Getting Dentures Abroad - Which Countries are the Best
by sasha der avanessian
The United States of America has some of the best healthcare in the world, but it’s also some of the most expensive, and nowhere is this truer than with dental care.
In many European countries, you will be given free healthcare as and when you need it, and even when you are charged, it’s generally not that expensive. The same is true for regions in South America, Asia, and many countries worldwide.
As an American tourist, you’re not entitled to receive any of this free care, but because these countries have a culture of affordable healthcare, it’s generally much cheaper to get private healthcare than it is in the United States.
Even when you consider the cost of plane tickets, airport transfers, and hotels, it might be much cheaper to get essential dental services outside of the United States.
Should You Consider Dental Tourism for Dentures?
You can get a good pair of dentures for around $1,500 in the United States. They should look great, feel great, and last for a long time. At that price, it’s going to be very difficult to get cheaper dentures in a foreign country.
But there are other things to consider.
Firstly, if you have several remaining teeth, you’re going to need to pay for multiple extractions, along with X-rays and molds. If you have suffered from serious gum disease, you may also need additional checks and treatments, including bone grafts.
That’s not all, because if you want the best possible dentures for your money, you can expect to pay upwards of $5,000, with some implant-supported dentures getting closer to $8,000. It means that you could be hit with a bill of $10,000 if you have some preexisting issues and want the best possible dentures on the market.
You may also want to consider immediate dentures, which can be expensive as well. At this point, it starts to make sense to consider dental tourism and you could save thousands of dollars in the process.
You will also get a vacation out of it, and if you choose carefully, it could be a memorable vacation that stays with you forever and ensures you stay within budget.
The Best Dental Tourism Countries for Dentures
The following countries are some of the best in the world for dental tourism, with high-quality dentistry and very affordable prices.
You will find Mexico on every list of the best dental tourism destinations, and not without reason. If you’re in the United States, it’s hard to look past our neighbors to the south. Dentistry is much cheaper in Mexico and it’s also fairly easy to travel there.
Depending on where you live, you might be a short drive or a quick flight away, costing you a few hundred bucks at the most.
Prior to the pandemic, over 6 million tourists visited Mexico every year to purchase cheap dental treatments, and around 1 million were from the United States.
You can expect to pay around 40% to 70% less than you would in the United States, with border cities attracting the most custom and offering the most competitive prices.
Of course, there are some risks associated with traveling to Mexico, but the majority of the country is safe and welcoming, and as long as you research the area and your chosen dentist, you should be okay.
If you live just over the border, it’s hard to look past Mexico for your dental tourism. You can drive for a few hours, save a couple of thousand bucks on some quality dentures, and even create a rapport with a Mexican dentist. If you get to know them well, you can return whenever you need additional work or realignments, something that simply isn’t practical for the other destinations on this list.
Even if driving to Mexico isn’t feasible, it’s still more favorable than hopping on a long-haul flight, spending half the day in the skies, and paying for the pleasure.
Hungary is a trek for USA travelers, and you’ll need to spend many hours in the air, but depending on where you’re flying from, it’s not as expensive as you might think.
At the time of writing, you can get a return ticket to Hungary from New York for around $400. It might not be the cheapest option on this list, but $400 is not bad for a European vacation.
Hungary is also a beautiful and fairly cheap country, and if you stay in Budapest, you won’t need to pay the sort of prices being charged in London, Paris, Rome, and other European capitals. Food is diverse and affordable, basic amenities are easy to come back, and you can even stay for a week or two and make a vacation out of it!
On the dental side of things, Hungary has some of the highest dentists per capita in the world. It also has a burgeoning dental tourism sector, with many Europeans flocking to the country to get cheaper veneers, crowns, and dentures.
You can expect to pay around 25% to 35% of what you would pay in the United States, with a similar level of craftsmanship and professionalism. Once you factor the hotel, flights, food, and other essentials into the equation, you may end up paying the same as you would in the US, but at least you’ll get a vacation out of it.
If you require extensive dental treatment, don’t mind opting for connecting flights, and are prepared to stay in cheap accommodation such as hostels, you’ll get to keep all of that cash for yourself and can still sample some of the joys of Budapest.
Indian doctors are some of the best in the world. It does an incredible job of producing hard-working, highly-skilled dentists and doctors, and while there are a few bad apples in the bunch, if you have money and you’re a tourist, you can sample the cream of the crop when it comes to Indian healthcare.
India isn’t the cheapest in terms of flights. You’ll be asked to pay around $1,000 for a return flight from New York and you’ll also be in the air from sun-up to sundown, but once you land, it’s one of the cheapest places in the world.
Head to New Delhi and you can fill up on delicious Delhi street food for just a couple of bucks a day. You can stay in a good hotel for less than $100 a week and you will find capable dentists charging some rock-bottom prices.
We have seen reports of fillings costing less than $25 and root canals being available for $150. Multiple extractions will likely give you change out of a $100 bill and the actual dentures should cost you a few hundred bucks. Even when you consider the flights, you’ll still save when compared to buying dentures of similar quality in the United States.
Not only is the Dominican Republic home to golden beaches, turquoise seas, and a relaxed Caribbean lifestyle, but you’ll also find some very cheap dental treatments.
The small island is quickly becoming one of the best places for dental tourism in the Caribbean and a growing number of Americans are flocking to these beautiful shores every year.
The dental tourism industry isn’t as established here as it is elsewhere, and there have been a few unhappy US customers complaining about canceled appointments, delays, and other minor issues. However, the work is usually top-notch, and the prices are in line with what you would pay in Mexico.
