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Top Destinations for Cheaper Dental Care Around the World

Top Destinations for Cheaper Dental Care Around the World

Of all the travel articles to immerse yourself in, one involving dental care is about as must-read as the new terms and conditions on your smart phone’s latest software update.

But, if you’ve ever suffered the misery of oral pain, you’ll know dental problems don’t wait, striking anytime, anyplace, anywhere – demanding you take action. Irritating as it may be, this is when you used to book an appointment to see your local dentist. But times, they are a-changin’, and for many varied reasons this isn’t always an option.

Apart from the odd blip-or-two caused by the recession in the late 2000’s, international tourism continues to grow. No longer satisfied by just an annual 2 weeks’ jolly in the sun, most of us think nothing of going abroad numerous times a year, cramming in a winter ski-ing trip and several weekend city breaks into our holiday entitlement.


Who wants dental care overseas?

However, travel is not just about holiday visitors: people travel for business, during gap years and the trend for upping sticks and living overseas seems set to continue as supporting ourselves by working remotely requires little more than a decent internet connection and a laptop.

Notwithstanding all these groups of international travelers who may get caught up in a dental emergency and require the services of a decent dentist, there is another section who travel abroad specifically for dental treatments, who actively plan their holiday around their oral health needs. You may wonder why, but the simple fact is that dental care for populations from English-speaking countries is just too darned expensive, and faced with a huge dental bill they can’t afford, pain and possibly tooth loss, jetting off for cheaper dental care elsewhere in the world is by far the lesser of two evils.

So, where are the top destinations for cheaper dental care?

You’ll be surprised just where you can find top quality dental care overseas, in clinics that are generally well-equipped and in some cases far superior to some you’d find at home.

The Americas

Mexico is one of the most popular destinations in terms of dental travel. It is, of course, a vast country with plenty to offer visitors, attracting sun-worshippers, culture vultures, day-trippers and party-animals to a myriad of appealing locations.

Top Destinations for Cheaper Dental Care Around the World

From the glorious coastal white sands and turquoise water of resorts such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo san Lucas, to the off-the-beaten-track Pueblos Magicos offering unique history, culture or natural beauty; and from the exceptional biodiversity of its flora and fauna, to the relics of ancient civilizations found throughout the country, Mexico is a smorgasbord of inimitable experiences just waiting to be explored by regular visitors and dental tourists alike.

Americans from the southern states have long taken advantage of the cheaper prices south of Border, with many regularly making the trip to see a Mexico dentist where they generally make savings of around 70%.


Hungary’s land-locked borders and its position practically in the center of Europe has made it a convenient destination for near neighbors. However, the sleepy town of Mosonmagyaróvár, on the Austrian border, is a surprising hot-spot for dentistry, with the highest number of dentists in relation to population in the world. Traditionally popular with Austrians, it now welcomes visitors from much further afield, including America and Greenland.

Top Destinations for Cheaper Dental Care Around the World

The Capital, Budapest, is also another favorite destination. Said to be one of the prettiest cities in the world, its stunning historic architecture nestling along the banks of the River Danube and hot, open-air springs offer a relaxing experience to soothe away dental woes, at a fraction of the cost of its more expensive European neighbors.




Thailand remains the most popular modern medical and dental tourism destination, providing contemporary, world-class facilities that cater exactly for foreign visitors’ expectations and budgets.

Top Destinations for Cheaper Dental Care Around the World

From the excitement of Bangkok to the calm of Chiang Mai and the rowdiness of Pattaya to the relative tranquility of uninhabited island’s in Phuket’s Phang Nga Bay, you’ll find a Thailand dentist nearby who’ll cater for all your dental needs – from a simple check-up to a full mouth makeover – and all for around 60% less than you’d pay at home – and in some cases as much as 90%.

So – next time you’re having a business lunch in Poland, or negotiating white-water rapids in Costa Rica, or even sitting at home planning your next jaunt, bear in mind there are top destinations for cheaper dental care around the world where your money will go much further, leaving more in your pocket to spend on seeing the world.


