Sunday, September 21, 2008


Most Britons, including myself, are sick of having to pay inflated prices for dental treatment, so many welcomed the recent arrival in Britain of a group of Hungarian dentists. Complete with inflatable surgery tent, at first glance they might have been mistaken for being part of a travelling circus! The dentists have been busy touring some of Britain’s cities in an effort to encourage people to have dental treatment in Hungary rather than here. Hungary is currently known as the dental capital of Europe, with treatments costing about a third of what they do in Britain. The reason for the tour was to enable Brits to meet the dentists face to face, get prices for any treatments and get answers to any questions they may have. Apparently even with the cost of airfare and accommodation in Hungary, dental treatments over there are still considerably less than patients would pay over here. With the current state of NHS dentistry, dental tourism is growing in popularity and more and more Brits are choosing to travel to Hungary and other Eastern European countries for cheaper and better dental treatment. One Hungarian dentist remarked that he used to see mainly American and Canadian patients but was currently seeing increasing numbers of British patients too.

According to the results of a study done earlier this year as part of National Smile Month, it seems that one in four Brits are too embarrassed to smile in photos due to bad teeth. It’s not surprising many Brits have bad teeth as trying to find an NHS dentist in most areas of the country is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You hear so many horror stories nowadays about many people using “DIY dentistry”, as they are unable to find an NHS dentist to treat them and unable to pay the very high fees charged by private dentists. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that one man had actually used superglue to fix a damaged crown on his front tooth. Unbelievable!

On another note a Manchester supermarket has just launched the first in-store walk-in dental surgery as part of a pilot scheme. The dental surgery, open seven days a week like the supermarket, will offer checkups and treatments to shoppers at reasonable, affordable prices for everyone. It will certainly make dental treatment much more accessible to people. I know so many of us are much busier than we used to be. Everyone (myself included!) is all working longer hours and consequently people have a lot less time on their hands! Most people prefer to buy everything they need in a once a week visit to the supermarket anyway, rather than going to several different shops to buy things. So why not add a visit to the dentist onto the weekly shopping list as well! Sounds like a great idea to me. It has certainly proved very popular with shoppers and the new supermarket surgery was swamped with patients eager to register on its first day of opening. If the scheme proves popular, we may see more dentists popping up in other branches of supermarkets around the country.

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