You might travel for any number of reasons: business, sightseeing, volunteering, or just soaking up the sun on a white sandy beach.
'But how about getting a dental implant or two? Did you know you could travel for that?'
With the cost of dental care steadily rising, many people are traveling to take advantage of cheaper dentistry in a trend known as dental tourism.
This guide will help you decide whether or not dental vacation packages are right for you.
What is Dental Tourism?
Dental tourism is the fast-growing trend of traveling to a place where dental treatment costs less than it does at home.
How does dental tourism work?
Becoming a dental “tourist” starts with locating a country where the cost of dental care and supplies are cheaper than in your home country.
Once you’ve found a country you’d like to visit for dental treatment, you start researching dentists in the area and hotels where you can plan a stay.
With dental tourism, you can enjoy a nice vacation and get your smile fixed all in one trip.
Dental Vacation Packages: What Are They?
Does the idea of stepping off a plane in a foreign country and searching for a dental office sound overwhelming?
Fortunately, you don’t have to do that! A dental vacation package can make your treatment planning a breeze.
Dental treatment for tourists is usually offered in dental vacation packages. These packages bundle various dental procedures and other services to simplify your trip planning and ensure that you get the best deal.
Dental vacation packages make sure that all of your needs are cared for. Dental tourism agencies and dental clinics that cater to tourists offer comprehensive packages including things like:
A dental vacation package can spare you a lot of needless worry and stress.
You can enjoy high-quality dental care abroad minus the anxiety that usually comes with international travel by selecting a dental vacation package.
What Is the Best Country for Dental Tourism?
So if you live in the United States or Canada and want to try dental tourism, where should you go?
Two of the most popular countries with fantastic dental vacation packages are Mexico and Costa Rica.
Dental Tourism Mexico
Since Mexico is so close to the U.S. border, it’s easy to visit the country by car if you live in the Southwest. You don’t even have to go far over the border to find a great deal on dental treatment. One of the benefits of going to Mexico is that it’s usually easier and more cost-efficient to make return trips to the country for follow-up procedures.
There are many U.S.-trained dentists who work out of Mexico so you can be assured of receiving quality care.
Mexico’s warm climate and gorgeous beaches offer plenty of opportunities to blend your next dental visit with a little fun in the sun!
Dental Tourism Costa Rica
A trip to Costa Rica may include more travel expenses, but thousands of U.S. and Canadian residents flock to this tropical locale to take advantage of the incredible prices on dental treatment.
While Costa Rica maintains a high standard of dental care for tourists, you can still save up to 60% on your treatment by visiting this country.
How to Find Dental Vacation Packages in Costa Rica and Mexico
Are you ready to hop on a plane and get your next dental crown for a bargain?
Before you go, make sure you do your research. Visiting a foreign country for dental treatment without having a plan can set you up for trouble.
Start your search for the perfect dental vacation package by looking up reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor. These sites are perfect for getting honest input from dental tourists just like you. Determine in advance which country you’d like to visit for dental treatment and then look for a list of dental providers in the area. Use the review sites to see what has been written about the clinics you are considering.
After finding a place you like, contact the clinic directly and ask how you can book an appointment.
There are also several dental tourism agencies that make this whole process even easier. They’ve done the hard work for you by screening the local dental clinics and checking their qualifications and standard of care. The agencies then compile lists of recommended dental treatment providers that you can select from with the confidence that you’ll get high-quality care.
Some examples of these agencies include:
- The Costa Rica Dental Guide. This site provides reviews and ratings of only the best dentists in Costa Rica. You can even fill out a form to get a quote for the treatment you’re interested in.
- The Medical Tourism Corporation (Mexico). Check out this site to see just how much you could save on your dental treatment by comparing the prices of procedures in Mexico versus the United States. Under certain conditions, you may even qualify for a free hotel stay with your vacation package!
- Patients Beyond Borders. This is a very reliable resource that can connect you with trustworthy medical and dental care providers around the globe. U.S. and Canada residents also seek treatment in Thailand, Hungary, South Korea, and the Czech Republic.
- Dental Departures. This company is a great option that offers a lot of customizable features so that you can create the ultimate dental vacation package that suits your needs. They offer things like dental travel insurance, hotel bookings, and even financing options.
The Burning Question: How Safe Is Dental Tourism?
Your local dentist may caution you strongly against heading abroad for a dental procedure. But in reality, dental tourism is actually quite safe as long as you plan your trip carefully via trusted agencies and clinics.
That said, there are some potential pitfalls to dental tourism you need to be aware of.
Risks Associated with Dental Vacation Packages
To minimize the risks and get the most out of your dental tourism experience, here are a few things you should do.
- Check out the dental tourism reviews. Always, always, always read up on the online reviews of a particular clinic before you visit it. This will give you a good idea of what kind of treatment you can expect to receive there.
- Stay far away from potential scamsters on the street. Some people may try to lure you into accepting cheap dental care after you arrive in the country. The deals they offer may result in poor-quality dental work. Resist the temptation to save even more money and stick to your original plan.
- Ask about warranties and refund policies before agreeing to treatment. Before you hand over payment or even say “ahh” make sure that you know what your options are in the event you aren’t happy with your results.
- Consult your home dentist before you go. Not sure what treatment you may need? It pays to know before you go. See your local dentist for a cleaning and checkup to find out what kind of care you need and ensure that it’s medically-safe for you to travel. It’s helpful to know what your dental treatment needs are before you go so that you can avoid being pressured to accept treatment that you don’t need.
- Give priority to your dental treatment and keep vacation activities to a minimum. Tempting though it is to plan snorkeling trips, day cruises, bike rides, and other fun recreational activities, don’t let these interfere with your dental care abroad. It’s best to schedule these fun extras once your treatment is finished. This way, your treatment won’t interfere with anything and you can take extra days for follow-up care or recovery, if necessary.
Dental Vacation Packages: Are They Worth It?
Dental vacation packages are an excellent way to boost the health and beauty of your smile without breaking the bank. By working with a trusted dental travel agency or reputable clinic and carefully calculating the cost in advance, you can have a positive dental tourism experience.
Costa Rica may be the best country for dental tourism if you want to save on treatment costs. But there are many other countries you can consider.
Although there are some risks associated with getting dental treatment abroad, you can minimize these with careful planning. Weigh the risks and benefits of a dental vacation package to help you decide. Research all of your options and see your home dentist for a checkup before you go.
Ready to see the world, save money, and brighten your smile all at the same time?
Dental tourism could be perfect for you!