Starting A Dental Tourism Business
Dental tourism is one of the most sought-after forms of medical travel, and Turkey is rising in popularity as a destination for dental tourism. This trend is a great opportunity for individuals interested in starting a dental tourism business because the demand is there, and people are already participating in this movement. Turkey is known for its high-quality dentistry and it is not uncommon for dental tourists to save on cost by traveling to the country.
Most of the medical travelers visiting Turkey are from Western European countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and also from Libya, Qatar, Russia, North Africa, Turkic Republic, The Balkans and the UAE. The people traveling from these nations usually need guidance and assistance on their dental tourism trip which is why starting a dental tourism business is attractive to a lot of entrepreneurs.
Dental Clinics in Turkey Attracting International Patients
On the other hand, the dental tourism increase is also causing dental clinics in Turkey to market their services to more international patients in specific countries and to seek JCI and other accreditation’s to showcase their safety standards and high quality of care.
Gilliam Elliott’s Interview with Elena Izmaylova
Interviewees Name: Elena Izmaylova
Healthcare Center Name: Dental Figure Clinic
Facility Location: Turkey
Organization Type: Dental Clinic
About Dental Figure Clinic
Dental Figures makes early diagnosis by conducting free dental analysis in their clinic. They were established at the beginning of 2018 in Etiler / Levent as the product of 25 years of professional experience of dentist Fırat Dağcıoğlu. All treatment services of dentistry are provided in the clinic.
I would like to start the interview by asking you what your role is at the clinic and how you got into dentistry?
Answer: I lead the international patient department in the dental clinic in the most beautiful city in Turkey, Istanbul. Our clinic is involved in health tourism and we offer all types of dental treatment for patients coming from abroad (mainly Russia, CIS countries and from European countries). In general, I am more than 10 years in marketing in dentistry and previously, I worked in the international marketing department at the largest medical center in Turkey, Liv Hospital.
Give our readers some background about the clinic and the capacity of your organization?
Answer: We have a boutique clinic with 5 dental offices. Our dental experts have experience from 10 to 25 years. All our dentists graduated at the leading medical university in Turkey and did their internships and additional training in European clinics. Previously, we were a division of one of the largest multidisciplinary A + hospitals in Turkey «Liv Hospital», and then we decided to open our own clinic in the city center of Istanbul to provide special care to each patient.
How does the cost and quality of care in Turkey match up against other top dental tourism destinations?
Answer: I will not be misleading, saying that dental treatment in Turkey is extremely cheap. The patients need to understand that real quality cannot be obtained with ridiculously cheap prices. Clinics that value their reputation are using materials that are certified and approved by world health organizations, in particularly by the FDA. For example, we use dental implants from leading European manufacturers that are tested by time and experience. Therefore, we can give a guarantee for dental procedures. But compared to the UK and Europe, dental treatment in Turkey is much cheaper. Moreover, the quality is high, it is indisputable.
Does your clinic partner with medical tourism agencies to bring in additional international patients?
Answer: Of course! We have long-term partnerships with medical tourism agencies in the UK, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. And we would be happy to expand our network with other medical tourism companies.
What does your clinic look for when partnering with a medical tourism agency?
Answer: We would be interested in a long-term collaboration with a medical tourism agency that provides a good patient experience for their clients and that is looking to grow. Our partners always recommend our doctors to their clients, relatives, acquaintances and friends, as each of them becomes our friend and know that we are ready to provide the highest-level of service.
How do you pay the medical tourism facilitators that you partner with?
Answer: We usually compensate medical tourism facilitators by issuing them an agreed upon commission percentage. The patient pays at the cash desk of the clinic or transfers to a bank account for treatments that they had performed. No prepayments are required. Payment is made in foreign currency (USD, EU, GBP) or in the national currency of Turkey. At the end of each month, we pay the commission fees to the medical tourism facilitators via bank transfer for each patient whose treatment is completed. The amount of the commission payment is so transparent that the facilitator will be able to calculate in advance the amount of commission that they will be receiving.
What are some trends that your noticing in dental tourism?
