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 

Patient Profile: A Home Run Smile-Dental Crowns

A Home Run Smile- Dental Crowns

Paul Cogan, long-time professional baseball scout for the LA Dodgers, is no stranger when it comes to finding the best. The father of 4, and husband of 31 years, travels the United States each year searching for the most talented, up-and-coming players to recruit. However, despite victories on and off the field, Paul’s dental success was striking out big time. That is until after years of quick fixes, and “bandaid” procedures, he decided to look abroad for dental crowns.

Recently, Salutara had the opportunity to sit down with Paul, and his wife Carol, to discuss their trip to Prague, the Czech Republic, and why they traveled half-way around the world for help.

From California to Europe 

Salutara: Explain your decision to travel abroad for dental crowns. Had you ever traveled abroad for a medical procedure before? 

Paul: Never! Up until now all my dental work has been done in the U.S.. But I have several friends who have sought medical advice abroad-mostly Asia- and they felt very comfortable with their experience.  So that’s how the seed got planted. When I knew I needed crowns, I started looked into Asia and Latin America, India and Europe. From the beginning, I had a certain fondness and trust in Europe over anywhere elsewhere- but that’s just me.

header

Paul and his dentist post dental crown procedure at Mediestetik clinic, Prague

How important was price when making your decision? Where there any other factors?  

Well, price was a factor but certainly not THE factor.  I needed the comfort factor first and foremost- then price.  The difference between most countries was nominal as far as cost. For me, it was Prague and Salutara that stood out from the rest and helped me to make my decision.

Working With Salutara

How about the support from Salutara when you arrived in Prague? 

I almost felt like a celebrity- it was amazing. My wife and I were met at the airport by Petr and Martin (Salutara Co-Founders) and immediately felt a connection and level of trust. The whole Salutara staff was outstanding.

Carol: I have to agree. Not only did Petr and Martin met us at the airport, but they took us to our first appointment and met us at our last. They also visited with me while my husband was in the dental chair and gave me tips on where to eat and what to see in Prague. We were extremely satisfied!

Did you get to do any additional traveling or sightseeing during your trip? 

Carol: Yes of course. 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. We made the most of our time!

Paul Cogan (left) with his wife, Carol, and Salutara Co-founder, Petr Vankat, at the Marriott Hotel, Prague

And what was your experience like working with Salutara to facilitate your procedure? Did you feel like you were cared for and in good hands?

Yes I did. Salutara was professional and caring. I felt that was cared for and in good hands throughout the entire procedure. Their expertise and professionalism was evident from the very first communication via email, to the moment they said goodbye as our taxi to the airport arrived.

Interested In Affordable Cosmetic Dentistry? Look No Further

What questions or concerns did you have for your dentist at Mediestetik during your consultation? Were you satisfied with the clinic?

Very satisfied! Going into the consultation I basically knew what to expect, but was advised which crowns and techniques would be best. The communication was easy and the language barrier was not a problem- I mention this because I know this is a worry of many patients who travel abroad for a procedure. The dentist anticipated my needs and was quick and efficient.

Carol: I’d also like to add that the staff was extremely professional and that the facility and equipment were state of the art. We couldn’t have been more impressed!

How long did the entire procedure take? Was it painful?

For all my crowns, I spent a total of 4 hours in the dentist chair, 2 hours in preparation to create a mold and a final 2 hours to install. I didn’t need any Novocain and they were very sensitive to ensure my comfort. There was no pain at all.

The Final Score

For other people thinking about dentistry abroad, would you recommend working with Salutara and coming to the Czech Republic? 

I already have and will continue to do so.  People think there is a big risk involved when traveling abroad for medical care, but I give them full assurance there isn’t. Never before have I had such a pleasant dentist office experience until this.

Carol: Do not hesitate working with Salutara or Mediestetik! We plan on returning for more dental work in the future.

And most importantly, how are you enjoying your new dental crowns?

Like a kid! For the first time in ages I don’t mind smiling wider and can finally eat properly now. They feel fantastic!

Thank you Paul & Carol!- Your team at Salutara

 

 

 

 

 

Is Dating Someone With Bad Teeth A Deal Breaker?

Imagine you’ve been set up on a blind date. You don’t know anything about this person except that your mutual friend thinks, “you guys would be great together”, and that he/she has an affinity for dogs and works in finance. So you put on your Sunday best, take a quick shot of liquid courage, and head off to a nice (but not too nice) restaurant to find out if the stars have finally aligned. However, when you finally meet said person, you immediately realize the one thing your friend conveniently failed to mention- they have terrible teeth.

Do You Have A Winning Smile?

man-brushing-his-teeth-messily

As of 2016, professional teeth whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures.

