Dental tourism as a concept for a planned vacation along with total dental treatment solution and care is fast gaining ground in India.
Contrary to the recessionary trends, dental tourists are heading for Asian countries especially India, which has emerged a hub for medical tourism attracting a large number of them due to relatively low cost treatment.
It is a dental travel marketplace in itself. Aside from this internal market, the other sources of dental tourism patients are diverse with 28 per cent from Europe and 21 per cent from North America.
A strong showing from the rest of world indicates India’s regional appeal with high levels of interest in dental tourism from the Middle East.
There is great potential for dental tourism in India. Patients from West Asia, Europe, US, Canada and Africa are visiting the city, according to Dr Shantanu Jaradi, Director of one dental care centre in India.
They said the United States is facing a dental crisis and only 50 per cent of the population has dental insurance. In addition to zero or low dental insurance coverage, the cost of dental treatments is extremely high and this has given a strong reason for dental patients to opt for dental tourism.
Dr Jaradi said a dentist could charge $300 to $400 for a dental filling in USA, while it costs only $20 to $40 in Mumbai. A Root Canal is $1,300 in the West, but only $200 to $250 in Mumbai. Dentures can cost $1,000 overseas, but only $300 in Mumbai. Dental implants, the most sought after dental treatment modality, can cost $3,000 to $5,000 abroad, but only $1,100 in here, along with ceramic prosthesis.
Dr Jaradi said approximately 40 per cent of the group’s patients visiting Mumbai dental centres are foreigners, living in US, UK, Australia, New Zealand. This was also an added advantage wherein dental tourism will be booming in the coming years.
He said, ”Dental patients from the region generally look to dental tourism in India for preventive healthcare and cosmetic medical and dental procedures. They have a great deal of confidence in India’s reputation for world class medical services and Indian dental tourism aims to give the perfect oral health status through an exceptionally professional and systematic approach”.