Dental Tourism in Budapest

dentist-448675_640Before coming to Budapest, I had read that the city is a popular destination for “Dental Tourism. Having two nagging wisdom teeth that I had avoided removing, I made a note of this and kept it in the back of my mind.

I had originally set up an appointment in Canada three years ago to get all four of my wisdom teeth removed at the same time. Unfortunately, the dentist I visited was a poor surgeon, botching the operation, only getting through two of the teeth before stopping and complaining that my mouth didn’t open far enough, hindering his work.

Since then, my remaining wisdom teeth haven’t caused me too much trouble. I’d have a bit of manageable pain or pressure from time to time, but it would usually go away after a while. I had wanted to get the remaining two teeth out, just to be over and done with it, but I was dreading the cost more than the operation itself.

Last summer I had a consultation in Ottawa and was eventually referred to a specialist. I had to book my appointment months in advance. At the consultation, I was told that I would be looking at $1,100 to have the two remaining teeth removed. I agreed to the procedure and set an appointment for January. Early that month, I received a call informing me that my procedure had to be rescheduled. I told the receptionist on the other end of the phone line that I’d get back to them. I never did.

Fast forward to last Monday and another bout of discomfort with my lower wisdom tooth. By Tuesday, I could tell the situation was becoming more serious as the lower tooth was about ready to erupt. I decided it was finally time to get the extraction done and started Googling local clinics.

I came across a listing for Nador Dental, which caters to tourists. I placed a call Tuesday afternoon, explaining my situation. They scheduled an appointment for the next day. When I got to my appointment, I had an x-ray done and then the friendly Doctor explained to me what kind of surgery would be necessary.

“How soon do you want to do this? he asked me. I said as soon as possible. He called his surgeon and scheduled an appointment for the following morning. Then he asked me if I had some extra time to get a cleaning. I took him up on his offer and the hygenist came in and gave me a great cleaning. I went home afterwards and made preparations for the coming surgery the following morning.

When I got to the office the next morning, the surgeon was there to greet me. He showed me my x-rays and explained to me every detail and risk involved (potential nerve damage) in the surgery. He told me that my type of tooth presented one of the more challenging extractions.

“It’s going to take an hour. I’ve done a few like these before, some more difficult, but this one’s going to be tough. Sitting in the chair, I figured I might as go through with it. A large needle injected some local anesthetic and then after waiting for about 10 minutes, the scalpel came out and surgery got underway.

The surgeon, who was fairly young, I’d estimate late 20s or early 30s, did a fantastic job. He calmly explained to me what he was doing and the tools he was using. For the most part, the operation was painless. There were a few instances where he had to apply some pressure, which lead to some sharp pain, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

My appointment was scheduled for 11:00am, and surgery began around 15 minutes later. What I’ll remember most is hearing a nearby church bell ring 12 times at noon, as I laid there, looking out the window while being worked on. I tried not to look down too much or into the reflection of the dentist’s goggles, although at one point, I saw him pull out a chunk of tooth.

A few minutes after the church bell had fallen silent, the surgeon told me he was finished. I was surprised at how fast an hour had gone by, considering the circumstances. The doctor handed me some painkillers, anti-inflammatory pills and an ice pack.

“Come back on Wednesday for a follow up and to get your stitches removed, I was told.

I paid my bill and left the dental office. I took the bus home, pressing an ice pack against my swollen face.

In under 48 hours, I was able to book a consultation, get a cleaning and have a‚ wisdom tooth extracted. I didn’t have to spend weeks watching the calendar, counting down the days. It was over and done with quickly.

But how much did this speedy service cost?

Cost Breakdown

Cleaning cost: 15,000 HUF / $68 (Canadian) / $61 USD
Wisdom Tooth Extraction (One tooth, local anesthetic): 30,000HUF/ $136 (Canadian) / $123 USD

This includes an initial consultation with an x-ray. I was also provided with antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine. No trips to the pharmacy necessary.

Total cost: 45,000 HUF / $204 (Canadian) / $185 USD

By having this procedure completed in Hungary, I saved just under $1,000. I also enjoyed prompt service. without waiting lists or having to book months in advance. Everything was done in English, the staff’s second language.

If you’re living in the West and have a dental procedure that you’ve been putting off, consider doing some “dental tourism of your own and planning a trip to Eastern Europe. From what I understand, Hungary, Poland and Romania all offer reasonably priced dentistry. You’re going to have to spend a good chunk of money either way, so you might was well put some of that money towards some traveling. Going forward, I plan to book a cleaning whenever I’m in Eastern Europe.

Nador Dental

The clinic I ended up at, Nador Dental, is located in the centre of Budapest. It’s a clean, modern practice, comparable to anything you would see in Canada. They’ve produced YouTube videos in multiple languages, showcasing their space. I’m very happy with my experience at Nador and would recommend them to anyone.

Going to the dentist isn’t something we tend to get very excited about. Having said that, I’m elated at the money I saved and the quality of service I received during my first foray into dental tourism.

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