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Dentist/Periodontist recommendation for gum graft

Hello:

I heard that many Brits and Germans travel to Hungary/Poland/Slovakia for dental work, for their high quality service and affordable price. I do have dental insurance from work, but still, my payments are through the roof for anything outside routine check-ups. Two years ago, I had a gum graft surgery (outpatient), and my portion was almost $1,000. These guys are thieves!

I see that there are British agents who refer patients to dentists, but I'd rather not just pick a physician based on internet searches. Does anybody have prior experience with Central European dental work? Any rec's? Thanks a lot.

Posted by
6148 posts

My dentist wants to charge me 6k for the same procedure! Yes, there are reputable dentists in Central/Eastern Europe, but I can't give you a specific recommendation for this (if I could, I would go there too to get my own work done). My Dad got at least one dental implant in Poland (Warsaw), where my extended family lives. He was very pleased with the experience and said the dentist used modern Swiss equipment and had proper training...but the cost was obviously a fraction of what it would have been in the US, even taking into account travel costs. A lot of people also go to Mexico to get their dental work done. Medical tourism will only get more popular as dental costs are pretty much unconstrained in the US and dental "insurance" is not really "Insurance", it's more like a lousy discount.

Posted by
255 posts

Thanks for the super quick reply! In the US, all forms of "insurance" is a "discount" AFTER they've inflated the price. For vision insurance, I have VSP...which prohibits buying frames that are on sale. In order to utilize insurance, patients have to buy frames at fully marked-up prices. This is a SCAM!

Posted by
6543 posts

You would have to search online for recommendations. I personally would be looking to go to Budapest. Their dental clinics are as modern as those in the U.S. and tourism there is inexpensive.

My dental surgeon charges $850 for an extraction and graft. The implant is $2250 plus the abutment is $850. My regular dentist charges $850 for the crown. Just one implant mounts up.

I had an implant done in Illinois for $900. Other than numbing me up, it was a simple 6-7 minute procedure that was easier than a filling. Now I am ready for the abutment and crown.

The prices dentists get for a simple implant is really outrageous. But if I was a dentist, that would be the direction I would be going.

Posted by
255 posts

Thanks. For my graft two years ago, the total charge was over $3k. It was an one-hour procedure. My portion was $1k. That periodontist tried to milk me for another $700. They didn't correct the billing error until I complained to Delta Dental Insurance and threatened to sue. They were taking advantage of people who don't scrutinize their bills.

Posted by
6148 posts

They do it because they can. Customers are in a poor position to question their "fees" and, yes, you have to scrutinize every single bill because they'll make up non-ADA codes that aren't even recognized by any insurance. Good luck!

You're lucky that your insurance covered 2/3 of your cost to begin with, not all of them do. I'm in my early 40s and have crappy dental "insurance" that doesn't cover anything but preventative services. Pretty useless if you need a crown or anything else.

Posted by
991 posts

For vision insurance, I have VSP...which prohibits buying frames that are on sale.

I have VSP. My favorite part of the policy which I have with them is that you can get new frames once a year. But lenses? That part that changes and needs to be changed? They only cover that every two years. -rolls eyes-

I have no dental recommendations, but if you learn anything, please let the rest of us know!!!

Posted by
5288 posts

If you want to save money at home -- and have a lot of free time -- check out the student clinic at a nearby dental school. I have been going to UCSF in San Francisco since I retired and have more time and less money -- since each portion of the student work has to be reviewed by teachers before anything further can be done, there is sometimes a wait ... but I have the time.

Posted by
16766 posts

I have not had dental work done overseas, but I can tell you that the town of Sopron, Hungary, has been known for a long time as a destination for people needing expensive-at-home dental procedures. The town is practically on the Austrian border and has a handsome, if small, historic district.

One thing North Americans should be careful about is the need for follow-ups after certain types of procedures. I had a bone graft in the US last fall (yes, pricey even with insurance), and I believe there were five visits (including the original evaluation), stretching over 4 months. Much as I am enjoying Hungary, I wouldn't want to have to travel back here so many times within a brief period, and the cost would obviously negate the savings from lower fees. I believe bone grafts are trickier than gum grafts, but stuff can go wrong with any procedure (infections, etc.) so follow-ups are important.

Posted by
255 posts

Thanks everyone. I am fed up with getting ripped off by health insurance and providers. Let me see what I can find out. I will check Sopron, which is more accessible from Vienna than Budapest.

Posted by
5019 posts

Hey, stop heaping contempt on the dental profession. Those guys have some serious boat payments and golf vacations are not cheap.