Inflatable Hungarian operatories deflate costs

British newspapers were filled last week with reports of inflatable dental offices popping up around the U.K. Inside these operatories they found Hungarian dentists on a tour of the isles, offering consultations in an effort to encourage more people to travel to Hungary for dental procedures.

The Hungarians may have a good argument. A crown that costs the equivalent of $1,319 in England could be had for $343 in Hungary, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. Likewise, a single tooth implant that would cost $4,396 in England could be placed for $1,231 in Hungary.

The Guardian newspaper quoted a representative of Hungarian Dental Travel as saying that all the Hungarian dentists available through the agency were qualified with the British General Dental Council.

Dental tourism has become increasingly popular in Britain since a change in the way the National Health Service reimburses dentists has led some dentists to drop out of the system, making it harder to get subsidized care.

Not all Hungarian customers have been satisfied, however. The Daily Mail quoted one patient who traveled to Hungary for $26,375 in implant work (through a different dental tourism service) only to have a screwdriver dropped down her throat.

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