Study Shows the Shocking Cost Difference of Dental Care across Europe

January 4th, 2011
Study Shows the Shocking Cost Difference of Dental Care across Europe

The cost of dental treatment in the UK is a cost that forces many of us to simply avoid the dentist altogether and this has a major impact on the oral health of UK residents.

It is with this knowledge that it may come as a massive shock to find that whilst England is the most expensive place in Europe to receive dental care; in countries across Europe the price for dental treatment is sickeningly less.

A recent study, comparing the cost of dental care in nine countries across Europe, showed that the average price of a filling in England was €156 compared to a measly €8 for the equivalent treatment in Hungary. The infuriatingly high price of treatment in England is not far ahead of Spain and Italy, a filling costing roughly €125 and €135 respectively. However, in other prosperous Western European countries like France and Germany the price was lower than half of this, €46 in France and €67 in Germany.

This shocking discrepancy is revealed as dental organisations warn of the dangers of dental tourism – seeking dental treatment abroad. The cost of treatment in the UK is the leading factor in UK residents’ decisions to go abroad for dental treatment. Hungary and Poland are the most popular destinations for British dental tourists; the price of a filling costing €8 and €18 respectively. A massive 60,000 UK residents travelled abroad for medical treatment in 2010 and of these it is estimated that 50% sought cheaper dental treatment.

Dental organisations are correct to warn of the dangers of dental tourism. There are obvious risks involved when it comes to travelling to a foreign country for any medical treatment. However, with the significant difference in prices and with the current state of the economical climate there is little wonder why so many are choosing to take that risk.

The Council of European Dentists (CED), say on the matter: “Dental treatment often requires a series of visits to the dentist to properly plan and carry out the treatment, and to provide post-treatment care. Where patients spend only a short time in the vicinity of the dentist, as is often the case where patients receive care abroad, the overall quality of the health service is difficult to ensure. The CED therefore does not believe that patient mobility in the area of dental care should be actively promoted.”

Anybody considering dental tourism should do their research and be aware of the risks involved.

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