How Does Having A Dental Treatment Abroad Work?

Do you need dental work? Do you have a passport?

dentistryIf you’re nodding your head yes, then maybe you’re already considering dental travel. Each year thousands of Americans, Australians, Brits and Canadians travel for a dental treatment abroad. Some popular destinations include Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica and most recently, Central Europe. The reasons patients travel abroad for dental treatments vary, but usually, the driving factors include price and time. Even including the price of travel and accommodation, patients save on average 50-75%.

In order to better understand the why’show’s and possibilities of dental travel, here are 3 common scenarios that explain the advantages of having your next dental treatment abroad.

1. One-Day Dentistry (2 Day Visit) 

Thanks to CEREC technology, patients can have a new smile in 24 hours. By using a 3D camera and special software, the dentist can create, polish and fit new crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays or bridges during a single visit. This is perfect for having a dental treatment abroad. If you’re traveling from the UK, a flight to central Europe only takes less than 2 hours and is often less than £35. Patients who choose CEREC are often able to save the most, and stay a maximum of 1-2 nights. 

2. Short-Gap (5-7 Day Visit) 

For patients traveling further distances (United States, Canada), an ideal trip will last 5-7 days. Popular treatments include veneers and crowns and the procedure is split into two visits.

  • Day 1: Arrive, Consultation & Impressions, Temporary Crowns/Veneers (Visit #1)
  • Day 3: Diagnostic Dental Wax-Up (Smile Preview, optional during Visit #1)
  • Day 5-7: New Veneers/Crowns Fitted, Depart (Visit #2) 

Another reason people are choosing dental treatment abroad is to travel– duh! Instead of spending thousands more to stay home and visit their local dentists, patients are combining low-cost dental treatment and their vacation. For instance, from Prague, Czech Republic (Central Europe) it takes only a few hours to travel by train or bus to Vienna, Budapest, Berlin and Munich. Because dental work generally requires little to no recovery time, patients are free to travel and take advantage of new sites and culture.

Cost breakdown:

This was the case for Salutara patients, Paul Cogan, professional baseball scout with the LA Dodgers, and his wife Carol. In 2016, they couple traveled to Prague, the Czech Republic for dental work. After years of what Paul considered “band-aid fixes”, he and his wife of 31-years, and parents of three decided it was time to finally put an end to Paul’s dental fiasco and explore Europe in the meantime.

  • For the cost of the treatment (4 porcelain crowns + examination, OPG photo, Anesthesia- $2,000/approx. $438 per crown)
  • Four nights in Prague ($200)
  • A train ticket ($37) and one night in Vienna ($55)
  • Two nights in London ($130)
  • 2 round-trip flight tickets ($1,479)
  • Price of food + other expenses (approx. $500)

All in all, the Cogan’s spent roughly $4,400 (USD)Compare this to the average cost of dental treatment near San Francisco, California, which can be as high as $1,800 per porcelain crown (*often excluding the price of examination, OPG photo, Anesthesia), and their total savings stretched well over two thousand dollars. 

“Coming to Prague for Paul’s treatment was out first time in Europe. We wanted to make this trip more than just dental work, so we planned for a lot of sightseeing in between visits to the clinic,” Carol added in an interview with Salutara. “We toured Prague Castle, the Jewish Cemetery, Wenceslaus Square, Prague Zoo and took a train trip to Vienna. Prague is a very friendly, affordable city, and easy to get around on foot or by public transport.”

3. Longer-Gap (3 months) 

Often times, patients experience more serious dental issues (i.e. dental implants, missing bone, etc.). As a result, two trips may be necessary. While this may seem like a more pricey option, extensive dental work in the United States and the UK tends to cost a small fortune. It is often uninsured as well. 

Trip #1:

  • Day 1: Arrive, Implant Consultation & 3D Scans
  • Day: 2-3: Make Implants, Depart 

Trip #2: 3 Months Later

  • Day 1: Arrive, Crown Consultation
  • Day 2: Implantation (Stay 1-2 nights)
  • Day 3 or 4: Depart

After returning home, a local dentist can remove their sutures during a follow-up appointment For patients making two trips, it is a popular opinion to extend the first visit and soak up their surroundings much like Paul and Carol. 