For many people, bad teeth are a deal breaker. In fact, a recent study suggests that nearly 50 percent of us believe that a great smile is the most important feature in making a good impression; and even more important when considering a potential love interest.

In a recent interview, Dr Mark Hughes, founder and clinical director of the Harley Street Dental Group in London, comments on the importance of a good smile. “If someone has a strong smile, you feel they are a strong person and that is very attractive. It is becoming more and more culturally unacceptable to have discolored, missing and crooked teeth.”

Similarly, according to psychotherapist and novelist, Lucy Beresford, our brains are hardwired to associate good teeth with youth. “Having good teeth is a sign of youth and fertility-in our psyche, good teeth equal fitness and vitality.”

But what about the other 50 percent? Are bad teeth always a hard no, or can their be charm in a slightly imperfect smile?

New York native, Megan, 26, agrees with the latter. “I love a quirky smile. I think when it comes to teeth, health is more important than perfection,” says Megan. “If someone’s smile isn’t blindingly white, or they have a couple of crooked teeth or a gap, it’s definitely not a deal breaker. Just so long as they are confident in their smile and own it. Yellow, unhealthy teeth on the other hand- no way. Hygiene is important.”


“I love a quirky smile. I think when it comes to teeth, health is more important than perfection.”- Megan, 26, New York


gap

A ‘diastema’ is a space or gap between two teeth. It is actually a very common trait among many species of mammals.

Indian fashion photographer, Anushka Menon, also doesn’t mind a few flaws. “I love the gap!” she says in a recent interview with Vogue. “When you have a face and body to go with it, that imperfection seems like the icing on the cake.”

Sure a million-watt Hollywood smile is not always realistic; and models can get away with gapped-tooth grins; but what about the rest of us? Surely not everyone is as open-minded as Megan when it comes to the dating scene.

For Samuel, a 31-year-old consultant from Queensland, there is nothing cute or charming about a bad smile. “When I meet a girl it is the first thing I notice. I’ve gone out with girls with crooked and discolored teeth before and honestly, it was distracting. Maybe I’m shallow, but I think bad teeth are a major turn off. I know that not everyone can afford braces or cosmetic surgery, but even just a little teeth whitening can go a long way.”


“I’ve gone out with girls with crooked and discolored teeth before and honestly, it was distracting. Maybe I’m shallow, but I think bad teeth are a major turn off.”- Samuel, 31, Queensland


flirting

12 out of 20 woman confessed that having a great smile is one of the biggest turns-on in a man.

Gretchen, a 34-year-old mother of two from London, also advocates getting a little help if your smile isn’t naturally as appealing as you’d like.

“When I was in my early twenties I had a terrible time dating and meeting men. Growing up, my family did not have enough money for braces, so I always had slight space between my front teeth. I’m not sure it was something other people noticed much, but it absolutely killed my self-esteem. I could never laugh and flirt with confidence like my girlfriends. And any time we took group photos I’d give my best, toothless grin. So at 25 I decided to save up and get porcelain veneers. For me it was about feeling comfortable in my own skin and finally fixing a pesky problem. I think my newfound confidence must have been noticeable because I met my now husband about 6 weeks after the procedure.”

Ultra popular dating app, Tinder, also released recent data to support that people who smile in their profile photos (regardless of the shape, color or size of their teeth) receive 10 times more ‘swipes right’ than those who don’t. 

“I think it’s all personal preference,” Adam, 23, Philadelphia adds. “When I meet someone out at a bar, or online, I am much more interested in their personality and interests, rather than how white or straight their teeth are. Sure, looks are important, but someone’s smile is only a small fraction of what makes them “datable” or attractive.”

5 Best Celebrity Dental Makeovers

Think the rich and famous are born with those beautiful, white, flawless smiles? Guess again. Even some of the biggest stars once had smiles that were…less than camera ready. Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, some gnarly grins have been turned into beautiful, Hollywood smiles. Here are our 5 Best Celebrity Dental Makeovers:

5. Nicolas Cage

Regardless of what you think of his acting skills, Nicolas Cage didn’t always have a red carpet smile. To help boost his imagine (and career), Cage upped his game by getting a full set of dental veneers. Now we’re just waiting for that Travolta, Cage Face/Off sequel.

cage

4. Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham

Ever wondered why Posh never smiled? After Spice Girls fame and scoring the most famous footballer on earth, Victoria decided it was time to have a smile that matched her royal lifestyle.

poshh 3. Zac Efron

Zac Efron was not always the sexy, talented, presumably shirtless movie star we see on screen today. Cosmetic dentistry helped turn his boyish grin into the flawless smile of a Hollywood heart-throb.

zac

2. Miley Cyrus 

Miley has literally transformed before our eyes since her sweet, tween days on Hannah Montana. While she’s been busy twerking, partying, and riding naked on wrecking balls, she has also upgraded her smile with a perfect set of veneers.

miley

1. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is the definition of a movie-star, but his smile was nothing short of a “mission impossible”. Thanks to some whitening, straightening and ultimately a full set of dental veneer, Tom is the leading man we know and love.

tom

We vote Tom as the #1 Celebrity Dental Makeover! 

