Dental tourism booming amongst New Zealanders

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Dental tourism is becoming increasingly popular with New Zealanders, with thousands of people choosing to go abroad for dental treatment in a bid to save money.

Dental tours to Thailand have become particularly popular, with dental tourists choosing to combine dental treatment with an exotic escape; prices in Thailand are up to 65 percent cheaper than those in New Zealand so people will end up paying the same amount of money for a luxury holiday and dental treatment as they would pay for the treatment alone at home.

Most people choose to go abroad for major dental work, as the savings are negligible for minor treatments, once the cost of flights and accommodation have been included. Consumer expert Troy Churton said that people like to go away for around ten to fourteen days to get treatment and have a relaxing break; however, he warned against having dental implants abroad, as this can be a lengthy process and the patient will be required to return to the clinic after a period of around three to six months.

Dental experts are concerned about the boom in dental tourism; many people receive excellent standards of care and are very pleased with their decision to go abroad but others have a very different experience. Often, standards of cleanliness and expertise are not the same as at home and this can cause serious problems; the cost of fixing a botched operation will be far greater than the original quote from a dentist at home. In order to ensure quality care, it is important to research the clinic, treatment and dentist very carefully; try to use those recommended by tour operators, who have the necessary qualifications and experience.

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