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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery
Minerva Stomatologica 2012 January-February;61(1-2):11-20
language: English, Italian
A survey on the experience with dental tourism in a sample of Italian patients
Carmagnola D. 1, Filippucci L. 2, Celestino S. 1, Carrassi A. 1, Delia S. 1, Lodi G. 1
1 Unit of Medicine and Oral Pathology, Department of Surgical Medicine and Dentistry, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
2 Altroconsumo, Milan, Italy
AIM: Dentistry in Italy is mainly private and therefore perceived as forcedly expensive. Dental tourism is becoming popular in order to get cheap dental care. The aim of this study was to carry out a survey aimed at investigating the perception of dental tourism by Italian patients who have recently received such dental care abroad.
METHODS: A questionnaire was posted on the web site of an Italian consumers association (Altroconsumo) and members were invited to fill in the questionnaire in case they had experienced dental treatment abroad.
RESULTS: Eighty-one complete forms were included in the study. The main motivation for turning to dental tourism was saving money. Another frequent reason for choosing dental tourism was that full rehabilitation was offered in a short time span, usually one week. Patients have often underlined that they appreciated different aspects of the foreign dentists, like speed, kindness, humanity, interest in the course of the treatment, the feeling of ease conveyed by the environment and the personnel. Past negative experiences with Italian dentists were in some cases advocated as reasons for searching dental care abroad. Such negative experiences resulted in a lack of trust in Italian dentists. Some patients reported that while the overall treatment abroad was carried out in a short time, single prosthetic sessions were very long, up to 6 hours.
CONCLUSIONS: Most patients were satisfied with dental tourism.