 

Ready To Upgrade Your Smile? Sign Up Today For Unlimited Quotes

Central Europe: The New Heart Of Cosmetic Dentistry

Patients from the US, UK and Western Europe are packing their bags and heading to Central Europe for cheap, quick and quality dental work.

Creating The Perfect Smile

Cosmetic dentistry has quickly become the fastest growing field in the dental industry, as well as the medical tourism market. In the past, dentistry has largely focused on prevention and restorative problem-solving, and while it still does, the advent of cosmetic dentistry has provided additional elective treatments to the everyday patient in search of the healthiest and most beautiful smile -the perfect smile.  

There is no shortage of treatments to select from. Patients are opting for everything from teeth whitening procedures to composite bonding, porcelain and composite veneers, crowns, bridgework, dental implants, inlays and onlays. For a complete list of treatments, visit our full cosmetic dentistry treatment guide.

While cosmetic dentistry is on the raise, prices are still considerably high in the US, UK and parts of Western Europe. UK prices for private dentistry are notoriously steep, and finding a practice that accepts NHS can be time consuming and nearly impossible in some cases. Even with coverage, patients are often hit with hefty additional charges, making it more than the cost for a similar treatment abroad. In the US, only the most basic dental care is covered by health insurance plans, leaving more than 150 million Americans without dental coverage.

dental

Putting Central Europe On The Map

In recent years, Central European countries have capitalized on cosmetic dentistry, catering to the medical tourism population. Global leaders, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland have made considerable investments in ultra-modern, state-of-the art clinics, especially in their capital cities, to attract patients. As a result, this has created a highly competitive industry, ensuring that top-notch service and the latest technology and equipment are of the foremost priority. Many dentists are also trained internationally and a proficient level of english is absolutely necessary for both dentists and their staff.

To no surprise, medical tourists are flocking to these countries by the thousands, taking advantage of the high standards of quality, convenient, low cost flights, great value and opportunity to visit one of Europe’s most adored cities.

Savings Worth Travelling For 

Patients are saving anywhere between 50% to upwards of 75% by packing their bags and travelling to Central Europe. In Hungary, which boasts more dentists per capita than any other country, patients may only pay £329/£379/ $429 for a single crown. In the UKthis could cost closer to £800/ €922 /$1045.

Similarly, and the shortest flight from the UK (1 hour and 45 minutes), lies the Czech Republic- the literal heart of Europe, and epicenter of cosmetic dentistry. It’s capital city, Prague, bursts at the seams with history and culture as well as cosmetic clinics. For patients seeking porcelain or composite veneers, prices may be as low as £247/€297/$322.

Uk prices average north of £600/692/$783. Cost of flight and two nights accommodation in Prague’s city centre totals less than £200/€230/$261 and wait times are typically low- some less than a week. The Czech Republic is also held to some of the most rigorous health regulations and accreditation requirements in Europe.

Leave Relaxed- And With A New Smile 

Into the bargain, Central Europe is home many of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Prague and others, ranking among the world’s TOP 50 cities on the Numbeo’s quality of life index. This list is largely influenced by the quality and affordability of healthcare, as well as safety and cost of living. 

Cosmetic dentistry, like medical tourism, has emerged and grown out of demand and necessity. Patients are finally looking outside of the box (and away from their local providers), and finding affordable, quality answers in Central Europe. Not only will your wallet be satisfied, but dental travel fulfills the dream of a perfect smile, while giving each patient some well deserved R&R and the remarkable opportunity to explore a new city and country.

The Ultimate Guide To: Cosmetic Dentistry Abroad

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

A trip to the dentist is no longer just a quick cleaning and reminder to floss. No No. Today cosmetic dentistry has revolutionized the classic field of dentistry and is giving patients more and more options to improve their smiles and their confidence. New technologies, such as CEREC®, have coined the phrase “1-day dentistry” and make getting a new smile over your lunch break possible. A variety of treatments are available including ceramic crowns, veneers, inlays onlays & overlays and teeth whitening. Similar restorative treatments include Dental Implants and Bridges. 

Click Here For Your: Full Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Guide. 

Needless to say, advances in dentistry do not come without a price. Under the UK’s universal healthcare act, National Health Service (NHS), dental treatment is only covered if considered clinically necessary by your dentist in order to maintain oral health. This includes dentures, crowns and bridges. Dental implants, dentures and orthodontics are also covered. In most cases, cosmetic dentistry is considered an elective surgery and is not covered by insurance. Any cosmetic treatment used to improve the appearance of your teeth to make them look more attractive (i.e. teeth whitening, dental veneers), means patients must turn to private practices and pay out of pocket.

