Growing Medical Tourism – Dental care in South Korea
Dental Care in Korea is generally of a high standard. General dentistry, orthodontics as well as oral surgery are all available.
Dental care in South Korea is reliable and at the same time affordable compared to other Western or European countries. The country is promoted as a destination for dental tourism and more and more people are coming every year for a vacation as well as dental treatment. The country offers a wide range of dental procedure starting from extractions to the most advanced cosmetic dentistry. Dental Care in South Korea is of very high standard whether you are considering general dentistry, orthodontics or oral surgery. Their equipments use cutting-edge technology and are of equal standards with western countries.
South Korea offers first class dental service at a very affordable rate to the expats and the tourists. Those who come with National Health Insurance Coverage or NHIC will pay even cheaper in dental hospitals and clinics which have a co-payment rate of 30% under the scheme for basic dental procedures. Private health insurance in South Korea also offers great deals. Because the public insurance system only covers basic dental procedures, expats can avail international health insurance to extend coverage.
One thing expats may deal with when undergoing dental treatment in South Korea is the language barrier. Although there are many dentists who speak English, many of them also don’t. A number of dentists have studied abroad and speak English. If the doctor speaks English, it doesn’t mean that her/his staff also do. Because of this, South Korean dentists (like doctors) tend to proceed without explanation and many people may find this uncomfortable in the beginning. Communication gap is in part a language issue but also a cultural one. They are not accustomed to answering questions or to justifying their treatment procedure. Again, those outreaching to the foreign community are more likely to make a special effort to be more communicative. You may ask questions but will have to be patient and polite to get all the answers you are looking for.
On the flip side
Other than the communication part, there are a few more things that you need to consider. You cannot really expect private treatment rooms. Often, you will find 3/4 chairs in the same room occupied by patients and attended by the same doctor. Sanitation and hygiene practices are not up to international standards in all dental offices. However, many offices/clinics are very much up to standards and the situation is constantly improving, since Korea is proactively promoting itself as a medical tourism destination. Some people have noted an increase in cavities during their stay in Korea. This may be because no fluoride is used in domestic toothpaste or mouthwashes. If you are accustomed to fluoride toothpaste, you should bring your own stock.
Just as in other countries, there are good, average and excellent dentists and dental specialists in Korea. You need to shop around before deciding on a doctor and clinic. It is not mandatory that those dentists who have studied abroad are always the best, even those that have trained only in Korea can also be excellent. Search over net for dental care in South Korea, consider the feedbacks from peer group, take recommendation and do not forget the insurance part. You will get a fantastic deal and treatment while holidaying in a beautiful country.