According to Julie Snider of USA TODAY, more American vacationers are joining Austrian, German and other European “tooth tourists” travelling to former Iron Curtain countries to have their teeth repaired at deeply discounted prices.
In Eastern European countries like Hungary, low-cost dental clinics named “Happy Dent” and “Eurodent” occupy an entire block in a key shopping district. A small Hungarian city, Mosonmagyarovar has more than 150 practising dentists. The core clientele for these dentists are visiting Germans and Austrians who top up their dental vacations with purchases of low-cost cigarettes and cheese.
Hungarian dentists are targeting English and American patients. One dental tourist from Washington saved almost 350% from what she would have paid at home. For example, eight crowns at a Hungarian dental clinic cost US$3,195 compared with the $11,151 cost-estimate from a Washington dentist.
Another “tooth tourist” from Philadelphia travelled to Hungary for dental work on 26 teeth including crowns, bridges and two extractions. The total dental bill was $6,000 – a fraction of the $43,000 estimate for the same procedures in the United States. The Philadelphian used his extra cash to pay for an eight-day visit to Germany, a tour of Vienna plus local horseback riding.
Another Hungarian dental destination, Soporon (population 58,000), is a tourist mecca featuring economical tour packages that include visits to castles, thermal spas and wellness retreats plus biking, fishing and kayaking.
Dental Tourism Portal
A website named German-Dentist-Hungary offers a compelling case for Eastern European dental tourism. Topping the list of advantages is the average 70% savings for dental treatments. Below are selected price guidelines that compare costs for Hungarian dental care versus those in the U.S.
Denture per jaw … US$480 (83% saving from U.S. dental cost of $2,800)
Gold crown or bridge … $300 (79% saving from U.S. dental cost of $1,460)
Porcelain crown … $340 (74% saving from U.S. dental cost of $1,300)
Removal of all wisdom teeth … $580 (81% saving from U.S. dental cost of $2,420)
Root canal treatment per canal… $80 (87% saving from U.S. dental cost of $600).