In Ireland, some dental treatments are free of charge if certain conditions are met. These free treatments are usually simpler treatments such as fillings, root canals and extractions.
For more complex treatments, your dentist should seek permission from your local HSE dentist before proceeding. Other treatment needs can be done through private dental clinics, what is very expensive and cannot be always afforded by local people. Tax reliefs can be requested for more complex treatments, but not for simpler ones that are typically supported by the HSE.
This is why dental tourism is getting more popular for the Irish. Mostly due to high dental prices, a significant proportion of Irish people go to Hungary for dental treatment. Let us see the reasons why Irish dental tourism is so popular.
Savings on dental care in Hungary
Reason no. 1. of Irish dental tourism
Sooner or later, people need more extensive dental care, e.g. bridges, crowns, or teeth replacement with implants, what is expensive. In Ireland, for example, a porcelain fused to metal crown is € 600+ and a zircon crown is € 800+. A complete tooth replacement with one implant (implant/dental screw + abutment + crown) is 2300+ EUR.
In Hungary, the above treatments are available at a much better price. For example, a porcelain fused to metal crown is 200EUR, a zircon crown is 330EUR and a complete tooth replacement with implant (implant+abutment+crown) is available from 930EUR in Hungary. So, depending on the type of treatment, the Irish dental tourism patients can save 50-70% in Budapest.
For example if you need 20 crowns, you can be quoted in Ireland around at least 12-13,000EUR with porcelain fused to metal crowns, but if you want it with zirconium crowns for better look, costs can be as high as 17-18,000 EUR. You have to add to costs price of temporary crowns which are placed on the teeth after preparation and stay there till definitive crowns are fitted.
You can have 20 porcelain fused to metal crowns in Hungary at a rate of 4,600EUR, but if you want the 20 crown treatment with more aesthetic zirconium crowns you will only be charged 7,200EUR. Quality of treatment is as at least as high as you can have in Ireland or due to high competition it might be higher in Hungary. The whole treatment can be completed in 7 workdays in Budapest and this period can be turned into a holiday as appointments only take a few hours on treatment days. You do not have appointments every day as this treatment takes massive dental lab work as well.
Another example of the preferred treatment of the Irish people in Hungary for a full mouth restoration is All-on-4. For a toothless mouth you can have All-on-4 which is an implant retained denture over 4 implants. All-on-4 treatment is available in Hungary around 5,000EUR/jaw, but in Ireland prices for the same begin from 10,500EUR.
Reason no. 2. of Irish dental tourism in Hungary
Another advantage is that for a significant part of the dental treatments performed in Budapest, a 20% tax credit can be applied for by filling in the MED2 form, which further reduces the costs of dental treatment in Budapest for the Irish. The MED 2 form is completed by our clinic for patients after the end of treatment. So, you increase savings since you pay less for treatment in Hungary and still you can have tax relief. This option is available for the Irish dental tourism patients in Hungary as Hungary is part of the EU.
Stay in Budapest for dental care
A significant part of the treatments can be performed in a few days in Budapest, so the patients do not have to be far away from home too long. Placement of implants and other oral surgery procedures require an average stay of 2-3 working days in Budapest.
Other restorative treatments, like bridges or crowns for the molar area usually are done in 5 workdays.
Full arch restoration with All-on-4 technique takes two visits to Budapest. The first visit is 2-3 days long and the second one is 8-10 days long.
In addition to restorative treatments Irish people come for aesthetic treatments to improve their smiles. It is usually done with E-max full porcelain veneers or Zirconium or Full porcelain crowns. Smile makeover treatment is carried out in one visit in Budapest generally within a period of 5-7 workdays.
The general price level in Hungary is much lower than in Ireland, so patients can stay cheaply in high-quality hotels or even airbnb flats, and the price of food, public transport and taxis are also much cheaper. So in addition to the cost of dental treatments, other daily costs are not significant, in fact they are all cheaper than in Ireland.
You can fly to Budapest from several Irish cities with direct low-cost airlines, with cheap flights approx. In 3 hours.
Last but not least, Budapest is a lovely city with plenty of sights. So you can explore the city in the free time between appointments and you can discover the beauties of the city. People in Hungary speak English so you do not have to worry about communication problems.