Answer: The main trend is digital dentistry. That is, even before the start of aesthetic dental treatment, the patients can see the result, their future smile – before the veneers placement or aligners usage (orthodontic devices that are transparent, a plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth). Dental treatment in a modern clinic is quick and almost painless, so the patient may well combine treatment with an excellent holiday. In general, we are doing everything to ensure that the patient leaves Istanbul happy, with a beautiful smile and a desire to return to us again.
I know your clinic does a wide range of procedures but are their certain procedures that you notice international patients coming to your clinic for, more than other procedures?
Answer: Many times, patients who come to the clinics in Turkey for dental treatment either do not find a doctor in the country of residence to whom they are ready to entrust the solution to their problems. Another reason is the treatment in their country is too expensive, and they are trying to find another option with more affordable cost.
Usually international patients come to our clinic for dental implant placement (All-on-4, All-in-6) with most of their teeth completely gone, or to restore bone tissue and to obtain Hollywood smiles, or they come to get a dental makeover with porcelain veneers. In addition, we successfully perform operations on Zygoma cheekbone implants and maxillofacial surgery (one of the top maxillofacial surgeons in Turkey, professor, who successfully deals with complex cases, is working in our clinic).
In recent years medical tourists have been traveling to Turkey more than ever before, why do you think this trend is increasing?
Answer: Countries around the world recognize Turkey as a healthy environment and as a medical tourism hotspot. For a long time, Turkey was only credited as a sea resort destination with comfortable hotels and Turkish hospitality. For the last few years, the government of the Republic of Turkey has been investing in the development of health tourism. And now Turkey has well-trained manpower in the medical sector. Private medicine in Turkey is really at a high level, hospitals are well equipped, and specialists are perfectly trained. The quality of medical services in Turkey has been approved by international accreditation institutions like JCI, ISO and JCAOH. International patients begin to realize that the quality treatment, super-comfortable conditions, the famous Turkish hospitality and at the same time reasonable prices are exactly what they are looking for. In addition, due to its geographical location and comfortable climate, Turkey is an excellent choice to combine treatment and holiday. It can be a vacation in the sea resorts of the Antalya region or in the magical, and majestic Istanbul.
Turkey has been a strategic geographical position between Asia, Europe and Middle East, is a confluence between 2 continents. One can easily reach Turkey by plane, from many countries and in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the Arabic patients feel particularly comfortable because Turkey is a Muslim country with an oriental culture. In Turkey the regulations give maximum importance to patients’ rights and security. Therefore, there are almost no instances of malpractice. Health tourists are safe in Turkey, from the moment that a health tourist sets foot into Turkey until he goes back home, he is welcomed with any kind of services he’ll need, by medical staff and other personnel in charge.
What countries seek dental treatment in Turkey the most?
Answer: Mainly, when patients travel here for dental treatment, Turkey is chosen by patients from Arab countries, from Europe (Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands) and also patients from Russia and CIS countries.
If a medical travel facilitator was interested in joining your network and partnering with your clinic, what’s the best method to do so?
Answer: They can always call me, send me an email or drop me a message via WhatsApp. We will give them an answer on a possible partnership within 24 hours of contacting us.
What advice would you give people before traveling to Turkey for a dental procedure?
Answer: First, choose a good doctor and a reputable clinic. Patients need to understand that if they are offered extremely cheap dental treatment, that should be a red flag. The cost of dental treatment in a clinic equipped with modern equipment, qualified employees and experienced dentists and uses high-quality materials, cannot be unbelievably cheap. There are no miracles. Therefore, I advise patients to send their request for treatment to several clinics, ask for a curriculum vitae of the dentists, photos of patients before and after, and clarify which materials will be used (brand of implants, whitening gel, etc.). Patients’ need to carefully choose the clinic and doctors they trust.
Before we conclude the interview, is there anything else that you want people to know about your clinic?
Answer: I would like to say that our main value – is our patients. Therefore, we give guarantees on all types of treatments and do everything possible to ensure that the results of treatment exceed the patient’s expectations. Each patient for us – is a VIP patient who should know that in Istanbul he has doctors and friends who can be trusted. And we work only with the highest quality materials.
Download the PFD version of this interview with Dental Figure Clinic in Turkey and Gilliam Elliott.
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