Low cost dental treatment in Hungary (Budapest)
By the year of 2008 in the field of dental tourism Budapest the capital of Hungary has become the number one destination. This respected position reflects the hard work of roughly 3000 dentists and implantologists of 300 dental clinics in Hungary whose vast majority is in Budapest. As a result of their high quality dental work 60-70,000 thousand foreign dental patients travel to Budapest annually to get their teeth fixed. The annual spending of these patients is over 250 million EUR. Medical tourism experts say this amount of money is around 90% of total spending of medical tourism in Hungary.
A new industry – dental tourism
In recent years, it seems to change the way people think about dental health care service they use. “Is it really true that the most expensive treatment is the best one?”
This is the question that thousands of English, French, Irish and Swiss people ask themselves every day in Europe. The answer is provided by a new medical service industry which is specialized in making high quality but affordable dental services
for those who either can not afford to pay the dental expenses of their home country or recognize the fact that at a fraction of the costs of their home dentists they can get top quality dental treatments from well-trained dentists and implantologists in Budapest
More and more patients seek dental treatment in Hungary’s capital, Budapest – thanks to its affordable dental treatment costs, full and high-quality dental care, cutting-edge dental clinics, low cost flights, the spas and thermal hotels and many more tourist attractions. However, low costs seem to be the most attractive factor as treatments are 40-70% cheaper than treatments in most UK, French, Irish and Swiss dental clinics.
Dental tourism plays an increasingly important role these days.
But who is a dental tourist? A dental tourist is a person who travels abroad with the intention of getting dental treatment outside the normal health care system of his country. There are various reasons behind. In most cases, the dental tourist for some reason – whether it is a long waiting period, or treatment is too expensive – is not satisfied with the dental services available in his home country and seeks a solution in a foreign country these days mainly in Hungary. The main motivation for such trips is affordability of treatment in Hungary, but the high quality is also increasingly important. In countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland and France the costs of dental treatments became extremely high, and the quality of treatments supported by social security fell to low level. So patients consider: either they take treatments of social security that is cheap but there are extremely long waiting lists, or they take treatments of private dental clinics where treatments are of high quality but extremely expensive.
Now there’s a third option. Get dental treatment in a country where the cost of treatment is much lower, mainly due to much lower wages. In such cases, the patient is looking for a destination with conditions roughly similar to that of his country.
Dental tourism patients suppose that in that country there is a serious professional, technical and educational background and the quality of treatment will not be of lower quality than they receive home. Hungary, particularly Budapest matches these expectations.
Earlier, it was natural that people saw their own dentists, and they did not even think of other city – not another country – to travel to and get dental treatments there. However, nowadays more and more people come to Hungary for treatment. They are called dental tourism patients.
In many Western European countries dental treatments are very expensive, so many people not only seek dental treatment in their home countries but they try to find other low cost dental services abroad. Budapest and other cities in Hungary are one of dental tourism patients’ top destinations.
In some cases, it also happens that the treatment you want to receive is simply not available in your home country. It might happen with some more complicated dental implant treatments.
After the cost benefits long waiting period is the second most common reason of dental tourists. In some countries, there are long waiting times at cheap state-funded surgeries, but at private dental practices there are no waiting lists but their prices are prohibitively expensive so patients look for more affordable dental solutions abroad.
There are places where the quality of more affordable local dental services are known to be not the best, so many people set off to get higher standard treatments abroad.
The oral health is a sensitive area, in a sense it is part of the intimate sphere. We do not want to talk about it, and rather keep it as a secret if we have problems with our teeth. Therefore, there are people who prefer to spend the time alone until they reach the end of a major dental treatment. The easiest way to be alone, and guaranteed not to meet friends and acquaintances, when you fly to a distant but still easily accessible country and get your teeth fixed there. Due to low cost airlines Budapest and some other cities of Hungary can be reached easily. So many people travel for this reason, and only friends can see the new, shining teeth.
6. If you travel for some other reason.
There are many who link business or holiday travel with their dental treatment if they travel to a country or city that is a popular dental tourism destination.
Preparations for dental treatment in Budapest
The dental surgery of Budapest Top Dental is equipped with all necessary dental instruments, in order to provide dental tourists with the highest dental services in Hungary. Our qualified dentists and implantologists are specialized in dental implantations and cosmetic dentistry, including all types of dental treatments like bridges, crowns etc. The costs of dental treatment for foreign patients are so much lower in Hungary than, say, in the United Kingdom or Ireland (on average 60-70%) that patients can combine summer holiday and treatments. There are a lot of interesting events and attractions in Budapest that are worth looking while you are staying here for dental treatment.
What you need to do
1., Get a panoramic x-ray taken and send it to us in e-mail. Our dentists make you one or more quotes and the detailed treatment plans are sent to you. It includes prices, treatments, length and number of visits to Budapest. It also contains warranty conditions and dental materials used. If you want it the dentist will call you and explain everything to you in detail.
2., If you like the quote and want to go ahead with treatment we specify the dates of treatment with you. We book you your accommodation at our partner hotels a bit below retail rates that are all in the heart of Budapest just like the clinic of Budapest Top Dental.
3., Your only task is to book a flight to Budapest. We will provide you with free airport – hotel transfers upon arrival and departure.
4., During your stay we carry out treatments that was harmonized with you. We also recommend you enjoyable activities to have a pleasant time in Hungary.