Why Should I Have My Cosmetic Dentistry Abroad?

In the United States, healthcare costs are through the roof and individuals who must purchase health insurance on the open market are faced with an overwhelming number of choices. According to Patients Beyond Borders, in the US, only the most rudimentary dental care is covered by health insurance plans, which is why more than 150 million Americans are without dental coverage. A comprehensive health insurance plan will run the average American $100 per month or more. For other health insurance consumers, their choices are limited by their employers’ group health insurance providers. Many medical treatments end up being out-of-pocket- such as adult dental care, weight loss or cosmetic surgery and corrective eye surgery. For example, dental veneers in the UK or United States can cost anywhere between £400-1000 per tooth, depending on the material used. Abroad, costs may be as low as £290 per tooth including the preparation, local anesthesia and patient care. On average, medical travel can save patients anywhere from 30-80% with wait-times as little as 1-2 weeks.

In 2011, the EU directive on cross-border healthcare was passed. The directive granted citizens fundamental right to purchase health care services across the European Economic Area (EEA) for all EEA citizens, and the right to apply for reimbursement from their home system. However, in the UK this still limits residents to treatment that is deemed medically necessary and would be made available under the NHS. Therefore, elective cosmetic dentistry is typically not covered.

Patients Beyond Borders explains, “The traveling dental patient need not sacrifice quality to save money. Highly competent dentists who attended respected schools of dentistry and are certified by boards in Western countries often work “just across the border,” providing excellent services for a fraction of the cost. For people who can easily cross a national boundary, the choice is a no brainer.”

Why is cosmetic dentistry cheaper abroad so cheap?

A general rule of thumb is that any medical treatment or procedure is going to be slightly more expensive in a metropolitan area. When you begin dealing with cosmetic dentistry, prices can also be influenced by the dentist and his/her specializations, the amount of preparatory work on the mouth, and skill and experience of the laboratory.

The reason cosmetic dentistry is cheaper abroad is largely due to the cost of living in other countries- which directly influences the average salaries of medical professionals. A cosmetic dentist in the UK may earn anywhere from £75,249 to £101,451 depending on years of experience, company size, and location. In Central Europe, a cosmetic dentist in the Czech Republic makes on average, £11,000-15,000 per year.

Where Are The Most Patients Travelling For Cosmetic Dentistry?

In the United States, people who live on the west coast or in the southwest tend to cross over to Mexico for their cosmetic dentistry. On the east coast and in Canada, patients are heading to Costa Rica or Central America, where savings are between 50-80%.

Read More: A Professional Rugby Player’s Journey To A New Smile 

In the UK and western Europe, people are hopping borders over to countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. Hungary, for example, has the most dentists per capita than any other country, along with some of the highest quality, low-cost clinics in the world. For europeans, dental travel is a very economical choice, but many north americans are also travelling to central Europe for more extensive treatments, including cosmetic oral surgeries, full-mouth restorations, and implants. Even after factoring in the cost of travel and accommodation, such work can be done at less than half the US price.

Other popular destinations include Malaysia, Thailand, and India. In Bangkok, some clinics are even specially dedicated to international tourists.

How Do I Begin Planning My Trip?

Medical travel platform or agencies are a great place to start. Many provide an end-to-end service, including everything from free online consultations, treatment costs, patient reviews, and clinic and staff credentials. When arranging your dental travel, a medical travel platform can also save you valuable time during the decision-making process and elevates the headache and stress of doing research on your own. Patients Against Borders suggests that medical travellers seek out evaluations from previous patients, and ask for proof of competence before making an appointment. “You are paying the bill. You have a right to know everything there is to know about your dentist’s training and experience.”

Medical platforms and agencies can act as a resource, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, and your cosmetic surgeon, allowing your questions and concerns to be answered by the professionals. It is also important to consider the amount of time you will need to spend at your destination. Procedures such as implants, may require two or more steps with weeks or months in between. Find out in advance how many visits are required and the amount of time between them. This is also important when considering your destination. If you are in a new country or city, this time between procedures is perfect for sightseeing and exploring the local history and culture.

Unlike other cosmetic procedures, cosmetic dentistry is not always permanent. The average veneer lasts 7-20 years. Therefore, it is good to be prepared if something bad happens (i.e. filling falls out, crown comes loose) Even with the best of dentists, bad things can happen after dental treatments. If something goes wrong after returning home from dental travel, your two options include- getting the problem fixed at home or travelling again. Luckily a number of clinics abroad will make repairs free of charge or at low cost. However, you will still have to pay for the travel costs. The best advice is to plan for a possible return in your travel budget and to keep  your home town dental specialist informed of your medical travel decisions.