Ready To Explore? Get Free Dental Quotes Abroad Today 

Will Cosmetic Surgery Improve Your Love Life?

Will Cosmetic Surgery Improve Your Love Life?

It’s February, the month of all things pink, red and heart-shaped. For most couples, it is a time to express their love with romance and passion. And for singles, it’s a time to either crawl under a rock or get back in the game. That brings us to our question of the day: Will cosmetic surgery improve your love life? We believe, yes. But don’t take our word for it. Recently, three of our Salutara customers shared how their surgeries perked up their relationship, dating life, and self-confidence.

Spicing Up Our 31-year Marriage

Carol and Paul arriving in Prague with Salutara Founder, Petr Vankat

Shortly after celebrating 31 years of marriage, Paul and his wife Carol decided it was time to explore Europe and finally take care of some lingering dental issues during a visit to Prague, Czech Republic. After receiving a new set of dental crowns, Paul came out of the surgery room absolutely glowing. Two months after the surgery, we spoke to Paul and Carol from their home in California.

“It’s like I got a second chance. I never realized how uncomfortable and irritable I’d been before,” said Paul, a professional baseball scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I was in constant pain, especially when I ate. And I know at times it took a toll on my wife.”

Carol added, “I can see the confidence when he smiles now, which is one of Paul’s best features. And now I can finally cook for him again and share romantic meals together without worrying about any pain or discomfort. It’s been good for other areas of our relationship too, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.”

Single Mother Gets Back In The Game

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Candida, before breast augmentation

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Candida, after breast augmentation

Four years after the birth of her son, Candida knew it was time to do something for herself. After breastfeeding for two years, along with post-baby dieting and exercise, her breasts were significantly smaller. Before surgery, Candida told Salutara in an interview, “For the first time in my life I just want larger breasts. Similar to the size before I had my son.”

Six months after going from a B to a full C cup, we asked Candida if her new breasts had changed anything in her life.

“Well, my dating life for one,” she smiled. “I’ve always been a confident woman, so I don’t really care what people think. But I can’t help but notice now that when I walk down the street or into a bar, men and women actually turn their heads. It’s nice to be noticed, and if my breast augmentation reminded me of anything, it’s that it’s OK to put myself first sometimes- which mothers know isn’t easy. I make dating a priority now, whereas before I didn’t.”

Love Is In The Air

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Ingrid after getting eight new veneers at Mediestetik Clinic, Prague

American soldier, Ingrid, is one tough cookie. For a young woman who shows zero signs of weakness, we were surprised to learn that she struggled with feelings of insecurity about the gaps between her teeth. Ingrid explained, “When I was young it didn’t bother me so much, but as I got older I guess I started to feel more self-conscious about it. I started hiding my smile in photos and always felt like it was the first thing people noticed.”

Finally, making the decision to get the smile of her dreams, Ingrid had eight dental veneers fitted over her front teeth. In the months since her procedure, Ingrid happily told us that she is in a new relationship and absolutely loving her new smile.When we asked if it had anything to do with her surgery, Ingrid replied, “I’m not sure. I like to think no, but then again I know how much my confidence has improved since getting veneers. I’m not afraid to smile in photos anymore, and maybe that confidence was what caught my boyfriend’s eye.” 

 

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3 Ways To Avoid Overpaying For Hidden Medical Costs

Would you ever buy a house without windows and doors?

How about a car that didn’t include the price of tires, mirrors, and headlights? Probably not. It actually sounds ridiculous. And like the responsible consumer that you are, you’d probably do your research first in order to find the best deal. Right? Sadly, when it comes to undergoing a medical or cosmetic procedure, patients are more likely to neglect the fine print. Whereas an average person takes 6-12 months before making a major purchase, when it comes to our health, we’re quicker to pull the trigger without fully understanding the cost breakdown.

Are You Paying More Than You Should?

