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Dental Tourism: Traveling to Another Country Could Save 70 Percent

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Nov 06, 2013 09:37 AM EST

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When planning a trip, few people have their teeth on their mind, but according to FOX News, doing exactly that could pay off financially.

Visiting a dentist in another country could save travelers over 70 percent on major dental procedures such as crowns and root canals, according to data from Patients Beyond Borders, a medical publisher. This type of procedure can be very expensive in the United States, even for those with dental insurance.

There are also 130 million Americans who live without dental insurance, according to a 2012 report to Congress called Dental Crisis in America, which came from Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont.

"We estimate that in 2012, 400,000 Americans crossed international borders for dental care," Josef Woodman, the CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, told FOX News. "For 2013, we project a growth rate of approximately 20 percent."

The most searched for destinations for Americans that seeking dental care are Mexico, the U.K., the Philippines, Costa Rica and India, according to Emily Ross of whatclinic.com, a global healthcare professional search provider for medical tourism patients.

However, before you plan a trip for your dental procedures, there are a couple of things to consider.

"If something goes wrong, what is the recourse?" Dr. Maria Lopez Howell, a consumer advisor for the American Dental Association, said. "Is there a ministry of health?

"Is there a forum for complaints in the country that you're going to visit?" she continues. "You really have to do your research."

She also says that it's important to remember good dentists can be found everywhere.

"We all have colleagues across this planet who are very capable and knowledgeable experts in their fields," Howell said. No dentist [in any] country is perfect."

To find a good dentist, check websites such as WhatClinic.com and PatientsBeyondBorders.com, which only allow clinics that have passed a stringent vetting process before being listed on the site, including U.S. board certification and patient referrals.

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