In recent years, Turkey has become one of the most popular destinations for dental tourism in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people from Europe, North America, the Middle East and beyond travel to Turkey each year to get affordable, high-quality dental care. But what makes dental procedures so much cheaper in Turkey compared to other countries?
There are several economic and demographic factors that allow Turkish dentists to charge lower prices while still delivering excellent results with the latest technologies.
Lower Labor Costs
One of the main reasons dental care is cheap in Turkey is the lower labor costs compared to developed countries. According to the Turkish Dental Association, the average monthly salary of a dentist in Turkey is around 8,000 TRY, which equates to approximately $1,100 USD. This is 5-6 times lower than average dentist’s salaries in the USA, UK, or Australia.
With lower salary expectations, Turkish dentists can charge much less for procedures without impacting their profits or quality of work. A skilled dentist in Istanbul or Ankara earns very respectable wages by local standards even if the prices they charge seem incredibly cheap for foreign patients.
The lower salaries apply not just to dentists but also to dental assistants, technicians, and other support staff at Turkish dental clinics. With personnel costs significantly reduced, procedural charges and overall overhead is much lower.
Lower Cost of Living
The cost of living in Turkey is also significantly lower than North America and Western Europe. Everything from real estate rentals, equipment costs, utilities, taxes and other operating expenses for running a dental clinic is comparatively cheaper.
This allows dentists to keep their rates affordable while earning satisfactory income. For example, advanced equipment like digital X-rays and CAD/CAM milling technology are imported at lower prices into Turkey.
The Turkish government recognizes medical tourism as a key growth sector and provides incentives to businesses that help bring foreign patients into the country. This includes tax breaks as well tax refunds for clinics.
Certain exemptions on import duties for high-tech medical equipment also exist. This makes acquisition of the latest dental technology more affordable for Turkish dentists, allowing them to pass on cost savings to patients.
There are over 100,000 dentists across Turkey, with hundreds of dental clinics operating in major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. This creates intense competition for gaining patients, both domestic and international.
To attract more foreign patients, many dentists slash prices for procedures way below normal rates while still delivering high-quality treatments. Patients benefit from such price wars between competing clinics.
As an upper middle-income developing country, Turkey simply has lower baseline costs across industries compared to mature economies. Less regulations and oversight around medical billing also helps keep costs down.
Thus, both operational costs as well as overall pricing in the healthcare sector remains relatively low. This creates huge savings for international visitors paying in stronger foreign currencies.
Turkey produces a large number of dentists, dental specialists, and technicians each year from its extensive network of dental schools and training institutes. This helps keep wages in check while meeting demand.
Many Turkish dentists also get advanced training and certifications from European dental schools. This expertise, combined with lower pay expectations, creates high value for foreign patients.
Use of Modern Technology
Contrary to popular belief, Turkish dentists are highly trained and use the latest, internationally accredited materials and equipment. Digital dentistry like CAD/CAM crowns, implant planning software, CT scans, laser dentistry etc. help provide quality on par with top clinics worldwide.
Since technology costs less in Turkey, integrating modern techniques does not force prices upward for patients. This results in tremendous value.
Vertical Integration & Scalability
Large dental chains and hospital groups operate numerous clinics across Turkey. They leverage centralized labs, bulk purchase of materials, shared administrative costs, and economies of scale.
This allows them to keep procedural costs low. Vertical integration of services from digital dentistry, prosthodontics, and patient coordination also minimizes overhead.
So in summary, lower costs arising from economic factors and demographics allow Turkish dentists to charge a fraction of prices in other countries while delivering excellent results for patients.
Most Popular Dental Treatments
Some of the most common dental procedures that patients travel to Turkey for include:
1. Dental Implants
Dental implants are titanium screws fixed into the jawbone to substitute missing tooth roots. They are capped with prosthetic teeth to complete the restoration.
A single dental implant in Turkey can cost as low as $250-$400 USD. This is 3-4 times cheaper than prices in North America ($1200-$1500 per implant) or Europe ($800-$1000 per implant).
Turkish clinics use high-quality implant systems from global brands like Straumann and Nobel Biocare inserted by skilled surgeons. Dentists have years of experience and expertise.
