A wide variety of dental treatments can be accessed abroad, from implants to top-notch veneers; this is called “dental tourism.” Not only do top dental tourism destinations around the world charge much less than the US at their high-end dental clinics, but they also have some of the highest success rates.

As health tourism agencies and overseas dental clinics come up with packages and services to attract foreigners who need dental care, patients are increasingly becoming aware of dental procedures and options beyond their borders.

Many find that they would rather travel to a different country to receive timely, professional, and cost-friendly dental care. Industry numbers reflect this growing trend as the dental tourism market size was worth $3.1 billion in 2020. The global business analytics and consulting firm Adroit Market Research pegs its compound annual growth rate at a promising 11.8%. Other industry sources for dental tourism statistics estimate that dental tourism accounts for 32% of all medical tourism.

Dental tourism has steadily risen in popularity in wealthy nations like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The key reasons these citizens leave their home country for dental operations are cost, quality, and accessibility.

In this article, we take a closer look at the factors that are contributing to this trend, specifically for tourists from the US and the UK.

Dental Tourism in the US

Why is dental tourism popular among Americans?

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, several Americans lost their health insurance and now need an alternative to cut down on healthcare expenses. According to The Guardian, around 74 million Americans don’t have dental insurance, while another 6 million citizens lost their dental coverage during the global health crisis.

Paying out of pocket is out of reach for many, so it isn’t hard to understand why dental tourism is booming. Take, for example, dental implants, which can cost $2,500 in the United States. In contrast, the same dental implants will cost around $900 in countries like Thailand and Costa Rica.

A textbook example of how dental tourism works is the events that are transpiring in the small city of Los Algodones, Mexico. Because dental services in Los Algodones are more affordable and accessible yet are still professional, Americans are flocking to the city to receive dental treatment. As a result, the city has earned the nickname “Molar City.”

Some dental practices even offer pick-up and drop-off services from the airport or all the way to patients’ home cities. In a city like Los Algodones, receiving dental test results is faster since labs are located close by. Also, the cost of living in Los Algodones is inexpensive compared to the US. This results in the price of goods and services being lower. It also means that dental tourists can save a lot on dental procedures.

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The Dental Tourism Market in Europe

For Britons, many patients still find themselves on the National Health Service’s (NHS) waiting lists due to capacity restraints from the global pandemic. The British Dental Association revealed in February 2022 that there had been 40 million dental treatments lost since the pandemic started.

The situation has put a strain on the UK’s dental health system as thousands find themselves on waiting lists, and many struggle to just be part of those lists. Those who are lucky enough to get their names in are forced to wait up to three years for an appointment, while some who are already listed have reportedly had their names removed just because “they waited too long” before booking an appointment.

Despite paying for and being entitled to NHS’ dental services, many British nationals are forced to pay for private care since it is the only way to access dental services more quickly. Unfortunately, costs for private dental care are prohibitive. A single dental implant can carry a price tag between $1,800 to $4,700.

Brits are traveling to medical and dental tourism hotspots to counter this extremely inconvenient situation. Countries like Turkey, Hungary, Thailand, Spain, and Malaysia are some of the popular destinations where dental treatment can be conveniently coupled with vacation and tourist activities.

Dental Tourism Marketing

The demand for dental tourism is growing by leaps and bounds. Medical Tourism Business can provide you with the support and resources you need to take advantage of this monumental shift in the medical and dental tourism industry.

At Medical Tourism Business, we can get your website in front of thousands of dental tourists looking to travel abroad for treatment. Our team can launch, run, and manage your digital marketing campaigns. To learn more about this service, visit our Google Ads page for patient lead generation.  

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