October 29, 2014 by Neil Walker
Low-cost dentistry abroad is not just confined to a two-week dental vacation in a luxurious beach resort. It is within the realms of possibility to regularly travel abroad for your dental care . Low cost, frequent flights to destinations around the globe make taking a city break combined with dental care a reality, and for business travelers who regularly visit cities abroad it is also a way of maintaining their dental health without the hassle of taking time off work, or trying to schedule an appointment in their home country.
For some patients, traveling to popular dental tourism destinations doesn’t even necessitate a flight as cross-border travel can be done by car, or on foot.
The phenomenon of traveling abroad to neighboring countries for affordable dental care is not a new one, but nowadays good transport links have made it a growing reality with whole industries to support the influx of visitors springing up in the frequently-traveled-to destinations. Two of our most popular city destinations are very different in terms of tourist attractions, but both offer their patients the same experience of affordable, high-quality dental care.
Why is low-cost medical and dental tourism growing?
The money brought into the healthcare system from medical and dental tourists is reinvested to produce better facilities, which in turn drives more patients with more money, which in turn is reinvested and so on and so forth. The resulting infrastructure is self-perpetuating, but there are additional benefits to the local economy – patients need somewhere to stay, to eat and to be entertained and so these additional sectors also grow.
A report on medical tourism by KPMG estimating some 1.5 million patients visited Thailand in 2009. Tourism figures for Thailand in 2009 are quoted as being around 14 million, so medical and dental tourism represents a significant value.
What cities are the most popular for low-cost dental care?
While Bangkok has attracted tourists on its own merits for many years, there is no doubt that low cost medical and dental tourism has contributed to its economy, simultaneously fuelling the rise of world-class healthcare facilities which put many of its Western counterparts to shame.
Healthcare providers are increasingly competitive, offering patients not just low-cost care but care that is of the highest standards. Modern, state-of-the-art facilities complete with on-site hotels, highly-skilled specialists and international accreditation are just some of the ways that demonstrate a clinic’s excellence. Thailand was the first country in Asia to receive a prestigious Joint Commission International accreditation, and now there are dozens located throughout the country.
Bangkok is not only one of the world’s most fascinating cities, but it also offers dental patients excellent facilities, clinical expertise and astounding savings on their dental care.
Los Algodones, Mexico
At the other end of the spectrum for low cost dentistry is Algodones – but only from outward appearances. Bangkok is a glamorous capital city, attracting serious investment from both the government and the corporate sector. Algodones is a colorful, dusty Mexican border town which has nonetheless managed to capitalize on its geographical location handsomely to establish itself as a Capital City of Dentistry.
For visitors from Southern Arizona in particular, it is a convenient location to travel to in the car. However, Algodones has attracted visitors from all over North America, particularly snowbirds and retirees from the North, who have sought some winter sun in its temperate climate, as well as savings on an array of goods and services, including healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
The population of Algodones is only around 5000 but there are around 900 dentists located here – testatment to the fact that it is a very popular place to come to for low cost dental care. While there may not be JCI accredited clinics lining the streets here (it is an expensive, time-consuming process which all but the largest hospitals can afford) there are many skilled and highly-qualified dentists who go the extra mile to ensure they provide affordable, but above all, good quality services to their patients.
Dental Departures has traveled the world finding high quality dental providers to create the number one resource for low cost dental care. Whether you visit one of our small sole practitioner clinics or one of our multi-disciplinary hospitals, or anything in between, you can be certain that you will be visiting a quality-checked dentist and with our best price guarantee will be receiving the lowest cost available for your dental care.