Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 13:07 UK

Dentists offer tent consultations

Dental tent
Consultations will be carried out in the tent

Patients will be able to see dentists in tents under a scheme launched by a private firm to encourage people to travel to Hungary for treatment.

Hungarian Dental Travel is touring the UK offering consultations for complex treatment such as cosmetic dentistry.

The tent will be set up in seven locations although patients will have to travel to Hungary for the treatment.

Cosmetic work is not available on the NHS so thousands of Britons a year go abroad for the cheaper private prices.

Chris Hall, managing director of the Lincolnshire-based firm, said: "We take 25 to 30 people a year abroad for treatment.

We have found that people are sometimes put off by the unknown of going abroad so this way they are able to meet the dentists and see what work they can done
Chris Hall, of Hungarian Dental Travel

"It is mainly for cosmetic work or complex dental treatment that would cost a lot to pay for privately here.

"But we have found that people are sometimes put off by the unknown of going abroad so this way they are able to meet the dentists and see what work they can done.

"We would not do complex treatments in a tent."

The firm, which was set up four years ago, is just one of a number of firms that offer to take patients abroad for treatment.

Destinations such as Poland and Croatia are particularly popular as well as Hungary.

It is often linked to problems accessing NHS dentistry, but much of the work people go abroad for is not available on the health service.

The tent-based consultations are starting in high streets in Lincoln and Stockport over the next week with sessions in Glasgow, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle to follow.

Warning

The inflatable surgery, which took a year to develop, is equipped with x-ray machines and other equipment to carry out consultations.

The firm said all the dentists they will be using are registered with the General Dental Council, while the tent complied with safety and hygiene standards.

But a British Dental Association spokesman warned people against going abroad.

"While travelling abroad may appear to be a cheaper way to receive private dental treatments, difficulties can arise if there are problems with the treatment when the patient returns home.

"Anyone thinking about having dental treatment overseas must make sure that they are aware of the potential risks and the hidden costs."


SEE ALSO
Need a dentist? Come to Croatia
12 Dec 06 |  Health
Overseas dentists 'cannot work'
27 Nov 06 |  Health
Thousands of dentists ditch NHS
07 Apr 06 |  Health

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