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  • Mary Schreiber Swenson Phd.

HEAD: A Solid Smile Increases Success: Why Dental Medical Tourism is on the Rise

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight,” once said famed American stand-up comedian Phyllis Diller. Indeed, the general population seems to agree -- surveys show that a friendly smile is one of the most important factors in a first impression, upping the success of job interviews and making lasting connections, both platonic and romantic.

Intensive academic research into the subject seems to corroborate this idea, as a study from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that service workers who frequently smile increase their positive encounters with customers and subsequent tips, thus improving their professional performance. Further studies conducted by the University of Pittsburgh showed a direct correlation between the size of a woman’s smile and their perceived trustworthiness, with smaller smiles or a lack thereof having a negative perceptual impact.

Still, as a lack of dental coverage plagues the United States, many of your average Americans remain unwilling to crack a smile due to cosmetic imperfections in their natural grin. With 84 percent of the U.S. population saying that bad teeth have a negative impact on personal and professional success, it's no wonder tooth-related insecurities run abound in modern society, inspiring countless people lacking in orthodontia and dentistry to keep their mouths shut.

Indeed, the exorbitant prices of U.S. dental care has inspired many Americans to look outside their native land and into medical tourism, of which the dentistry market has been steadily growing over recent years. Studies show that the cost of dental treatments in up-and-coming markets like Mexico and Costa Rica -- two of the most popular choices for American medical tourists -- can be up to 65 percent cheaper than care in the United States, prompting many to elect for their care south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

For procedures like dental crowns -- which puts a necessary cap over a decayed or damaged tooth to prevent further issues when a filing isn’t enough -- can run between $1,000 and $3,500 in the United States, a figure vastly surpassing most people’s rent and far above the monthly take home for minimum wage jobs. Contrast that with foreign pricing: a dental crown in Mexico will run approximately $520 on average, dipping even lower to $275 in Costa Rica.

The numbers simply add up: for the modern American, traveling abroad for dental work simply makes economic sense, giving access to quality care at affordable rates. Considering the incredibly profound importance a smile can have on one’s comprehensive success, it's no surprise that more and more people have turned to foreign medical tourism for their dentistry needs, helping them gain a leg up in life, one perfectly cared-for smile at a time.

Mary Schreiber Swenson, PhD

Founder & CEO mymedchoices, Inc


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