Britons Brighten Their Smiles with Cosmetic Surgery
George Orwell described the United Kingdom in 1940 as “a nation of people with bad teeth.” That might have been true in the last century, but these days, healthy smiles are a high priority for Britons. And they pay a lot, through their private dentist or the National Health Service (NHS), to see results. In fact, kids in England have 20% fewer cavities than many countries in Eastern Europe. New Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, even got his teeth redone a few years ago. Facing long waits and expensive prices, however, many Britons are turning to medical tourism to lower the cost of dental cosmetic surgery for procedures like dental caps or laser teeth whitening.
Cost of Dental Caps, Other Procedures out of Reach for Britons at Home
In a new survey of 5,000 Britons by the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health in the UK, researchers found that 6% of people surveyed admitted to do-it-yourself dentistry. TIME Magazine reports that the survey found one person that removed 14 of his own teeth with pliers and another that had Super-Glued a loose crown back on to a molar.
Why this risky behavior?
Participants in the survey admitted they would have rather seen a qualified dentist for their problems. The lines to see a NHS dentist, however, were unbearable. TIME reports that there are around 500 fewer NHS dentists working today than there were a year ago, saying that hundreds of dentists left the NHS for more profitable private practices before the NHS restructured working arrangements last April.
Medical Tourism Vacations to Hungary, Croatia, and the Czech Republic
People from the UK are going abroad for dental treatment in increasing numbers. Taking advantage of new low-cost airlines, Britons are finding countries like Hungary, Croatia, and the Czech Republic to be a great value for their money. Mike Silford, the managing director of one medical tourism agency, recently told a newspaper in Budhapest that business is booming. Specifically, he cites Hungary as a popular destination, remarking that his business has increased four-fold in the last 18 months.