Tooth Tourism | Tooth Tourism Abroad
patients Tourism "Made in Germany"
Of course it is tempting to save money through dental tourism. Gold crowns from the dentist in Hungary, ceramic veneers from the specialist in Poland, implants from the surgeon in Turkey. Everything is 50 to 70 percent cheaper than in Germany. And if the dentist is an EU neighbor, then pay the statutory health insurance and subsidies.
Nevertheless, dental tourism abroad can be a health-related roulette game for patients and in the end, despite short-term price advantages, a minus trade. This is the conclusion of a study by the MDK. As part of a doctoral thesis at the University of Mainz, 60 patients who received dentures abroad were re-examined. Nearly half of the test patients in Turkey were provided with cheap dental prostheses or implants, 43 percent in the Eastern European EU accession countries. The results are alarming: only 14 cases were classified as defect-free at the time of the review. In general, the error rate for complicated dentures was higher than for simple partial dentures or full dentures.
Almost 11,000 euros had the 60 "bargain hunters" in the end. Although treatment in the low-wage countries seems cheaper at first glance. In terms of treatment, the result is even more negative. Of the 81 bridges surveyed, 47 corresponded to the German health insurance regulations. However, only 12 of these bridges were fault-free. For 43 bridges, the MDK considered a total new production necessary. It was particularly noticeable that dentists abroad had incorporated a large number of bridge constructions, which were already flawed in their planning. In these cases, a bridge, so a fixed dentures was made, although the remaining residual denture has medically only allowed a removable supply. The 76 examined single crowns were from the view of the examiners with the exception of 2 crowns absolutely not necessary.
However, the result was not only catastrophic in terms of dental performance, but also in the work of the dental laboratory. While dental technicians receive high-level training in Germany, their colleagues abroad are often only semi-skilled assistants.
Another study was published in Switzerland in 1999 by the University of Bern. The study looked at 38 people who performed dental surgeries (for example new crowns) in Switzerland and 46 in Hungary. In none of the refurbishment was more than 3 years ago, no one was in pain. The objective assessment: None of the work carried out in Hungary was ranked by the examiners in one of the two best quality categories. But they classified 39% in the lowest category E – if, for example, a healthy tooth was destroyed by the treatment. Conclusion: It can take years for deficiencies to emerge.
Numbers on the number of patients treated abroad do not exist, neither at the Dentists‘ Chamber nor at the health insurance companies. Often, however, these are legally insured patients who want to be treated beyond what is necessary and sufficient, and for financial reasons, have the treatment performed abroad.
The main countries for dental treatment abroad are Hungary and Spain (Mallorca). The costs for placing an implant in Hungary are, according to our research, between 600 and 800 euros. The prices for placing an implant vary in Germany. There are renowned practices that implant at a fixed price of 750 euros, with prices going up to 1,800 euros.
Increasing dental tourism, including to Hungary, does not only trigger positive reactions. The problem is not the Hungarian dentists. Hungarian dentistry has a high standard. The problem is often borderline treatment centers, which are more economic than medical. As a rule, these do not belong to dentists but to investors from all over Europe. There is often the economic pressure, time-consuming and costly pretreatments not or not sufficiently perform.
What are the expectations after the health reform? The number of dental tourists will increase. This is mainly because the additional insurance for dentures – should it sign the patient at the statutory health insurance – will not lead to a supply of higher-quality dentures. The therapy will continue to be based on the necessary and sufficient measures.
Dental tourism should therefore be considered carefully. If there are complications later, if the new denture or the veneer of the crown crumbles, the patient may regret the trip. Dentists in Germany are hardly willing to take on rework for foreign colleagues. If you have to go abroad again because of the necessary repairs, you will hardly save money. In addition, there is neither a uniform medical liability nor uniform regulation of the warranty.
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