5., After completing your dental treatment you return to your home country with a sparkling white smile. Any time you come for the free annual check-up, we also book your accommodation and provide you free airport – hotel transfers.
Previously, health and dental health could not be part of a deal. Many people believed that it is not fair to make a business out of other people’s dental problems. Dentists also thought that, it’s not a business, so market laws can not prevail here, because the mission of dentists and implantologists is healing. So generally speaking it was thought it is not a business that you could or should advertise. However the spontaneous expansion of dental tourism and the financial success and ongoing promotional activities of non-dental-owned dental clinics fundamentally changed this situation. The spread of internet made big changes in dental tourism. Today, dentists and dental clinics in Hungary can make use of the possibilities of the Internet. Internet marketing is not considered advertising but rather some kind of public awareness campaigns. This way of information provisioning was not against dentists’ general mission.
Budapest involvement in dental tourism
The low-cost airlines were of great importance for the spread of dental tourism nationwide in Hungary. By the time, low cost airlines appeared, so many dentist-owned dental clinics were established mainly in Budapest. Because of the long distance from the western border of Hungary the capital, Budapest missed the benefits of dental tourism. So dental clinics in Budapest only competed for domestic patients. This competition for domestic dental patients however inadvertently has also prepared the development of the market for dental tourism. Because the latest innovations required intensive investments and asset management of the clincs. But clinics having one or two dental chairs could only afford a few of these investments. In order to manage these latest dental investments economically you needed to have at least 4 or 5 dental chairs. Since dentistry is divided into several disciplines, a dentist no matter how well he is trained in his own field can not provide patients with all treatments to the highest extent they need. So, if you want to provide overall treatments to your patients you need a team of highly qualified dentist in each walks of dentistry. The co-operation of these dentists is necessary for successful dental works. In addition ISO quality insurance is also present.
The dental tourism patient
The point of the business is to get dental tourism patients. Who has the patient relationship, that also has the economic potential as well. However, it is not only the price difference that makes the patient get treated in Hungary. Dental tourism patients take also into account additional costs such as travel expenses, acccomodation costs, lost earnings, lost off days and possible future risks. The patient’s position is difficult for several reasons. The patient is likely to travel to an unfamiliar country and it is also required to take a few days off work. Moreover you do not receive treatment in your well known environment. It is identified as a high risk by many. Therefore, the patient should be supported and make sure that they do not need to be afraid of anything. The surgeries provide all possible assistance to patients so that they could feel safe. After all, the interest of clinics is that patients should not consider dental tourism such a dental treatment but an investment into health.
For a big clinic dental tourism patients are more beneficial than domestic patients for several reasons. These patients want to get more dental work done, they do not travel abroad for a few fillings. It is only worth travelling one-two thousand kilometers for complex dental works. Complex works are more beneficial for clinics in Budapest since larger works make greater profits.
On the other hand, the price difference between the average Hungarian treatment price level and dental tourism price level makes more profit for the clinics even if marketing and any other advertisement costs are added. Some Hungarian clinics already have clinics abroad. In these cases dental work is divided so consultation and “aftercare” is provided abroad and the main treatment is carried out in Hungary. These surgeries slowly begin to provide the whole treatment abroad at a higher price than in Hungary but at a lower price than the average local rates. So patients can decide whether they want to have treatment at the local Hungarian dental clinic or would travel to Hungary for even cheaper treatment rates.
It is worth mentioning that the quality of dental treatments are extremely high in Hungary. High quality helps maintain the high reputation of Hungarian dental clinics. As treatments are of very high quality warranty periods are also very long, not rarely life time in case of dental implants.
Hungarian dentists have to take many things into consideration in case of treatments of dental tourism patients. This way of treatments called “defensive dental planning”. This means that you have to prepare a different treatment plan for a dental tourism patient than a domestic patient. It is because foreign patients can not get back to Hungary any time to see the dentist, and certain treatments should be finished within the specified, very short period of time. So dentists can not initiate treatments where results can be uncertain and can not modify treatment in the meantime. So foreigners often receive different treatments than local patients.
How long patients stay in Hungary
Patients usually stay 3-8 workdays in Hungary during a visit. They do not have appointments every day as dental lab works are also need between treatments. Patients have appointments every second day on average and spend about 10 hours in the clinic during a visit. Budapest and Hungary has many attractions to visit and leisure time activities for the days with no treatment. However, it might happen that patients’ teeth are sensitive so they are reluctant to participate in any event. Generally, patients know how they want to spend their free time, but upon patient requests most of the dental clinics assist in organizing free time activities. Some clinics also give presents to dental tourism patients such as entrance tickets to spas, tickets to the opera house or sightseeing tours.
Dental tourism patients in Hungary generally receive a guarantee of three years to lifetime, depending on treatment received. If within the warranty period any problems occur, the patient contacts the dental clinic or agency and discuss what to do to solve the problem. It is important to point out that to maintain warranty patients has to take part in the annual check-up which is free.
The problem will be assessed and the patient receives a proposal to solve the problem. If the nature of the problem makes it necessary to get warranty treatment in Hungary then the clinic of Budapest Top Dental carries it out for free and travel and accommodation costs are also covered by the clinic.
When dental treatments are finished in Hungary, before leaving the country dental tourism patients get a so-called “Passport.” This is a small booklet that contains the details about what treatment the patient received. If they received dental implants then it is called „implant passport” that describes the exact type and size of dental implants that were placed in the patinent’s jaw. It also includes warranty period of dental implants.