Thailand may be known for its sprawling white sand beaches and liquid crystal waters, its raucous nightlife and unbridled hedonism, but it is also known as the Land of Smiles.
This moniker was originally derived from the innate friendliness of Thai people; however, the rapid growth of dental tourism in Thailand leads one to think that medical tourists are taking the nickname literally.
Medical tourism in Thailand has grown precipitately in recent years. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the industry generated 1.5 to 1.7 billion dollars in 2008, and that number is predicted to rise as high as 3.6 billion in 2012.
A significant portion of these numbers can be attributed to dental tourism and analysts expect these growth trends to continue at such high rates in the coming years.
Why Has Thailand’s Dental Tourism Industry Grown So Much?
Dental tourism in Thailand has grown because foreign patients know they can trust dentists there to provide top-notch dental work. Furthermore, as more and more people come to Thailand for dental work, thereby investing in a skyrocketing industry, the quality of care only gets better, which means more satisfied customers.
- Patients can rest assured that dental clinics in Thailand that cater to foreigners are stocked with sophisticated technologies such as they would find at home.
- Many dentists and dental staff have received international training and can provide a quality of service on par with that in Western countries. Many also speak excellent English, which means the language barrier does not get in the way of superb dental care.
- Thailand is home to 34 JCI International accredited hospitals.
- The low cost of dental care in Thailand also plays a role in this burgeoning industry. Crowns, veneers, and dental implants in Thailand can be 50 to 80% cheaper than in developed countries. This, as throngs of patients discover each year, does not mean that one must sacrifice quality for a good deal.
- Outrageous dental insurance rates in developed countries have also contributed to this growth. When patients can’t afford procedures in their own countries, they look elsewhere, and find that they can get the same quality of service for much cheaper in Thailand.
- Aside from quality and affordability, dental patients are also drawn to Thailand for its efficient service. Patients can expect wait times that are much shorter than in dental clinics back home, as excellent service is key to the rapid growth of the industry.
Dental Vacations in Thailand
Thailand is unique among popular dental tourism countries, as it has much more to offer than great dental work. It has been a top tourist destination since long before this industry hit its stride, and the perks of taking a vacation in a tropical paradise have played a major role in the growth of Thailand’s dental tourism industry.
- Bangkok is a modern city that is bustling with life. Many of the nation’s best clinics are located here.
- Many of Bangkok’s tourists come for the chance to indulge their hedonistic side, but there is a plethora of sightseeing spots and cultural experiences to be had, such as the Grand Palace, or a tour of the city’s intricate canal system.
- Patients who are not keen on the hustle and bustle of the capital have other options. One can find a clinic for dental implants in Phuket just as easily as in Bangkok, and have a relaxing vacation getting massages and sipping cocktails on the beach.
- The north of Thailand is thronged by tourists eager to explore its breathtaking mountains and jungles. The city of Chang Mai is very popular with those wanting to explore this region. From here, it is also easy to visit neighboring countries like Laos and Cambodia.
Dental tourism in Thailand is a thriving industry that shows no signs of slowing down in the near future, unless dental insurance in the West becomes free, and dentists start doing some charity.
Dr. Deepika Garg – Dentist and web-content specialist, currently involved in dental tourism. She is currently working with websites that arrange for affordable dental veneers, crowns and bridges and dental implants in Thailand. By traveling to this Asian country many Westerners are able to get the dental treatment they need, without having to worry about dental insurance or the related finances.