Britons eager to save perhaps thousands of pounds on their dental work travel abroad to get dental work done, from braces and crowns to multiple implants. The main destinations of choice are Eastern Europe – Hungary, Poland, Croatia and Bulgaria. But countries such as Thailand also feature.
This is against the backdrop of an NHS dental care system that is patchy at best and downright poor at worst. An estimated two million British people cannot find an NHS dentist and are forced to go private.
Vital Europe's clinic in Budapest in Hungary reckons it is treating around 200 patients a month from the UK and is considering opening another consultation room in Manchester.
Timea Milovecz from agency Dentists Abroad reckons that the industry in Eastern Europe could actually be considered more advanced than in the UK: "Hungarian dentists have to attend university for five years; compared to four in the UK. And they have to spend three years as a junior in a practice – a little like the period spent being a junior doctor in a hospital."
Dental insurance: News update: September 2008