As international travel becomes more affordable, medical travel, or medical tourism, is becoming a safe and economical option for those looking to save money without sacrificing quality. Driven by rising insurance prices, under coverage, and long wait times (see: Why Are Millions of People Choosing Medical Travel?), medical travel is sparking competition between European clinics looking to attract more international clients. In many ways, healthy competition is good. But like all good things, it leaves room for those looking to lure in patients with empty promises.

Take dental crowns and veneers, for instance. Cosmetic dentistry is a booming industry in Central Europe. Hundreds of online medical platforms are available to provide free quotes and facilitate your travel. However, some quotes- though extremely cheap- do not include all of the necessary treatment costs.

Recently, a dental clinic in Hungary was quoting patients 4,500 EUR for 12 full ceramic crowns. Several patients reported arranging their surgeries, as well as flights and accommodation, only to find that the original price did NOT include the price of Kofferfam (dental dam), anesthesia or the temporary crowns.

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Similarly, breast augmentation is notorious for hidden costs and caveats. A common trap is when clinics advertise low prices, but only if a specific, often lower-quality, implant is used. The leading problem with cheap implants is that patients are more likely to experience corrective surgery down the road- often costing more than the original surgery.

Plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Law comments, “Some physicians promote low-priced breast augmentation, only for a patient to discover that the price is only for one type of implant, with one type of incision…then, the “bait and switch” ensues.” He continues to explain, “A different implant will cost more…an anesthesiologist will cost more…[and] then, just like buying a used car, the price will shift from the total price to monthly payments with a financing plan that could be very regrettable. This is a huge red flag.”

“Some physicians promote low priced breast augmentation, only for a patient to discover that the price is for only one type of implant, with one type of incision…then, the “bait and switch” ensues.”

Unfortunately, read the fine print quotes are popping up all over the globe. The good news is, you can protect yourself with these three, simple tips:

1. Request A FULL Cost Breakdown

The is especially important for patients traveling abroad and negotiating quotes online. Whether you are working directly with the clinic or using an online medical travel platform, you have the right to know exactly what you are paying for. Below is a patient quote for 12 full ceramic crowns from two separate dental clinics in Prague, the Czech Republic. In this case, transparency is key. Otherwise, you could end up paying a la carte for things such as anesthesia, bandages, drains, medication and overnight recovery time.

Price Offer Summary

Medistetik, Prague, the Czech Republic

Schill Dental, Prague, the Czech Republic

  2. Only Work With Accredited Clinics & Surgeons

This may seem obvious, but thanks to technology, any clinic or surgeon with a sexy new website may seem legitimate. Memberships and certifications to look for include:

  • The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)
  • European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS)
  • British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) 
  • General Medical Council (GMC)
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

A trusted clinic will typically display their accreditation and provide explicit pricing. A board certified surgeon will likely do the same. If you are using a medical platform, make sure they only partner with accredited clinics. Also, ensure that they are providing quotes directly from the clinic.

3. Cheaper Isn’t Always Cheaper

Undergoing a medical or cosmetic procedure is not like negotiating a new data plan. While it’s important to find an affordable treatment, it is certainly not everything. And often you end up paying more than the slightly more expensive treatment.The patients who went to the Hungarian dental clinic ended up paying a total of 64006900 EUR. This is approximately 2,000 EUR more than the original quote.

To avoid a similar fate, treat your procedure like buying a new car. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. New York plastic surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schulman adds,”While [there] are legitimate ways to keep costs down…some doctors cut costs other ways. Some may choose to lower costs by using poorly qualified staff and non-board-certified anesthesiologists. Others may obtain medications, supplies, and even breast implants from overseas distributors where prices are lower but standards are more lax. These are all things that can place your results – and personal safety – at risk.”

Basically, it is important to take your time. Weigh your options, do your research, and remember that it is your health (and wallet) that will ultimately pay the price.

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4 Reasons Why The Czechs Are Medical Pioneers

Golden Czech Hands And Clever Czech Heads

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Dallas Wiens, 25, was severely injured when his head touched a high-voltage electrical wire while working inside a cherry picker.

