Patients Beyond Borders, a consumer information organization that focuses on medical travel, estimated that more than 1.2 million Americans traveled abroad for medical tourism in 2014. Other estimates, including this one cited by Fox News, noted that some 480,000 Americans also went overseas for dental care in 2013.
Whenever terms like “medical tourism” and “dental tourism” are mentioned, they usually conjure images of hordes of people from developed countries traveling abroad with one thing in mind: to save money on cosmetic surgery and dentistry procedures.
There is a certain charm to the idea. Aside from the potential savings, many of those who go abroad for dental vacations are attracted to the thought that they can also go on a “free” leisure trip on the side. For these people, dental tourism means getting the desired treatment while also taking a dream vacation at the same time.
It all looks very promising, but did you know that medical and dental tourism are also happening the other way around? Today, there’s a burgeoning niche industry that is attracting thousands of medical and dental tourists from all over the world into the United States.
This market comprises wealthy individuals from Western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Far East Asia, who all come to the country to obtain the cosmetic and dental procedures they need from renowned medical professionals while also taking advantage of the country’s first-rate medical facilities.
Why do medical tourists come to the United States for dental vacations?
To shop and to explore America
One thing that many dental tourists who come to the U.S. have in common with medical tourists who go to other parts of the world is that, aside from wanting to get the procedures they need, they also want to travel for leisure.
Many of these well-off travelers go to cities like New York, Miami, and Beverly Hills in California—places that represent the zenith of American beauty and glamour.
Many tourists from the Middle East, for instance, take vacations in Southern California to shop for luxury goods and to get Hollywood-style cosmetic procedures done by world-renowned professionals. It’s really all about getting that million-dollar smile that is made in the USA, something they can be proud to show off to their friends and family back home.
The practice of dentistry in the U.S. is held to high standards
All dentists in the United States trained and graduated from educational institutions that are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Additionally, each of them was required to a pass regional board exam in order to get the license needed to practice dentistry.
On top of the high-caliber education and training, American dentists are also notably advanced when it comes to techniques and knowledge in dental medicine, thanks to the fact that many of the practices and technologies used in dentistry today are homegrown in the United States.
Granted, dental tourists can also find excellent dentists in developing countries, but it could be more difficult to ascertain a dental professional’s qualifications in other parts of the world.
The U.S. has safe, clean, and state-of-the-art facilities
American dental practices are modern facilities that are at the cutting edge of science and technology. In the U.S., all medical equipment, materials, and drugs are also strictly regulated by the government, making the practice of dentistry safe for all patients. All dental practices that don’t follow established federal, state, and local health regulations are swiftly dealt with by the law.
Furthermore, dental practices in the U.S. follow stringent infection control protocols, so the possibility of getting infectious diseases from a dental procedure is much less in the U.S. compared to many other countries.
The bottom line: when it comes to high-quality cosmetic dentistry, the United States is certainly one of the best places in the world to go to for treatments. Aside from getting the services of prominent specialists and benefitting from the superior technologies and facilities available in the country, tourists also see their dental vacation as the perfect opportunity to see the best attractions that the U.S. has to offer.