A How-To Guide For Dental Travel: Planning Your Trip Abroad 

 

Medical Travel: How To Prepare For Your Trip Abroad

Considering medical travel? Let’s talk about how to prepare

Knowing what you want

An estimated 11 million patients worldwide cross borders each year for a medical treatment. In 2016, more than 200,000 Brits and are expected to leave the UK for medical purposes as well as over a million Americans. Why is this important? Because you are not alone. Medical travel is a multi-billion dollar global healthcare market and people are choosing to go abroad for a number of reasons including better quality, shorter wait times,and lower-costs.

An estimated 12 million patients worldwide cross borders each year seeking medical treatments that are not accessible or affordable in their home countries.

An estimated 12 million patients travel abroad each year seeking medical treatments that are not accessible or affordable in their home countries.

If you are one of the millions who have decided to go abroad for medical travel (or are thinking about it) then it is important to prepare. Firstly, what do you want done? This is obvious, but medical travel covers a full spectrum of medical services. Most popular is cosmetic surgery. Typically not covered by insurance, cosmetic surgery ranges from cosmetic dentistry and hair transplants to breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and liposuction. Other non-cosmetic treatments include LASIK eye surgery, fertility treatment (IVF), bariatric surgery, and orthopedic surgery. In the early stages it is also important to:

  • Talk to your local physician/healthcare provider
  • Ask people who have travelled abroad for medical treatment about their experiences (positive and negative)
  • Read patient reviews and testimonials
  • Look for medical tourism in the media and press

Find Out Why More Brits Are Choosing Medical Travel 

Once you know what you want, the next question is- where? Choosing the right country can seem daunting , but it doesn’t have to be. Start by asking yourself, how long do you want to be away from home? How far are you prepared to travel? How flexible is your work schedule? Will you have to travel alone, or will a close friend or family member be able to join you?

Selecting your medical travel destination

On average, medical travel saves patients 30-80% on the cost of their medical procedure or treatment. So ask yourself, what is your main priority? Is it finding the lowest price and saving the most money? Or is it finding the highest quality? For most, the goal is to find the best price without compromising the quality of care.

Standards, costs, and areas of expertise vary by country. In Central Europe, countries like the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary have excellent reputations for low cost dentistry and LASIK eye surgery. In Western Europe, Spain is popular for its specialized and affordable IVF treatments, whereas Belgium is known for obesity surgery. For patients travelling from the UK, Canada or the United States, Europe still offers the quickest, cheapest flights and accommodation. In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Malaysia are popular destinations amongst travellers from Australia and New Zealand. Regardless if you prefer a nearby European city, or enjoy the idea of recovering in an exotic destination, the appeal of a destination should never outweigh the importance of quality and safety. Each country has its advantages and drawbacks. Other important questions to consider include:

  • Is your treatment or procedure available in that country
  • Is English widely spoken?
  • What are the health safety standards and how strictly are they enforced?
  • Where can I find the best prices without compromising quality of care?
  • What are the average flight and accommodation prices?
  • Is there a best time of year to go? (consider the weather, high tourist season, cheapest flights)
Full service platforms save time and act as an advisor and intermediary, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, dentists, and surgeons.

Full service platforms save time and act as an advisor and intermediary, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, dentists, and surgeons.

Finding the right clinic for you

After deciding on the right country, the next step is selecting the right clinic. This is when research is key. Everything from treatment costs and convenience, to credentials and experience of the staff. If this seems overwhelming- that’s because it can be. Although some patients decide to go this step alone, millions use an online medical travel platform or agency to help. This saves valuable time during the decision-making process and elevates the headache and stress of doing research on your own. Services like this do not stand as a middleman, but rather act as a resource, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, dentists, and surgeons, allowing your questions and concerns to be answered by the professionals. What questions should you ask your potential dentist or surgeon?

  • What is their educational and professional background? How many years have they been in practice?
  • What professional memberships and qualifications do they hold?
  • How often do they perform your procedure, do they specialize in a particular area?
  • What is the expected recovery time, and how soon after can you fly home?

Much of this information is readily available on a trusted medical platform, as well as clinic licensing and accreditation. If you are unsure, memberships and associations to look for include the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), and European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS). If a cosmetic surgeon is trained in the UK they are likely members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) or the General Medical Council (GMC). If trained in the USA, look for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Although accreditation is important, it does not guarantee the clinic adheres to the national and international standards, or the surgeon’s quality of work.

You may also want to ask: what is the clinics success rate? Can you be put in touch with past patients? How long is your estimated recovery time and what are your limitations after the surgery? Is it recommended that  a friend or family accompany you?

Ultimately, you should feel trust, understanding and a good chemistry between yourself and your surgeon or dentist. No question or concern should be left unanswered before making a commitment.

