Say cheese

Say cheese

Brits are heading abroad for dental treatment in search of an affordable way to find the perfect smile

National Smile Month, the campaign to improve the UK’s oral health holds events across the country to encourage people to look after their teeth, takes place 13th May to 13th June. Many people are looking further afield than their local dentist to perfect their smile; roughly 50,000 people from the UK travel overseas for dental treatment every year, representing 40% of all outbound medical tourism. This is because the cost of dental care in the UK continues to rise and many other countries can leverage cheaper labour and real estate to provide high quality services at a fraction of the cost. A single dental implant in the UK, for example, can cost up to £1,500, but that same implant would cost just £310 in India, £530 in Hungary and £580 in Poland. 

Calculating the cost of dental treatment overseas

There are the costs of travel and accommodation to take into account and you need to send money abroad, but many specialist surgeries now provide high quality, low cost accommodation for patients. Additionally, cheap flights are available to most major Eastern European cities in countries such as Poland, Estonia, Greece, Turkey and Macedonia. This means that even taking these additional costs into account, overseas treatment can still be cheaper than the equivalent in the UK. Furthermore, the expert service and lack of a waiting list could prove to be well worth the trip.

A trip of a lifetime and a big smile

Further afield, both India and Thailand are establishing reputations as centres of excellence in dentistry. These centres are developed with international patients in mind, featuring English-speaking staff, luxury accommodation and the very latest medical and technological advances. Both compete on the world stage with the latest cutting edge treatments at affordable prices and use the exotic appeal of the location to add to the experience, encouraging patients to combine their treatment with the trip of a lifetime.  

Currency costs for dental treatment overseas

When making an investment in such treatment, it’s important to consider how much a currency exchange will impact that eventual total cost; a specialist foreign exchange provider can help you to make the most of your money. If you are planning a range of treatments over time or have booked far in advance, one option when you transfer money may be to organise a ‘forward contract’ which can help to protect you from rate movements, (a forward contract may require a deposit). You can fix the current rate if it is favourable, or target a specific exchange rate if you have the time to do so. You also have the option to exchange and transfer funds the same day for urgent payments – which may be important if you’re suffering from toothache and are keen to secure more urgent treatment. 

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