Patient says go abroad for dental work

DENTAL patients in Suffolk should seriously consider “voting with their feet” and seeking treatment abroad in an effort to bring down costs and improve service, it has been claimed.

DENTAL patients in Suffolk should seriously consider “voting with their feet” and seeking treatment abroad in an effort to bring down costs and improve service, it has been claimed.

Patrick Gillen, of Meadowlands, Kirton, near Felixstowe, recently travelled to Budapest in Hungary to receive dental work.

He was so impressed with the service he received compared to the UK that he said he would recommend others make the trip as well.

He said: “Over the years I've had a number of problems with my teeth and I've got a dental phobia but I never felt as if it was treated seriously or sympathetically.

“As a result I decided to see if I could go abroad and after some research I eventually went to Hungary.

“Over the course of two weeks I had seven separate appointments during which all the work was done, something which I was told would take six months in the UK.

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Mr Gillen, 63, said the total cost of his dental work, which included an orthopantograph x-ray, 13 extractions, four porcelain crowns and two long term temporary partial dentures in the upper and lower jaw, cost £1,346.

He said: “I really think that people should start voting with their feet. Not only might this help to bring dental costs down but if enough people do it then waiting rooms in this country will start to empty.”

However health officials in Suffolk have urged people to err on the side of caution when deciding if to go abroad for treatment.

Paul Rolfe, Suffolk representative with the British Dental Association, said: “You have to be wary because if anything goes wrong when you get back then it will be dentists over here that have to sort it out.

“In any case I would suggest that what Mr Gillen paid in Hungary is no different to what he would have paid at my practice and other local practices in Ipswich.

“Therefore when you add on the costs of travel and accommodation then it would amount to more.”

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