The Final Steps

Medical travellers often take advantage of being abroad, adding several days to the beginning or end of their trip to enjoy the country.

Medical travellers are taking advantage of being abroad and adding several days to the beginning or end of their trip to enjoy the country.

Once you’ve spoken to your surgeon or dentist and decided on a clinic, the final step is to book a date. If you go through a medical platform, they will help you arrange your flights, accommodation and transportation upon arrival. For patients getting cosmetic dentistry or LASIK surgery, recovery time is often 48 hours or less. For patients getting bariatric surgery or breast augmentation, recovery time can be weeks. This is important when deciding how long you want to (need to) stay in the country vs. how much recovery time you’d like to spend recovering at home. A recent medical traveller gave this advice after her breast augmentation in Prague, Czech Republic:

“Regardless of your surgery, take at least a day to be a tourist and enjoy yourself, and an additional 2-3 days (depending on your procedure) of recovery and make your travel back home more comfortable.”

It is perfectly normal to take advantage of what the country has to offer. This may include sightseeing, leisure activities and exploring the local culture and history. Whether your travelling alone or with someone, you may want to allow yourself some time pre or post surgery to relax and enjoy the experience of being abroad.

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Resource: Treatment Guide: TreatmentAbroad.com

Cosmetic Surgery: Is It Normal?

Is getting cosmetic surgery normal? The numbers might surprise you.

What is normal really?

Always dreamt of larger, perkier breasts? What about a flatter tummy? Straighter nose? Smoother skin? Join the crowd. Most people have thought about cosmetic surgery before (or at least what it would be like). You can practice radical self-love and yoga until you’re blue in the face, but that does not always free us from the desire to improve our bodies. You also have full permission to turn your medicine cabinet into a department store display case of make-up, diet-pills and expensive anti-aging creams- but are you wasting your money?

In 2014,  20 million people decided to undergo a surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedure, according to the latest figures from The International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the leading international society for aesthetic plastic surgery with board-certified plastic surgeons in 95 countries. Although procedure trends tend to vary by country and culture, an emphasis of health and beauty remains universal.

As you might expect, it was revealed that more than 17 million patients were women, accounting for 86.3% of the total. Breast augmentation, opted for by 1.4 million women, was the preferred surgical procedure. Other favorites included Liposuction “Lipo” (1.2 million) Eyelid Lift (1.1 million), Fat Grafting (809,428). Abdominoplasty “Tummy Tuck” (636,447).

On The Fence About Getting Breast Augmentation? One Woman’s Story You Need To Read. 

And it’s not just women getting cosmetic surgery. An increasing number of men have been choosing to improve and enhance their looks. In 2014, over 2.5 million men underwent a cosmetic procedure- 13.7% of the total. What were the most popular surgeries for men? Eyelid Lift (295,131) Rhinoplasty “Nose Job” (234,995) Liposuction “Lipo” (175,021) Gynecomastia (172,048) Fat Grafting (156,300)

1.37 million men and women get lipo each year, making it the second most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide.

1.37 million men and women get liposuction each year, making it the second most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide.

Non-surgical, or non-invasive, procedures have become the desired alternative to their invasive counterpart, with 10.6 million patients worldwide . Typically cheaper and with shorter recovery times, non-surgical procedures have given millions of people the option to go under the laser or beam instead of the knife. For both men and women, Botox was at the top of the list with more than 4.8 million patients. Other popular choices included Hyaluronic Acid “Dermal Fillers” (2.7 million) Hair Removal (1.3 million) Chemical Peel (493, 043) and Laser Skin Resurfacing (480,271).

Global trends in cosmetic surgery

The United States holds the title for the largest number of cosmetic procedures, with nearly 4 million each year (20.1% of total), and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS),  it’s the global leader in breast augmentations (286,254), and Botox treatment (24.7% of the total).

Second to the U.S., Brazil is next in terms of worldwide procedures and home to the world-renowned “Brazilian butt-lift”, with over 319,960 performed in 2013 . This beauty infatuation has invaded pop culture across the globe, but in Brazil it is a cultural obsession. Tax deductions have even been made available to patients Brazil’s tax coordinator, Joaquim Adir, told Bloomberg in 2010:

“We concluded that cosmetic surgeries are also about health, physical and mental, and should be included in the list of deductible expenses.”

In the Middle East, surgeons have seen an influx of rhinoplasty, “nose jobs”. According to The Guardian, Iran has the highest rate of nose surgery in the world. Nearly 200,000 Iranians elect to have rhinoplasty each year, refining and reducing the bridge of the nose. Of these 200,000, most are women, and many desire more “doll-like” features, similar to those they have seen in Hollywood films and on western television.

Rhinoplasty "nose job" is an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery for both men and woman in the Middle East.