Common implant procedures like All-on-4 and full-mouth restorations with 20+ implants also cost a fraction compared to abroad.
2. Dental Veneers
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic attached to the front surface of teeth. They correct chips, gaps, stains, and misalignments in smile aesthetics.
In Turkey, porcelain veneers can cost as low as $175-$250 USD per tooth. In comparison, patients pay $900-$1200 USD per veneer in the USA or UK.
Turkish dentists use strong ceramic like e.max veneers fabricated in modern labs for incredibly affordable smile makeovers. Treatments are customized for each patient.
3. Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening in Turkey costs around $150-$300 USD depending on the number of sessions required. The same procedures would be $400-$800 USD in other countries.
Dentists use state-of-the-art laser whitening or LED mouth trays to boost coloring by 8-15 shades with dramatic yet safe brightening.
4. Clear Braces
Invisible orthodontic treatments like Invisalign clear aligners or lingual braces on the inner surfaces of teeth are popular choices.
Whereas they would cost $4000-$8000 USD in North America, prices range from $1500-$2500 USD in Turkey.
Qualified orthodontists use advanced 3D modeling and positive patient outcomes. Treatments usually take 12-18 months.
5. Dental Crowns
High-quality ceramic crowns, also known as dental caps, provide natural-looking full coverage for damaged or decayed teeth.
Ceramic crowns start at just $175-$300 USD per unit in Turkey. Comparable treatments are $800-$1500 USD per crown in other countries.
Materials used include zirconia and e.max for durable, biocompatible, metal-free restorations. Digital impressions and CAD/CAM technology allow a comfortable experience.
Clearly, Turkey provides tremendous affordability across the most popular cosmetic, restorative, and reconstructive dental treatments for tourists.
Why People Choose Turkish Dentistry?
There are several compelling reasons why people decide to travel from their home country to Turkey for their dental treatment:
Massive Cost Savings
The cost savings of 50% to 70% compared to prices in North America, Australia or Europe make dentistry in Turkey highly appealing. Hundreds of dollars or even thousands can be saved on significant procedures.
Avoid Long Waiting Times
In countries with public healthcare like Canada or the UK, waiting times of several months or even years for certain non-essential treatments are common. Getting dental work done sooner in Turkey is a huge benefit.
Combine with a Vacation
Many patients plan their dental visit alongside a vacation in Turkey. The savings on dental costs can fund a holiday in Istanbul, historical sites, or the stunning Turkish Riviera beaches.
High Quality Care
Turkish dentists are exceptionally well-trained and experienced. They keep up with the latest advances in technology, materials, and techniques. Top clinics meet global standards.
Some Turkish dentists even travel abroad regularly to stay updated on new developments. Many publish in research journals and lecture internationally. Their expertise inspires confidence.
Reputable dental clinics have dedicated staff providing personalized care with airport transfers, Turkish SIM cards, hotel reservations and sightseeing help.
Digital dentistry, 3D imaging, advanced materials, and other innovations enable a comfortable experience while enhancing clinical outcomes.
Clearly, the prospect of top-class dentistry paired with considerable savings is a win-win proposition for dental tourists to Turkey.
Typical Patient Journey
Here are the typical steps involved when you decide to travel to Turkey for dental treatment:
- Search for clinics with experience serving your home country’s patients. Check reviews.
- Shortlist 2-3 dental clinics for your particular needs and budget.
- Contact them by email or WhatsApp to get quotes and discuss treatment options.
- Send dental records including scans and X-rays for assessment by a dentist.
- Have a video consultation to talk about your dental goals and expected results.
- The clinic will prepare a customized treatment plan with costs, timelines, payment options etc.
- Once you approve the treatment plan, the clinic will assist with logistics like flights, airport pickups, hotels and sightseeing.
- On arrival, you will have examinations, preparations, and any immediate procedures required over 1-3 days.
- For extensive treatments, you may return home and come back after 1-2 months for final fittings, implants etc.
- Dentists will schedule follow-up visits if needed. Online consultations offer continued monitoring.
Proper planning and coordination with the clinic makes dental tourism in Turkey a smooth, enjoyable experience.
Is Turkish Dentistry Safe?
