Irish dentists will have to deal with the new reality that is increasing numbers of people travelling abroad for dental treatments. Driven by savings of up to € 500 per crown and up to € 2,200 per implant, we're happy to pack up our worries about aftercare in an old kit bag to get a smile, smile, smile.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, our preferred destinations include those in which we bought up thousands of properties during the boom - Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain. Reports of sub-standard materials, poor sterilisation techniques and the lack of aftercare however mean that you really need to do your research before you select a practice. Dental tourism is on the increase with Irish clients making up at least 4% of wandering patients worldwide.
Up to 80% of Tour Medical's clients are from Ireland and the UK. A dental practice based in Kudsadasi, Turkey, they collect their clients from the airport when they arrive, transport them, free of charge, to and from their hotel. The hotel itself is organised by Tour Medical. They will even pay for it, if you're travelling during off-peak season!
Consultation with your cosmetic dentist or surgeon is free. Panoramic x-rays are free, temporary crowns, where required, are free. Crowns range from € 175 for porcelain and € 250 for zirconium to € 270 for Luminate laminate veneers, apparently the most conservative form of cosmetic dentistry. By contrast, a zirconium crown in Ireland would cost around € 700. Materials are similar to those used in Ireland and are of European standard at least.
The person telling me all this is Majella Ivers from Mayo. Tour Medical's co-ordinator for UK and Irish patients, four years ago she travelled to Kusadasi for treatment herself. So impressed was she by Tour Medical, Majella ended up working for them.
That's a powerful testimonial. Within minutes of me asking to speak to an ex-Irish client, I had the number for a lady in Dublin who recounted a similarly positive experience. "Our Irish clients are always impressed by our hygiene and cleanliness and their experience throughout their stay" Majella reports.
They offer DVD's and a dolby digital surround sound system to relax and distract during longer treatments. "Most importantly, our patients are reassured by the fact that we have dentists in Ireland willing to follow up with any care necessary following their return home" .....
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