates (as 1-pound equals 12 Turkish lire).

In addition to this, tourists from European countries such as Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK can enter Turkey without a visa.[6]Online Visa Turkey to Allow 6 European Nationalities Visa-Free “Nationals of many European countries can already enter Turkey without a visa for up to 90 days within any 180-day period..” View in Article It further strengthens tourism within the country.

Several Turkish cities, such as Istanbul, Antalya, and Izmir, are also famous tourist attractions.

Istanbul, Turkey | Dental Work Abroad

Istanbul, Turkey

Pros & Cons of Dental Work in Turkey

Pros:

  • Most dental clinics are certified by national organizations.
  • Dentists are highly skilled and trained.
  • Great prices for dental services.
  • Low travel expenses from European cities.
  • A prime destination for historical and natural heritage sites.

Cons:

  • English is not the most spoken language.
  • A few hospitals are not good at maintaining the documents of dental tourists.
  • Female tourists must be aware of how to dress appropriately.
  • Women are often subject to sexual harassment.

India

India serves as a hub for many international dental clinics.

Tourists from the US, UK, and other European countries travel here for dental treatment.

The cost of dental procedures in India is 60-70% less than in the US, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

Delhi, India | Dental Work Abroad

Delhi, India
Pros & Cons of Dental Work in India
ProsCons
High standards of treatment at a low cost.Lack of consistent and uniform standards of dental work.
No waiting time due to a large number of private clinics.Lack of government investment in healthcare infrastructure.
State of the art technology in dental clinics.Lack of legal recourse.
It has various heritage sites that boost tourism.Lack of uniform pricing in different clinics.
Easy to communicate as the dental staff speaks fluent English.Huge variation in the cost of hotels depending on the city.

Thailand

Dental care is the third most utilized service in Thailand by foreign patients. Indeed, dental treatment accounts for 11% of Thailand’s medical tourism market.

The cost of dental procedures in Thailand is 60% less than in the US and Australia. Access to highly skilled dentists at an affordable price will attract you to dental tourism in Thailand.

Thailand | Dental Work Abroad

Thailand

Pros & Cons of Dental Work in Thailand

Pros:

  • Access to experienced dentists at an affordable cost.
  • State of the art technology in dental clinics.
  • High-quality treatments are performed at a faster pace.
  • English is a commonly spoken language by healthcare providers.
  • Good travel connectivity with other countries.
  • Exotic tourist attractions.
  • Great tasting food and cuisine.
  • No clothing restrictions for women and generally very safe for tourists.

Cons:

  • Cultural and language disparity can lead to miscommunication with locals.

If you’re traveling abroad for dental work, you’ll probably want to stay close to your home country. Check out this list of popular dental tourism destinations according to regional proximity.


Popular Dental Tourism DestinationsSource Country
México, Costa Rica, ColombiaUS and Canada
Vietnam, Poland, Thailand, IndiaAustralia, Europe, US, New Zealand, UK, Netherlands, Denmark,  Canada
Hungary, CroatiaUK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, and the US
Turkey, BulgariaUK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, US, Netherlands, and Ireland

What Is the Cost of Dental Work Abroad?

The cost of dental work abroad offers savings of 70 – 80% compared to your home country. All on 4 dental implants, for example, are priced at $9,000 – $10,000 in Mexico, and $12,000 – $13,000 in Thailand. They can be as low as $4,000 to $5,000 in India and Turkey.

The brands used are similar to the western countries. However, some cheaper brands are also available. The lesser expensive dental implants are not necessarily inferior in quality, but they may be just newer to the market.

Refer to the cost comparison table below for the prices of the most popular dental procedures:

Average Price of Dental Work Abroad (in USD)
CountryAll on 4Single Dental ImplantZirconia Crown
Mexico$9,000 – $10,000$800 – $900$450 – $550
Thailand$12,000 – $13,000$800 – $900$500 – $600
Costa Rica$9,000 – $10,700$750 – $850$400 – $500
Turkey$4,000 – $5,000$680 – $780$260 – $360
India$4,500 – $5,500$400 – $500$180 – $250
US$24,000 – $32,000$5,000 – $6,000$2,000 – $3,000
Australia$29,500 – $ 35,000$5,500 – $6,500$2,200 – $3,200
Canada$22,000 – $32,000$4,600 – $5,600$2,000 – $3,000
*Prices are case-dependent. Request a quote for the latest prices and deals.

