Hungary, and its beautiful capital Budapest are still the number one destination for dental tourism in Europe, attracting most of the European market, and a good chunk of the overseas one as well. This makes it the third year sequentially that Hungary has this honor. Let’s look into why this small Central European country has so much to offer the dental tourist.
According to IMTJ (International Medical Tourism Journal), the most prestigious online journal of medical tourism, Hungary has this honor due to “the entrepreneurship and professionalism of its dentists”. It is true that the training that Hungarian dentists get is incredibly exclusive; so much so that aspiring dentist from all over the world spend internships and do their studies at Semmelweis College in Budapest, one of the leading medical schools in the world. With this training readily available (and available for free to good students), it is no surprise that Hungarian dentists are as skilled and competent as they are.
The other obvious attraction is the price of private treatments. They are literally a fraction of the price of dental treatments in Western Europe, with doctors who are just as if not more capable of providing the same service, at facilities that are almost or just as good as dental facilities in the West. Previously, at the start of the medical tourism boom, the facilities were not as good, as dentists were working with a largely local population, who are used to public health care and the subpar conditions that await one at a public dentists office in Hungary. As time progressed, new equipment, nicer surroundings and English speaking staff were acquired to win over the Western European clientele. This way, you can get first world treatment for third world prices, something that very few countries offer, and very few patients would refuse.
Of all the reservations for spas and wellness hotels, something that Hungary has tons of, constituted over 47% of all domestic overnight bookings, and 23% of overseas bookings. The overwhelming majority of these bookings were for medical tourists. Hungary sees about 60 to 70 thousand medical tourists each year, and has an income estimated at about 22 million euros per year from this industry, making it one of Hungary’s leading industries.