A common concern is whether it is safe to get dental treatment done in Turkey as a foreigner. Here are some factors that support the safety of Turkish dental care:
- The Ministry of Health oversees healthcare quality. Dental clinics must adhere to stringent regulations and protocols.
- Well-established clinics have certifications like ISO 9001 Quality Management. This ensures standards match Europe or North America.
- Top dentists have degrees from acclaimed universities and proven expertise from years of experience.
- Use of branded dental materials and technology used worldwide reassures patients.
- Digital workflows enhance precision and control. 3D imaging and surgical guides enable predictable outcomes.
- State-of-the-art equipment is properly sterilized. Rigorous cross-infection control protects patients.
- Reputable clinics treat thousands of foreigners annually from across the globe with great success. Their dental tourism pedigree brings confidence.
- Modern hospitals provide backup support for any emergencies. Istanbul is a major medical tourism destination.
So with common precautions and through reputable clinics, patients can be assured of total safety and excellent results.
Choosing a Dental Clinic
Here are some tips for choosing a reliable dental clinic in Turkey for your treatment:
- Look for extensive experience – 7+ years in medical tourism indicates competence in serving foreigners.
- Verify dentist qualifications thoroughly. Check they have legitimate accredited degrees and continuing education.
- Seek facilities with hundreds of verifiable online patient reviews. Independent sites provide authentic feedback.
- Choose ISO certified clinics that rigorously follow quality management protocols.
- Look for high-tech equipment like digital X-rays, laser dentistry, CAD/CAM etc. for modern dentistry.
- See if they have an in-house prosthetic lab for crowns, bridges and other restorations.
- Check what dental materials they use – quality brands like Straumann implants or e.max veneers.
- Ask about aftercare follow-ups, warranty periods, help with travel insurance claims etc.
- See if they offer medical travel services for a smooth visit – airport transfers, Turkish SIM card, hotels etc.
Doing in-depth research helps minimize risks and have peace of mind when traveling abroad for dental care.
Dentist Training in Turkey
Dentists in Turkey undergo rigorous education and licensing:
Undergraduate Dental Degree
- 5 years at an accredited dental school leading to a Bachelor of Dentistry degree. Programs meet high academic standards.
- 1 year of supervised clinical practice after graduation to gain experience.
- Must pass written theoretical and practical licensing exams to demonstrate skills.
Ministry of Health Certificate
- If they pass exams, dentists get a certificate to practice from Ministry of Health.
- 2-5 years of masters or doctoral education and board certification needed to be an Orthodontist, Oral Surgeon etc.
Membership in Associations
- Mandatory membership and continuing education through the Turkish Dental Association.
So Turkish dentists complete rigorous training at par with international standards before treating patients. Many pursue further education abroad too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about traveling to Turkey for dental treatment:
Is it cheaper to combine multiple treatments in one trip?
Yes, combining treatments into one visit whenever feasible helps minimize travel costs and offers potential package pricing.
Can part of the work be done at home and the rest in Turkey?
Certainly – you can get initial treatment like tooth extractions, implant placement or scans done locally, and then complete the rest of the work like crowns in Turkey.
Is Turkey safe for American or British tourists?
Turkey welcomes over 40 million foreigners annually and is very safe, especially in large cities like Istanbul and tourist regions.
How can I communicate with dentists beforehand?
Clinics offer multiple channels like email, WhatsApp, online chat and video calls to address any questions and discuss treatment details before your visit.
Can I get financing for treatment in Turkey?
Many clinics offer loans, payment plans, credit card installments and partnerships with medical financing companies to spread out payments.
Overall, with the right guidance, getting affordable dental treatment in Turkey can give tremendous savings without compromising on quality, safety or your vacation!
Dental tourism in Turkey has boomed due to substantially lower costs compared to North America and Europe without any sacrifice in quality, materials, technology or expertise. With modern facilities and dentists trained at global standards, Turkey provides access to world-class dentistry for a fraction of the usual cost for foreigners. For anyone looking to save 50% to 70% on dental implants, cosmetic dentistry or other major treatments, visiting a vetted Turkish dentistry clinic could be a smart, safe option. The cost savings may even fund your Turkey vacation too! With demand increasing year after year, medical tourism looks set to keep propelling Turkish dental clinics onto the world stage.