Rhinoplasty “nose job” is an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery for both men and woman in the Middle East.

In the East, South Korea now leads in plastic surgery per capital with over 980,000 operations recorded in 2014 according ISAPS. Seoul, South Korea, is the plastic surgery capital of the world, and many young men and women get Blepharoplasty, also known as a double eyelid lift. It involves removing excess skin above the eyelid, giving the eye a larger, wider look. 1.43 million patients worldwide have also made it the most popular cosmetic surgery in the world. It is also very controversial. According to TechInsider: “Critics say that the operation makes patients look “less Asian,” while proponents say that it’s simply a matter of beauty-bigger eyes equals more attractiveness, essentially.”

Other sought after Eastern trends include jaw reshaping, Botox, rhinoplasty. Further south, women in India are asking for liposuction, as some traditional dress include belly-barry midsections. In Germany, ISAPS figures expose that 2,786 men underwent penis enlargement treatments, which was significantly more than in any other country. Second was Venezuela with only 473 procedures.

Cosmetic surgery trends are strongly influenced by what’s available. In an interview with Raconteur, London plastic surgeon, Bryan Mayou, explains:

“There is a pattern and it changes not just on cultural grounds, but also on grounds of availability,” he says. “If a new procedure becomes available then people think they have a problem. For example, when it comes to using fillers in lips people didn’t realise they had small lips until there was a means of making them fuller.”

In 2014, nearly 107, 712 eyelid surgeries were performed in South Korea, the 4th leading country for cosmetic surgery worldwide

In 2014, nearly 107, 712 eyelid surgeries were performed in South Korea, the 4th leading country for cosmetic surgery worldwide. via Tech Insider http://til.ink/1TbD92T

The proof is in the numbers

So is cosmetic surgery normal? “Normal” is subjective, but if we look at the numbers- yes. Once “taboo” and only for the rich and glamorous, cosmetic surgery has become the new normal. More people are choosing to get a procedure each year than the total population of Romania (19.4 million) The Netherlands (17 million), or Cuba (11.4 million). In 2016, the numbers are expected to rise as cosmetic surgery becomes more affordable and medical travel becomes a more popular option. As of 2014, there were more than 40,000 surgeons worldwide. This number is also expected to rise within the medical field.

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But what happened to self-acceptance? Is cosmetic surgery a “quick fix” for deeper issues? To answer yes or no would be a large assumption. People choose cosmetic surgery for a multitude of reasons. What is “normal” to one may be unusual for another. What might persuade one woman to get a breast augmentation in Los Angeles may not appeal to a woman in Tokyo. This is obvious by looking at global trends. The idea is that with over 20 million patients per year, cosmetic surgery is quite common. Health and beauty will always be important, for some more than others, and cosmetic surgery is an option that is widely accepted.

How I Got My Jacked Up Teeth Fixed Quickly And On The Cheap

A rugby player’s journey to a winning smile

Even a brute like me needs help sometimes, and cosmetic dental surgery changed my life. I know- not the first thing you’d expect to hear from a member of the Greene King IPA Championship. And I’ll admit, it would be much easier for me to talk about rugby or relive last years semi-final game against Bristol, but that is for another time.

My journey to cosmetic dentistry started long, long ago, when I was just a lad. My two brothers and I always used to fool around, beating up on each other in the yard, driving my poor mother mad. By the time we reached year five each of us had broken an arm or leg, or chipped a tooth or two-or three. I grew up in a working class town in the West Midlands, so trips to the dentist were few and far between. Regular cleanings and braces, let alone cosmetic dentistry were far beyond our means. Unfortunate for mum and dad, the injuries only increased after we all started playing rugby. Had they known then I’d make a career out of it, I think they would have ran for the hills.

As a forward I have received my fair of bumps and bruises over the years. From dislocated shoulders and fingers, to bum knees and concussions, I’ve pretty must run the gauntlet. And while these all healed, thanks to our team trainers and therapist, my chipped and broken teeth did not. As I am sure you can imagine, quite a few more teeth have been knocked around since my childhood. Even with a mouthguard it is hard to avoid all damage. On the field I didn’t think twice about my gnarly grin, but off the field- it was a nightmare. Even nights at the pub I could feel myself losing face anytime a pretty young lady said hello. Not to mention, years of poor dental hygiene had left my teeth discolored are far from the pearly whites most women dream of. I was a grown man and I had to do something to fix this. Immediately. 

Finding a cosmetic dentistry clinic

Swallowing my pride I approached one of my trainers an afternoon after practice and asked for some advice. I felt her eyes go straight to my broken smile. “Have you ever considered cosmetic dentistry. You know, veneers?” 