Header photo by Charles Clegg


Amanda DuffyAmanda Duffy is an expert in the field of dental tourism and has been writing on the subject for a number of years. She is currently a key figure in the editorial team at Dental Departures, a company specializing in dental tourism that help patients save money on their dental care by matching them up with the right clinic.


Should I Get International Health Insurance?

One of the most liberating things about moving abroad is getting ride of all your stuff right? That can include not only your physical belongings but also means you can sever ties with that annoying cell phone plane, burdensome car payment and awful health insurance premium right? Yes and no. We were thrilled to sell one of our cars and get out from under the loan on the other, leave AT&T (evil bastards) and sell nearly all of our belongings, as well as cancel our health insurance but as free as that left us, it was a little scary to now not have any health insurance (it was much nicer being oblivious for the two years after I got kicked off my parents health insurance when I just didn’t know I was uncovered).

In all of our travels over the years we have very rarely, I think only once actually, ever purchased health insurance for the duration of you trip. In the past it just hasn’t seemed necessary, as most countries have either very good or very cheap medical care, some ever have both! But when we committed to becoming expats, we had to think twice about insuring ourselves. Chances are you will be fine right? Chances are you won’t get in that motorbike accident, get that one weird foreign disease or brake your ankle running on the beach but you never know. After much consideration we decided it would be best to be safe than sorry and started shopping for the best deals.

Now I’ll be honest with you, I had terrible health insurance in the states and it was still costing me an arm and a leg. I paid $165 a month for the worst health insurance ever. The receptionist at my doctors office wasn’t shy about informing me just exactly how terrible it was, “this is literally the worst health insurance coverage I have ever seen” she said. What can I say, it was all I could afford, but she was right.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.14.23 AMWe looked at both Cigna and Bupa, the two major international health insurance providers and after getting quotes from both, settled on Bupa to be our provider. The process was surprisingly simply and quick. We got in touch with a representative, submitted the online applications and a week later we had full world wide coverage in every country on Earth except the good old USA. Thats right, no US coverage but everywhere else we were fine.

And you know that the best part was? We each paid just over $300 up front for the ENTIRE year. I was paying that every two months, and this new health insurance was way better. We were emailed copies of our policies and once we settled in Thailand and had a physical address we were mailed our insurance cards we carry with us in our wallets.

Now for the big question, have we used them? Yes, once. I few months back (on my birthday actually) I was lucky enough to get Dengue fever, which required a little trip to the emergency room. I had tests done, blood drawn and tested and received medication. How much did my insurance cover? $15 of the $80 tab, which isn’t too good is it? We picked one of the cheaper plans which covered us in cases of death and decapitation but apparently did not select the plan which covered the majority of basic care. That being said, the hospital was stay was quick, clean, friendly and without hassle. In Thailand there are pharmacies on every single corner in which you can enter and simply tell them “I want to have a good time.” and they will hook you up with whatever you want, so we always knew we could visit the pharmacy if we needed to for more extreme traditional over the counter medicines that we may need.

All in all I am glad we have the coverage. It makes me feel just that much more protected while we travel and at least looks like we were trying to be responsible if god forbid some locals find us in a ditch one day. It is great knowing that our coverage encompasses any country we will visit during our travels and for that I think it is well worth it. Many people forgo the health insurance and just pay out of pocket if need be, which honestly is not often at all if ever, and I don’t blame them, chances are you won’t need it at all. But then again nobody buys health insurance expecting to use it, its just there as a…. well, insurance policy quite literally. Make sure to look up the local laws of the country you are traveling through as most international health insurance policies do NOT cover you if you are in an accident involving a motorbike. This is a good thing to keep in mind especially if you are traveling throughout SE Asia, where motorbikes rule the road and you are likely to find yourself on one – and if you get in an accident on one it will always be your fault, not the locals, not matter what.

Hope this helps you all sort out your international health insurance needs! Like I said, we haven’t really had to use ours but it just seemed sensible to get a policy, however that being said, our policy ends in March and who knows if we will renew it or not. Happy travels!


jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to forget them all.

A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.

Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!