Maybe it’s only 7 out of 10 dentists
In what appears to be an attempt to stem the rise of dental tourism, the Irish Dental Association released an article entitled, European Dentists Say ‘No’ to Dental Tourism. In the article they cite a position paper by The Council of European Dentists that opposes dental tourism and dental holidays. The Council raises the issue of continued care and the importance of the dentist patient relationship as reasons against dental tourism. The Council is comprised of 320,000 dentists from 30 countries in Europe.
What is interesting about the article is that dentists and dental clinics in member countries like Poland, Hungary and Slovakia – all member countries of the same Council – promote dental tourism.
One look at the search engines in the UK and Ireland for terms like ‘dental tourism’ or ‘dental clinic abroad’ will bring up search results from dental holiday clinics in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia among others. So, if the Council is against it then why are dental clinics in member countries promoting dental tourism?
Ultimately it is a question of cost, the dental holiday clinics in Eastern Europe can offer dental treatments at a more affordable price then the dental clinics in Ireland and the UK. And with the advent of low cost airlines, like Ryan Air, offering bargain airfares and short fly times from London, Dublin and elsewhere to destinations, like Krakow, Budapest and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, dental tourism has become a viable solution to Western Europeans looking for affordable dental treatments.
It will be interesting to see where this argument goes, with more countries in Europe, like Romania and Serbia promoting dental travel and dental tourism.