Tuesday, March 15, 2016


DENTAL TOURISM - What's a Dental Vacation? ARE YOU KIDDING?

 Dental travel, dental holidays - Facts and info for the dental tourist by CNBC

Dental tourism — where patients struggling to afford or find the right treatment at home head overseas — is booming, with many countries jostling to offer high-quality care at a good price. In 2013, around 900,000 Americans traveled overseas for treatment.

And that number looks set to increase: 50 million Americans were either uninsured or underinsured for dental and medical health care in 2013, according to the U.S.'s Medical Tourism Resource Guide.
However, medical and dental tourism are not the preserve of Americans — around 8 million patients from across the world seek overseas treatment each year, contributing to a global industry worth $24-$40 billion, says Patients Beyond Borders.

Reasons other than cost to travel overseas for health care include better treatment, as well as avoiding long waiting lists and dodging questions from colleagues and family.

Dental implants, oral restorations and cosmetic treatments in particular are commonly sought abroad.  The most popular destinations for health care tourism, according to providers and consultancies such as Deloitte include Mexico, Thailand and the Philippines.

Tens of thousands of Americans with a sprinkling of Canadians head for Mexico every year according to Deloitte. The most visited dental travel destination being Tijuana with most driving in from Southern California or Nevada. Los Algodones get many driving in from Southern Arizona according to the American Automobile Association. 

A spokesperson for Southern California AAA said that Tijuana dentists have been the major destination for American dental tourist patients for over 60 years.

Patients traveling longer distances often fly to Puerto Vallarta or Tijuana (San Diego International) according the Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association. 

Dental costs are slightly higher in Cancun and Cabo due to the higher cost of living, rents, staff and because dental supplies and equipment have to travel longer distances from major cities in Mexico to these places. 

The bottom-line is that regardless of the slight differences between dental prices from one town to another in Mexico - for foreign patients the savings to-be-had by having dentistry in Mexico is substantial - as much as 70% in many cases.

If you live beyond an easy 2-3 hour drive of the border - flying to a dental vacation resort town like Cabo or Puerto Vallarta may be the ticket for you.

Cabo San Lucas & Puerto Vallarta offer the dental tourism patient many attractions from golf and sports fishing to designer boutiques and malls

A dental vacation in Puerto Vallarta or even Tijuana (stay and play in nearby San Diego) beats any dirt poor border town where not too many years ago cattle roamed the downtown and cantinas outnumbered the taco stands. 

Most dental tourism patients need to spend a week and often as much as 2 weeks to complete major treatments. 

The dental tourist normally has several days between clinic appointments while lab work is being done and what better place to spend it than someplace with lots of attractions and fun things to do. Like beaches, golf, great dining, nightclubs,  tours, museums, sportfishing and my favorite - sport shopping in designer boutiques and malls.

By CNBC's Katy Barnato,  Data provided by Thomson - Reuters


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