Developing dental tourism in Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge - Aware of the great potential of dental tourism, HCMC has decided that the field will be a key development sector in the city.
Odontology experts believe that potential clients in dental tourism are mostly Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) who have demand for dental care when visiting relatives in Vietnam.
The experts said many Viet Kieu see dentists during their stay because the service is cheap, while it is in no way worse than services they receive in foreign countries.
Foreigners also choose Vietnam as dental tourism destination points, but the number remains modest.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), about 100,000 foreign patients come to Vietnam every year for dental care and bring turnover of $150 million, while the total turnover from medical tourism is over $1 billion.
Aware of the great potential of dental tourism, HCMC has decided that the field will be a key development sector in the city.
The agency believes that the number of foreign tourists in Vietnam for dental care would increase by 250 percent in the next five years to 250,000 a year.
Nguyen Duc Minh, director of the HCMC Odontology Hospital, said the hospital is going to establish a dental tourism club, specializing in providing aesthetic dental services to tourists.
He said that the qualifications of Vietnamese doctors and the equipment used in Vietnam are nearly the same as that of other regional countries. Meanwhile, the costs for dental care in Vietnam are low compared with the countries.
“This is really a great advantage for Vietnam to develop dental tourism,” he said. “If Vietnam doesn’t begin doing this right now, we will lose the advantage, if dentists in the region come to Vietnam to practice.”
A dentist who runs a private clinic in HCMC confirmed that dental services in Vietnam are inexpensive and reliable.
“The total expenses foreigners have to pay for both air tickets and dental services in Vietnam will still be lower than the expenses for dental services in their home countries,” he said. “Meanwhile, they can travel to Vietnam, a very beautiful country.”
The dentist said an implant overseas would cost at least $2,000, while it costs $800 in Vietnam. A case of taking nerve out of a tooth and filling the tooth, which costs up to $2,000 overseas, would cost $50 in Vietnam. One would have to pay $60-300 for every porcelain tooth in Vietnam, while it would be five times higher overseas.
The lower dentist training costs and clinics’ lower operation costs in Vietnam explain why it is always less costly to receive services in Vietnam.
Chu Hong Minh from the Vietnam Dental Tourism JSC believes that culinary and dental tourism could become key tourism sectors for Vietnam.