On average, a single dental implant price can range from $400 to $1,200 abroad, as opposed to $4,000 to $6,000 in the US, Canada, and Australia.

How To Find a Reputable Dentist Abroad?

If you are looking for a dentist who offers quality dental treatment at an affordable price, below are some of the tips to get you started:

Work With a Reputed Dental Tourism Company

Contact a reputed dental tourism company for a better experience. Below are some of the advantages of working with a reputed organization:

  • They maintain a repository of the best dental clinics in the selected location.
  • Treatments are customized for each patient.
  • They assist with customized travel packages, saving time and effort.
  • Connection with reliable partners lowers the risk of getting duped.
  • They have a local network on the ground, who ensure your needs are met and manage any unforeseen problems that may arise.
  • They are flexible when plans require change or modification.

Working with a dental tourism company, therefore, saves you money while making your trip a safe & hassle-free experience.

Decide on a Location

Decide on a location for dental treatment abroad. Prioritize if you are looking only for dental work or you’d like to combine it with a vacation. Choosing a location near home saves on travel time and cost. But for the adventurous, traveling to an exotic location could be an exciting and unique experience.

How to find a dentist abroad? | Dental Work Abroad

How To Find A Dentist Abroad?

Shortlist The Dental Clinics

Once you decide your destination, the next step is choosing the right dental clinic. Here are some things to consider while making your selection:[7]Taylor & Francis Online Framing Medical Tourism “When choosing a medical provider, the accreditation or certified skill level of the provider or facility should be a major concern for foreign patients.” View in Article

  • Pay attention to the qualifications of the dentist.
  • Verify the dentists and dental clinic registration
  • Look for the experience and specialization of the dentist.
  • Check if dental clinics are certified by national and international bodies.
  • Look for patients’ testimonials on the clinics’ websites to understand levels of satisfaction and quality of care.
  • Take feedback from patients who underwent similar treatment at the clinic.

Obtain a Virtual Consultation

Once you decide on a dental tourism company, let them know your needs. Obtain a virtual consultation with the in-house dentist in the country of choice. Discuss your needs and share the relevant X-rays and reports of the previous check-ups.

During the consultation, you can discuss the following details:

  • Preferred language of communication
  • Experience of the dentist
  • Sterilization & Safety protocols followed
  • Quality of materials to be used
  • Number of days required for the procedure
  • Success and failure rate
  • Risks of developing post-treatment complications
  • Retreatment options (only if needed)
  • Treatment guarantees
  • Methods of payment
  • Sharing of treatment records before and after the procedure

Make a Final Decision

After gathering all the relevant information, analyze the details. Assess what works best for you, make an informed decision, and choose a dentist abroad.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Tourism?

Like anything else, dental tourism has its pros and cons. While considering a trip abroad, it is crucial that you understand the good aspects as well as the bad

Pros of Dental Tourism [8]IOSR-JDMS Benefits of Dental Tourism – A Review “Benefits of medical and dental tourism are incredible savings…” View in Article

  • Incredible savings due to affordable dental work.
  • No long waiting periods for dental procedures.
  • Ability to book procedures online.
  • Boosts the local economy.
  • Access to reputable doctors and the latest technology.

Cons of Dental Tourism [9]NCBI Medical Tourism “There are several problems with medical tourism as discussed by several agencies.” View in Article

  • All follow-ups must be done remotely.
  • Some may experience post-op complications.
  • Research is required as not all clinics offer quality care
  • Language can serve as a barrier.
  • Lack of knowledge of the city for first-time travelers.

Nonetheless, with proper research, and working with a reputable agency, the pros outweigh the cons of dental tourism, making it a feasible option.

Dental Tourism Packages

We are associated with several clinics worldwide offering deals on treatments along with additional facilities. These offers vary by clinic. Here are some of the discounts provided:

Current Specials

  • Free consultation and check-ups.
  • Free panoramic X-Rays and temporary crowns.
  • Lab warranty on crowns, bridges, and veneers for 3-5 years in case of a manufacturing defect.
  • Warranty on implants, inlays, dentures, and composite fillings.
  • Cost-effective veneers (for instance, 20 porcelain veneers for  8,000 USD or 16 for 7,200 USD).
  • Provision for placement of a new dental implant if lost during the surgical stage.
  • Discounts on procedures such as teeth whitening, crowns, and bridges.

Package Facilities

  • Pick and drop facility from the airport.
  • Discounts on accommodation in recommended hotels.
  • Dedicated parking facility.
  • Pick and drop facility from hotel to clinic.

