Dentist Fees Surge Skywards, Americans Flee on Medical Vacations
In Alex Berenson’s recent article in the New York Times, entitled Boom Time for Dentists, but Not for Teeth, he reports that rising dentists’ fees and lack of dental insurance is “reversing a half-century trend of improvement in dental health” in the United States. Although the country’s population has risen 22 percent since 1990, the number of dentists has remained roughly the same (approximately 150,000 to 160,000), contributing to the high cost of many dental procedures. The cost of the average dental procedure, whether it is dentures, veneers, or fixing an old fashioned cavity, rose 25 percent between 1996 and 2004. As alarming as this is, however, Berenson reports that the problem could get worse. Citing the declining number of dental schools and people studying dentistry, he says that “for at least the next decade, retiring dentists will outnumber new ones.” Such a situation is prompting many to choose a medical vacation abroad, taking advantage of one of the many dental tourism packages out there.
Remarkable Dental Deals in Hungary
While the cost of a smaller dental procedure like a denture fitting might not merit a trip across the world by itself, patients needing more complex and costly treatment find it economical to travel. USA Today did a 2005 feature story on Nancy Carothers, a woman who traveled to Hungary for a set of new crowns for her molars. Carothers spent $4,300 on her dental work and travel, while she estimates the cost of the procedures alone in the US would cost a shocking $11,150.
Affordable Dental Tourism Packages
Kreativ Dental (kreativdental.com) houses patients in the Hotel Amadeus in Budapest and provides dental services, as well as arranges flights and tours. The nearby town of Mosonmagyarovar, a small city which boasts 150 dentists, is home to Dr. Frank Kannmann (happy-dent.net) and Diamant-Dent (diamantdent.com), a company which picks up patients from the airport in Vienna and houses them in its own hotel.