If you want a destination that is a little closer than Thailand, India, and Hungary, and you’re hoping to enjoy a unique vacation at the same time, the Dominican Republic is a good option to have.
Just remember that violent crime is quite high in the Dominican Republic and there is an alarming number of homicides and sexual assaults for such a small island. As a result, many tourists are instructed not to leave the resort and essentially spend their entire vacation in a bubble.
It’s important, therefore, to do your research, follow the guidelines given by the travel company and/or resort, and practice caution. Look into the dentists that you plan on using, research them extensively, and speak to them beforehand if you can.
The United States isn’t the only country with expensive dental care. Australians pay a lot as well, and when they’re faced with extortionate bills for extensive dental work, many Aussies hop on a plane and head for locations like Thailand.
Thailand has a booming trade in dental tourism and while the majority of this is targeted toward Australian tourists, the industry also caters to American and European travelers. The country on the whole attracts more tourists than any other nation in South East Asia and while only a small percentage are there to get cheap implants, dentures, and veneers, that number is growing every year.
You can expect to pay up to 90% less for your dental treatments in Thailand and many local dental surgeries list their prices in English online. Not only are they transparent concerning how much they charge for every possible treatment, but they will also give you an idea of the timeframes involved with such procedures. Some will even tell you how much cheaper they are than similar treatments in Australia and the United States.
Search online for dental surgeries in Bangkok to see how much they charge and how well they have been reviewed.
Bangkok has a reputation for being a little seedy, but it’s an undeserved reputation. It’s a beautiful city and like any vacation hotspot, it is what you make it. If you want to go out drinking, dancing, and partying, then go for it. You will struggle to find a more adventurous city.
If you simply want a quiet few days where you spend as little as possible and don’t stay out after dark, then find a quiet hotel, sample some of the amazing Thai street food during the day, and make sure you’re back for an early night.
The Indonesian island of Bali has attracted a lot of American tourists over the last few years, but the majority of these seem to be Instagrammers looking for some eye-catching pictures. And who can blame them? Bali is one of the most picturesque regions in the world—a true island paradise.
Bali is also becoming popular with dental tourists as the island seeks to benefit from all the tourist money that’s flooding into the region. It’s popular with Australians, New Zealanders, and visitors across Asia, but a growing number of Americans are getting in on the act as well.
We picked a Bali dentist at random and found that they were offering extractions for the equivalent of $70 per tooth, which is a hefty saving when compared to the up to $400 charged per tooth in the United States.
The same dental clinic was charging $550 for a full set of acrylic dentures, which means you could get several teeth extracted, be fitted with a full set of dentures, and still have change left on $1,000 to pay for a night or two at a Bali hotel.
Of course, you’ll have to consider your flights on top of this, and that’s where things get a little complicated. Not only will you be looking at connecting flights and a long travel time, but you could find yourself paying anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 for the cheapest return flights.
As a result, it’s only really a viable option if you need extensive work before you have your dentures fitted or you really like the idea of spending a few days or weeks in Bali.
Usually, with dental tourism, your dental treatment comes first, and your vacation is a bonus. With Bali, it’s the other way around. It’s the vacation of a lifetime with a bonus of cheap dentistry thrown in.
Poland is the second European destination on this list but it’s another great option for dental tourism. Poland has some of the best dentists in Northern Europe as they attract a lot of dental tourists from nearby countries, where dentistry isn’t always covered by state healthcare programs.
Poland in general has become a very affordable holiday destination and is one of the cheapest places on the continent. You can indulge in great food, stay in a 4-star hotel for a few days, and get a brand new set of high-quality dentures, with additional treatments, for less than $2,500.
Krakow is one of the cheapest cities to get good dental care, and you can join tourists from nearby Austria and Germany, who regularly visit the country to receive dental treatments.
You can fly to Poland for as little as $400 return, depending on who you fly with and where you fly from.
If you’re not sold on the idea of spending a few days in Poland, you can always just hop on a train and visit some nearby cities, including Berlin in Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, and even Vienna in Austria.
One of the great things about visiting mainland Europe is that you’re always a short car journey or train journey from visiting a number of beautiful countries and fulfilling your dream of trekking across Europe.
Summary: Find the Best Dental Tourism Countries
The above list covers just a few of the best and the cheapest countries out there for dental tourism. Whichever one you choose, it’s important to do your research in advance and to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for.
Americans have both positive and negative associations with dental tourism. On the one hand, they assume that the USA is number one and that all other countries are inferior in this department. The truth is that Scandinavian countries often rank the highest when it comes to dental health and also have some of the world’s best dental schools.
On the other hand, there are those who assume that dental treatments will be provided free of charge, just because the same benefits are afforded to local citizens.
In fact, even in countries that have free healthcare, dental treatments aren’t always free.
The UK is a prime example. It’s often seen as the archetype for free healthcare here in the United States. If you walk into a UK emergency room, you will be provided with free healthcare, just as you would if you were a UK citizen booking tests, treatments, and even operations. But unless you are under 18 and in full-time education, or meet a few other niche requirements, the same rules don’t apply to dental.
It’s certainly much cheaper than it is in the US, but it’s definitely not free to all citizens and none of it is free to American citizens.
Do your research before you go and make sure you know how much you will be expected to pay, whether you qualify for any special rates (unlikely), and how much everything will cost you once you factor the flights, accommodation, and other travel fees into the equation.