Additional Facilities At DentaVacation Clinics

  • In-house labs to reduce the treatment time.
  • Assistance with completing insurance papers.
  • Multilingual staff.
  • Multiple payment options.

Additional Facilities At DentaVacation Clinics

*All the services, deals, warranties vary with the procedure, location, and the clinic selected. 

Talk to our case managers to learn about the latest deals, terms & conditions on warranties provided at your favored destination.

Red Flags When Choosing a Foreign Dental Clinic

Choosing the right dental clinic abroad requires in-depth research. During which you may come across red flags. Here is what you should watch out for:

Disparity In Information

While searching online, verify the authenticity of dental tourism agencies. Check for the credentials of your shortlisted dental clinics and dentists.

Many buy fake reviews to look real. Carefully assess patients’ reviews to determine if they are real or fake. Try to contact these patients personally and ask about their experiences.

Flashy Ads About Deals

Dental tourism companies may try to entice you with heavy discounts to get you in the door. For example, they might assure you of cheap flights, cheap dental procedures, and attractive exchange rates. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Lack of Provisional Treatment Plan With Accurate Pricing

A reputable clinic will provide you with a tentative treatment plan with precise pricing. If a dentist or clinic seems reluctant to do so, they may not be trustworthy.

Poor Sterilization Procedures at the Clinic

Clinics following sterilization protocols of international standards give assurance of quality care. Enquire about them over a virtual consultation. Proceed further only if you are satisfied with what you’re told.

Use of Old Technology

Advanced dental technology provides a faster, less painful, and more comfortable experience. The use of old technology indicates a lack of funding, resources, and ultimately a lower standard of care. It’s better to know about the state-of-the-art technology in dental clinics before deciding further.

Lack of Tailored Treatment Plans

Look for dentists who provide treatment plans as per your requirements. Sometimes, dentists may add additional procedures for extra bucks.

Does Not Request Old Dental Records

Your dental records contain information about past diagnoses, treatment plans, and procedures. If the dentist abroad doesn’t ask for these records they are missing out on important information relevant to previous treatments.

Vague Follow-up Protocols

Follow-up visits are an essential component of successful treatment. Check with your dentist if they have provisions for follow-ups for overseas patients.

What Are the Effective Measures To Take Post-Dental Work?

For a dental treatment to be successful, patient cooperation is a must. Below are some of the measures that you can adopt post-dental work:[10]Mouth Healthy Travel “Continuity of care is important and should be a consideration when making treatment decisions.” View in Article

Carefully follow the post-op instructions given by your dentist. Ensure that you maintain proper oral hygiene by regular brushing and flossing.

Surgical procedures may require ample time to heal. Follow up with the dentist before leaving for your home country.

Post-op surgical problems include bleeding, pain, swelling, and infection. After complicated procedures, you may need to stay back for 1-2 days.

Post Treatment Complications | Dental Work Aboard

Post Treatment Complications

After Care & Follow-up

Before initiating any treatment abroad, ask if you can get follow-up care in your home country. Some treatments, especially dental implants, require regular maintenance with your local dentist.

There are around 40 different implant systems. To avoid any confusion, ask your dentist abroad to share the treatment documents with you. You can also request that your overseas dentist use dental implant brands that are available in your home country.

How To Finance Your Dental Vacation

Dental tourists usually enjoy 50-70% savings on dental work abroad. But you also need to account for air travel, stay, and food expenses. Even with these additional costs, you can save out-of-pocket expenses using these payment options:

Dental Insurance

Traditional insurance policies for travel do not include the expenses incurred for a dental vacation. However, given the massive market of medical tourism, insurance companies have developed products that cover:[11]OECD Medical Tourism: A Scoping Review “Insurance products have also emerged that go beyond ensuring travel and loss, and which seek to cover the costs of further treatments.” View in Article

  • Cost of further treatment in case of complications.
  • Cost of treatment if you are dissatisfied with post-treatment abroad.
  • Follow-up fees of local dentists for continuity of care.

Personal Loan

You can opt for a personal loan [12]Money Rates Medical Tourism – Compare and Choose “It’s almost certainly cheaper than credit cards, and most personal loan interest rates are fixed.” View in Article if you need to pay for your treatment up front. Personal loans are cheaper than credit cards and have fixed interest rates. They are easy to apply for, and repayment depends on your interest rate and loan terms.

