Dental Tourism: What Is It, and Should I Consider It?

Article by Dr Raha Sepehrara

The number of British people getting on planes and travelling overseas for dental treatments is on the rise. Driven by social media trends and aggressive targeted marketing within the UK from overseas practices, dental tourism looks like it’s here to stay. 

Before you book your overseas dental treatment, there are many things to consider. The impact of your decision could stay with you for life, and the budget procedure and foreign holiday may end up costing you dearly. 

So, what are the risks of dental tourism, and is it something you should consider?

In this article, we’ll explore many of the things you need to think about when planning your overseas dental trip.

What Is Dental Tourism?

Dental tourism is a rising area of the healthcare industry where overseas dentists target UK patients, offering cosmetic treatments like dental implants or veneers at low costs. 

Often, treatments are in countries like Turkey, which are popular with UK holidaymakers. Patients will travel based on the assumption they can enjoy an overseas break at the same time as receiving treatment. 

Is It Cheaper To Get Dental Implants or Veneers Abroad?

When you compare the cost of the actual treatments on offer, overseas dentists are often able to undercut private dental practices in the UK. There are several reasons behind the price difference. Fundamentally, the cost of living is lower, which reduces many of the costs associated with running a practice, like rent, utilities, and wages. 

But you cannot guarantee that an overseas dentist will use the same quality materials as a UK practice. For example, precision titanium dental implants are designed to support your teeth for life, while veneers are carefully crafted to complement your smile perfectly. We use the best materials and the latest techniques to ensure the best clinical outcome. 

But aside from the cost of your treatment, you will also need to factor in flights, hotels, airport transfers, insurance, food and drink, and more. Often, by the time you add this together, the cost can be greater than staying at home. Additionally, much of the time overseas will be spent recovering from your procedure and may not be the enjoyable holiday you’d hoped for. 

What Are the Risks of Traveling for Dental Treatments?

There are lots of risks associated with dental tourism, the most serious of which are infection and failed treatments. We often hear of patients returning from overseas trips having developed severely painful infections. 

If you develop an infection abroad, it may mean spending time in an overseas hospital which could impact your return journey and lead to increased costs. 

Another widely reported problem is that patients receiving veneers have their teeth drastically filed down into sharp points and then capped with crowns. Patients in the UK typically require less than a millimetre of enamel to be removed before veneers are placed. Removing so much of a healthy tooth can impact the health of your smile. 

One final consideration is that you might encounter communication problems. If your dentist isn’t fluent in English, or you don’t speak their language, it can lead to confusion and stress, which can worsen if anything goes wrong. 

What Happens If My Dental Treatment Goes Wrong?

In the UK, if you encounter a problem with your dental treatment, the General Dental Council can investigate and take action. We have tight regulations around dentistry that protect you. 

The regulatory authorities are different in every country, and you may not have the same level of support if your treatment goes wrong. 

Can UK Dentists Fix Dental Tourism Mistakes?

UK dentists have seen a rise in patients returning from receiving overseas treatments with problems. Sometimes these issues can be addressed, while other problems cannot. For instance, once a dentist shaves your teeth into spikes, there is nothing we can do to repair the structure of the tooth other than replace restorations or extract the tooth entirely.

Dental Treatments In Nottingham 

Before you book an overseas dental treatment, speak to a trusted UK dentist. We’ll advise you on what the procedure should entail and what the inherent risks are. 


Get in touch today to schedule your consultation.



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