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Of course I had considered it, but that was all I had done. I had absolutely no information and didn’t even know what kind of treatment I needed. From the little research I had done, there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of options and I was not tech savvy enough to start some internet witch-hunt for answers. That sounded like a major headache and I didn’t have time. Instead I decided to take a recommendation from my trainer and visit a clinic in Liverpool. Blinding walking into the clinic I was given a warmish welcome and immediately asked to take a seat in the waiting room. Nearly thirty-five minutes later a dental assistant lead me to a consultation room. There I waited another twenty-five minutes until my surgeon casually arrived and greeted me. About time. Ten minutes later I was walking out of the front door.

Click Here For Your: Full Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Guide

The surgeon recommended that I have six of my top front teeth covered fitted with ceramic veneers. Estimated price? £450 per tooth. I’ll do the math for you-that’s  £2,700. Not only that, but to create the molds and fit the veneers it would take between 2-3 weeks. For that money I’d expect the veneers magically appear. I don’t know any Brit who’d pay the money.

Next stop-London. I had a feeling the price would not be much better but there were significantly more clinics to choose from, and some that offered CEREC® Veneers. I learned about CEREC® from my trainer, (short for CEramic REConstructions), the most advanced technology for robotic dentistry which allowed dentists to create the perfect set of veneers in one short session. This sounded too good to be true. When I arrived at the consultation I was greeted by the dentist in the first five minutes. Good sign. I followed him to the examining room where we chatted about the rugby season and weather. Another good sign. He checked out my teeth and said it would be an easy quick fix. Yet again. And then he mentioned the price- £825 per tooth. Thats £4,950 for a surgery he promised would take less than two hours. Not a chance.

After trying several more clinics in the London area, to no avail, I decided to direct my focus elsewhere. It was not uncommon among professional athletes to leave the UK for treatment. Throughout the years I  had several teammates travel to France or other European countries for major surgery, all of which returned safe and sound. I started to wonder if cosmetic dentistry abroad was a possibility as well? I then did what all intelligent men of the 21st century do- I Googled Best Veneers Abroad.

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To my luck and surprise, when I searched for Best Veneers Abroad, the results were endless. Heaps of clinics seemed to be looking for patients just like myself. I narrowed my search to cosmetic dentistry clinics in Europe and began comparing prices. It was madness. I spent the next three weeks individually comparing clinics, dentists, treatments and prices- which were often not listed. I made dozens of phone calls and sent dozens of emails before deciding that there must be a better way to do this.

Click Here To Find The Best Veneers Abroad 

That is when I found it. An end-to-end, full service platform that allowed me to instantly compare clinics on multiple levels. It listed everything from prices, clinic technology and equipment to each dentists individual profile and languages spoken, all completely transparent and accessible. I found a clinic in Prague, Czech Republic, and was immediately able to contact the dentist directly. It was reassuring to have all of my questions and concerned answered by the professional who would be performing the procedure. The platform also assisted in arranging flights, accommodation and transportation, all while acting as s personal advocate throughout the trip. Brilliant. 

My Journey to Prague

Shortly after speaking with my dentist, I had a round trip ticket booked for Prague. Thanks to the CEREC® technology I would be flying out of London on a Tuesday, getting my scan (digital molds) and veneers the same day, and returning on Wednesday. I did not have to miss a single training or practice. When I arrived after my short two hour flight, I was greeted at the airport and taken to my hotel in the heart of Prague. In awe of the city’s beauty and culture I started to think I should have made this visit a proper holiday. When I arrived at the clinic my dentist, who I had spoken with prior to arriving, immediately greeted me as I walked in. It was modern, impeccably clean and everyone spoke fluent English. If I didn’t know, I’d have sworn I was back in the . In the next 90 minutes a digital scan was taken of my teeth, the CEREC® veneers prepared, and the veneers applied and fitted.

Throughout the procedure my dentist and the staff gave me their full attention and focus, which I know from my frequent trips to the hospital is not always a certainty. The price was also quite handsome. The cost of each individual veneer was only £380- £2,280 total. Including my airfare, and one nights stay in the centre of Prague, the entire journey cost approximately £2,500. Once again for those who don’t enjoy maththat is nearly a 50% savings of £2,45o.

The Final Score

When I arrived home it was amazing to see the reactions of my teammates, friends and family. The changes were subtle, but the compliments I received quickly confirmed I had made the right decision. No longer did I feel self-conscious introducing myself to someone or smiling at a pretty lady. My mum and dad are certain that grand-babies are in their near future due to my new smile. We’ll see about that. 

As an athlete I understand the importance of setting expectations and following them through. Both the end-to-end online platform and my dentist and staff were stunning examples of professionalism and dedication to their work. Not once did I feel uncomfortable, mislead or that quality was being sacrificed. With each step I had the guidance, information and support I needed. As an athlete I also like to win, and without a doubt my cosmetic dentistry journey and new smile were a victory.