Efforts put into popularising dental tourism is slowly but steadily yielding results in India. The number of patients taking up dental treatment as part of dental tourism is on a rise. The acceptance rate amongst patients makes corporate dental chains in the country optimistic about the concept.
One tends to wonder if the tooth can be so important and if people would travel across countries to get their treatment done. People from the west do travel to get their dental treatment done in other parts of the word primarily because it saves 60 to 70% of their treatment costs. For example, a Root Canal Treatment which is done for $700 to $1500 can be done for Rs 4000 to Rs 6000 in India. Dental products like toothpastes which cost US$2 to US$2.5 costs around Rs 40 in India. In Europe it is the very long waiting period that encourages patients choose destinations outside Europe for dental treatment. A survey conducted in the UK said that 90 percentage of respondents wanted to go abroad for their dental treatment because they are cheaper outside. Also 17% wanted to take up treatment abroad citing long waiting period in UK. In South Asian and African countries it is the lack of infrastructure and technology that makes people come to India for dental treatment.
Popular destinations for dental tourism across the globe are Thailand, Singapore, Mexico, India, Hungary and Costa Rica. While each of these countries have what it takes to be a great destination for dental tourism, India firmly stands out as it has become a hub for a lot of corporate dental chains. The dental market globally is seeing a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of 5%. The Asian market shows the highest growth rate of 10% followed by US which shows 5.5%.
The Indian dental market is vast with over 5000 dental labs and around 300 dental institutes which enhances the chances of it lead in the field of dentistry.Other factors favouring India are low cost treatment, availability of a large pool of skilled dental practitioners, high end technology, presence of tourist destinations and quality accommodations along its length and breadth. The cultural and geographic proximity for patients in the SAARC region is another big opportunity to the same.
The introduction of VISA on arrival for tourists from more than 40 other countries by the Indian Government makes it easier for patients to decide upon India as their destination. With the investment being spent in the Healthcare sector to likely go up from 1.04% to 2.5% of GDP by 2020 bettering the quality of services and the infrastructure encourages dental tourism. Also continuous measures taken by the Government for making India cleaner thereby instilling a very positive attitude in the minds of overseas patients, gaining international recognition to various tourist spots contributes to promoting dental tourism.
Promoting Brand India, introducing direct connectivity to India from different countries, making arrangements with different insurance companies overseas, all these together are sure to project India as ‘The destination’ for dental tourism.