Below are some of the companies that provide loans customized to your needs:

Mentioned below are some of the companies that provide loans customized to your needs:

CountryLoan Companies
USAeFinancing
CanadaMediCard
AustraliaTotal Life Credit

If you require assistance with financing options, talk to our case managers.

Is It Safe To Get Dental Work Done Outside the US?

Dental tourism is a booming industry in the US. You would be surprised to know that this industry is expected to generate more than $52 billion by 2023. Due to the increasing healthcare cost, Americans are looking for cheaper alternatives.

Americans spent around $2.6 billion on medical and dental tourism.

US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Here are some of the benefits that you  can experience:

  • Affordable procedures such as dental implants, veneers, and root canals.
  • No waiting lists for appointments.
  • All types of dental treatments are available.
  • High quality of work with personalized care.
US Patient Review
US Patient Testimonial
US Patient Review

Things to consider before you choose a destination for dental vacation:[13]Travel Daily News Is it safe to travel outside the U.S. for a medical procedure? “In-depth research involves more than searching online for information and reviews…” View in Article

Run extensive research on the shortlisted clinics.

Go through the patients’ testimonials.

Check past patients’ recommendations.

Speak to shortlisted dentists.

Enquire about the quality of materials.

Verify the credentials and experience of the dentists.

Check the sterilization protocols in use.

Discuss the estimated number of days required

 Finalize once you feel confident!

If possible, plan few days for unplanned sittings.

 Check if you need any vaccinations before travel.

Check the travel advisories proposed by your country.

Is It Safe To Get Dental Work Done Outside Australia?

With the rise in dental costs, Australians are looking for dental work abroad for savings. For instance, a crown in Australia will cost you around $1,500, but you would pay $700 in Thailand.

The idea of enjoying a vacation also lures people. Countries outside Australia, such as Thailand and India, offer 70-80% cheaper treatments. You will be satisfied with the minimal waiting time, easy access to dentists, and the latest technology.

Australian Patient Review
Australian Patient Testimonial
Australian Patient Review

These countries are world known for exotic places. Moreover, inexpensive travel and stay options add a feather to the cap. In addition, it enables people to rest and relax. While you plan for your dental travel, below are the things to consider to make your journey safe and uneventful.[14]Australian Dental Association Dental Tourism “Before you head off on a dental holiday, you should check if your overseas dentist was trained at a reputable university…” View in Article

Contact a credible dental tourism agency.

Check for the qualifications of dentists.

Speak to shortlisted dentists.

Enquire about the quality of materials.

Find out if dental clinics are certified by national authorities.

Enquire about the infection control protocols.

Discuss the estimated number of days required.

Check if any vaccinations are required.

If possible, plan a few days for unplanned sittings.

Go through the travel advisories proposed by your country.

FAQs

Q. Which is the best country for dental work?

A. Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Hungary, Cambodia, Colombia, Turkey, India, and Poland are the most popular destinations for dental work.
The best option for you depends on regional proximity, cost savings, and travel preferences.

Q. Is it worth going abroad for dental treatment?

A. People can save 40% to 80% on dental treatments abroad. For instance,  Americans save 45%-65% in Costa Rica and 40%-65% in Mexico on dental procedures.

Meanwhile, people from the UK save 70% – 85% on dental treatments in Turkey. The benefits are most substantial when you undergo extensive dental work such as dental implants, veneers, multiple root canals, and cosmetic dental procedures.

Q. What is the cheapest country for dental work?

A. Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica, India, Colombia, Cambodia, and Turkey are the cheapest destinations for dental tourism. About 25% of dental tourists worldwide visit Mexico.[15]NCBI Global Tourist Guide To Oral Care “Mexico followed by India and Hungary is the leading destination for dental tourism, 25% of the worldwide dental tourists come to Mexico.” View in Article

You should also factor in the cost of air travel, accommodation, and travel preferences. Despite these additional expenses, dental tourists still save a lot of money.

Q. Is it safe to have dental implants done abroad?

A. A success rate of over 95% makes dental implant procedures a safe and popular choice among people looking for dental work abroad. A dental implant procedure done under aseptic conditions by a skilled, experienced dentist is your best bet.

Conclusion

Dental tourism allows you to access affordable, high-quality dental care while traveling to exotic destinations. However, you should be mindful of possible risks while deciding on dental work abroad.

Contact us today to get the best deals for your chosen destination. We ensure you get a quality and safe dental experience.

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