Skip to content

Saving Smiles and Dollars: How Dental Health Tourism Revolutionises American Healthcare

Growing trend of dental health tourism

best countries for dental tourism

Dental health tourism is becoming an increasingly popular trend in American healthcare, with more patients travelling abroad for dental treatment. In their pursuit of the best countries for dental tourism, Americans are looking for regions with accessible and affordable dental solutions that are also world-class. This is due to the prohibitively high cost of oral and dental care in the US, which places it out of reach for many individuals.

Based on market research findings, this industry is projected to attain a global worth of $21.5 billion by 2031, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9%. Dental abnormalities and the demand for aesthetic dentistry worldwide are the main factors driving the industry’s growth.

What makes dental tourism so popular?

Dental work in the UK, United States, and other Western countries can be expensive, especially without adequate medical insurance. The high costs associated with major dental procedures make them unaffordable for most individuals. The surge in popularity of dental tourism has been fueled by the accessibility of information, advancements in travel and technology, and the growing recognition of the quality of care available in various international destinations (not to mention other factors like cost savings and travel opportunities).

The key factors influencing the decision to engage in dental tourism include the following:

Affordability: Dental procedures like implants, crowns, and root canals can be expensive in patients’ home countries. Savings (compared to having such procedures done in the country of origin) will vary depending on the specific procedure and the dental practice where it is carried out. Dental tourists can save up to 70% or more compared to prices in their home countries. Cosmetic and restorative treatments, which tend to be the most expensive, generally result in the biggest savings, as they are among the most costly procedures in the US (while being much more affordable elsewhere).

Quality of care: Contrary to popular belief, dental clinics abroad often utilise state-of-the-art technology and facilities and offer high treatment standards. Many dental clinics in other countries obtain accreditation from national and international organisations, which means they can deliver a service that would be on par with the high standards of care people would expect back home. 

Vacation opportunities: Popular dental tourism destinations also attract tourists for their top vacation spots. Combining dental treatment with vacation is what makes dental tourism so appealing. Dental tourists can thus enjoy a two-fold advantage – obtaining quality dental care while relishing a memorable holiday experience.

Soaring costs of dental care in the US

During the last decade, dental treatment costs in the US have been on the rise. Between October 2021 and October 2022, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics reported a 5.4 per cent increase in costs in the consumer price index. This hike has rendered dental care inaccessible for many, particularly those without insurance. According to a survey conducted by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, an estimated 77 million Americans lack dental insurance, a factor that further intensifies the problem.

Dental tourism has huge financial benefits when you compare the average cost of dental treatment in the U.S. with the cheaper packages available abroad. For instance, the average cost of full-mouth dental implants in the US is $26,000, while a similar procedure in Turkey will only cost you around $10,000. A full set of porcelain veneers in the United States ranges from $24,000 to $30,000. However, the same treatment can be obtained in Croatia for about $7,500. The substantial cost savings highlight why dental tourism has become so popular. This also applies to packages for various dentistry procedures, with prices being markedly lower in popular dental tourism destinations.

What are the top destinations for dental tourism?

Dental tourism destinations are frequently influenced by the patient’s place of residence. For instance, Californians may find Mexico a convenient option due to its proximity, while UK citizens often benefit from lower travel costs to nearby European locations. The selection of these destinations is guided by factors such as geographical closeness, ease of travel from the patient’s home country, and the presence of quality dental facilities that offer cost-effective care in the chosen regions.

Below are the top medical tourism destinations for dental treatments.

  • Brazil boasts the highest number of dentists worldwide, with over 240,000 registered professionals. This remarkable figure accounts for approximately 15% of the total number of dentists across the globe. 
  • Mexico treats more than one million cross-border dental patients annually and is a go-to dental destination for Americans due to its close proximity.
  • Thailand, known as the ‘Land of Smiles’, lives up to its reputation by offering a combination of reduced costs and high-quality dental treatment.
  • Turkey’s dental tourism industry has seen swift expansion, boasting numerous state-of-the-art dental clinics in bustling cities such as Istanbul, Antalya, and Izmir, where affordable dental treatments are readily available.
Dental tourism enables patients to save money while receiving quality dental treatment. Despite the benefits, conducting research and choosing reputable dental clinics is crucial to ensure the highest standard of dental care.

Book A Treatment Abroad Consultation

Start your healthcare journey with a free consultation with our medical travel team

Discover Health Tourism Worldwide

Get the latest news and resources from the Medical Travel Market delivered to your inbox.

Read these next

Check also


Get the latest news and resources from the Medical Travel Market delivered to your inbox.