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Dental Tourism Insights: Why the Most Affordable Dental Procedures Are Outside the US
Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 6/28/2017 1:02 PM | Last Modified: September 22, 2019
According to Clements Worldwide, the U.S. doesn’t even crack the top 10 when it comes to the world’s most expensive countries in which to live (by the way, these are: Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Bermuda, Australia, Denmark, Luxembourg and Canada).
However, when it comes to dental care, the U.S. is easily among the least affordable places on earth – which isn’t just bad news for the country’s estimated 40 million people without dental insurance. Surprisingly, it’s also a major problem for those with dental insurance, since coverage typically includes only routine cleanings and check-ups, and the annual claim limit is usually around a paltry $1500 – which is about $3500 less than the cost of a single crown, and more than $50,000 short of a total smile makeover.
Crunch the numbers, and it’s easy to understand why Americans are flocking to Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Singapore, and many other countries to access affordable dental care.
However, you may be wondering what’s behind the dramatic cost savings of dental tourism, which can be anywhere from 40-90 percent. Below, we highlight 3 key reasons:
1. Lower Laboratory Costs
For a single treatment or surgery, laboratory costs in the U.S. can easily run into the thousands. However, using the same equipment and performing the same procedures/tests abroad can cost hundreds. In fact, many U.S. dental practices outsource the lab tests to Mexico to save money!
2. Lower Wages
Dentists in the U.S. are among the highest-paid professionals, with an average annual salary of $192,000 according to the American Dental Association (ADA). And while there’s nothing wrong with earning an above average income (or a very above average income!), the fact remains that patients ultimately pay the freight either directly, or through insurance.
However in many other countries, wages are substantially lower for dentists (and pretty much everyone else except perhaps celebrities and athletes!), and this translates directly into a lower bill. For example, CNN reports that dentists in Mexico earn about 33 percent of their U.S. counterparts.
3. Lower Education Costs
Many dentists emerge from dental school with more than a great deal of knowledge: they also have a great deal of debt! Indeed, the ADA notes that the average debt load for graduating dentists is $129,000 for residents (i.e. those who worked in a hospital or clinic), and a whopping $192,000 for non-residents. Naturally, dentists need to factor this into their overall fee structure, so they can get out of the red as soon as it’s reasonably and realistically possible.
However, while many dentists in other countries also graduate with debt, the fact is that the burden is often far lower. For example, the total cost of five full years of dental school in Mexico can be around $40,000. Even if dentists borrow 75 percent of that, the debt load is $30,000 vs. $129,000 or $192,000. The bottom-line is that dentists owe less, so they can charge less.
To learn more about why dental tourism is skyrocketing in popularity – and why treatment abroad is so much cheaper than in the U.S. – contact the SkyMedicus team today. Your consultation with us is free, and there’s never any obligation to choose us as your dental tourism partner.
To learn more about medical tourism download our FREE eBook that discusses what you need to know in order to have a safe and successful trip!
Topics: Dental Medical Tourism