Zlaté české ručičky a chytré české hlavičky is an old Czech proverb, meaning “golden Czech hands and clever Czech heads.” In 2011, a team of surgeons gathered around an operating table in Boston, Massachusetts to perform the nation’s first (and world’s third) full facial transplant. Lead by renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, the patient’s nose, palate, upper lip, and facial skin, muscles, and nerves was successfully replaced with those of a deceased donor. Born in former Czechoslovakia, Dr. Pomahac’s groundbreaking achievements in plastic surgery are celebrated universally and abroad. As for the rest of the medical community, the newly named, “Czechia”, is setting the bar extra high when it comes to performance and innovation.

In a country known more for its medieval castles, hockey, and of course, beer, the Czechs are just as serious about their medical contributions. Check out 4 ways the Czechs are ahead of the game:  

1. The “Heart” Of Europe

Faithfully beating more than 100,000 times a day, the heart is unquestionably one of our most vital organs. Landlocked between Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, the Czech Republic is often referred to as “The Heart of Europe”

Appropriately, the Czechs are world leaders in cardiac surgery; performing the country’s first successful heart transplant in 1984. Recognized for their excellent system of healthcare for those suffering from acute coronary symptoms- especially the treatment and prevention of heart attacks- the Czech Republic is also home to state-of-the-art cardiovascular centers as well as some of the world’s top cardiac specialists.

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Da Vinci Xi. The widely universal word “robot” was first coined by Czech brother Karel and Josef Čapek.

Since 2005, Prague’s Na Homolce hospital has been using robotic technology to assist in various surgeries, including cardiac. In 2016, they added a new, upgraded member to their surgical team. His name? Da Vinci Xi. Controlled by a human surgeon, Da Vinci Xi’s mechanical arms offer precision that would not otherwise be possible.

2. Second Chances 

In 1932, the Czech Republic became the first country in the world to recognize plastic surgery as an independent branch of medicine. Many Czech surgeons, including Dr. Pomahač, have received international acclaim; and their success is no accident. After a minimum of 6 years at an accredited university, medical students must pass a rigorous series of exams followed by a two years residency with an experienced practitioner. It can be nearly a decade before they ever perform an operation.

While working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Pomahač became increasingly interested in the subject of face transplants. In 2009, the first partial face transplant was successfully completed in France. Four years later, Dr. Pomahač and his surgical team performed a 17-hour operation to reconstruct the severely disfigured face of James Maki, age 59. In 2011, Dr. Pomahač led a team of 30 physicians, nurses and anesthesiologists for more than 15 hours to complete the first full transplant in the USA (see photo above).

3. Fighting Infertility

Since 1978, nearly 5 million babies have been born thanks to infertility treatment- specifically IVF. In
1984, the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) became one of the first countries to pioneer In Vitro Fertilization and facilitate a successful birth.

bady feet

As of 2017, the Czech Republic is home to over 30 fertility clinics and centers.

According to NHS, 1 in 7 couples will have difficulty conceiving. Determined to help millions of men and women realize their dream of starting a family, the Czechs continue to invest a fortune in comprehensive IVF centers and extensive reproduction procedures. Today, they rank among the highest IVF success rates; 70 % in cases involving donated eggs. Czech legislation also plays a critical role in the rapidly growing field. It permits anonymous donation and the option to choose the physical characteristics of the donated egg or sperm in order to prevent serious genetic diseases.

As a result, the Czech Republic attracts thousands of couples from around the world coming for “IVF Holidays”. Significantly cheaper than treatment in the United States or the UK, IVF prices can start as low as 2500 Euros and egg donation from 3800 Euros. The Czechs offer affordable options without compromising safety and quality.

4. In Utero 

Approximately 1 in every 5,000 women is born without a uterus, cervix, and upper vaginal canal. The rarely-discussed, devastating syndrome, MRKH, makes it impossible to carry a fetus to term.

Historically, women with MRKH have had very few options, one of which being a uterus transplant from a live donor. In 2016, Czech doctors from the Prague-based Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) performed the sixth of now thirteen worldwide uterus transplants. Czech experts say that the next step is transplanting from dead donors. For thousands of women, this means the opportunity to carry and give birth.