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20,000 Britons go abroad for dental treatment

24-Sep-2007

The Observer newspaper reported on Sunday that some 20,000 UK citizens travelled abroad last year for dental treatment.

 
"Property investors and skiers have long known about the advantages of a trip to Eastern Europe, but growing numbers of Britons are now jetting off to the likes of Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria to cut the cost of their dental bills, " the Observer reported.
 
Fifty thousand people in the UK travelled abroad for medical treatment last year and 20,000 of these did so for the sake of their teeth. The average spend on dentistry was £2,500, according to website Treatmentabroad, which surveyed 300 clinics, medical tourism companies, hospitals, doctors, dentists and healthcare providers overseas that are promoting their services to the UK market.
"Cost is the biggest factor driving people overseas - savings of more than 80 per cent can be made on some forms of treatment, " Treatmentabroad director Keith Pollard told the Observer.
 
"'The biggest growth in dental tourism appears to have been fuelled by the changes to NHS dental contracts, especially for people who want more complex procedures carried out. They are either struggling to find a dentist to do it or when they do are being met with costs of £10,000 to £15,000 in some cases."
 
The Observer reported that the British Dental Association has issued a warning for anyone considering treatment abroad. A spokesman told the Observer that there may be potential risks and hidden costs. "Difficulties may arise if there are problems with the treatment when the patient returns home, especially if there are insufficient records of the treatment carried out.'

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