Returning from the tour, I went to resume my life. At the top of my priority list was resolving dental issues from my experience in France. While still in Europe I’d made an appointment with my dentist for when I returned home. My local dentist’s evaluation matches that I’d received several times in Europe – all of the broken teeth requires crowns. During that evaluation he rattled around conversationally in the context of my trip, and mentioned that for dental care I should have taken care of things in Sweden, apparently the hub of dental innovation. I met with the finance people at the dentists’ office, and the cost of the dental work was well into thousands of dollars.
That got me thinking. I’m familiar with the context of medical tourism – travelling to other countries that have cheaper medical care. Some research found that Budapest is the hub for dental tourism in Europe, with South America the hub for the US. While South America is closer (with decreased travel costs and travel time), I’m familiar with Budapest. I contacted a number of different dental offices in Budapest, and started gathering information. The cost for identical treatment, including the flight, was several thousand dollars less than having the work done by my dentist at home.
After that, I’ll admit I procrastinated. My teeth aren’t actively a problem, and I’m not a big fan of having dental work done. While having dental work done in Hungary made sense, the concept still freaks me out a bit. Time passed, and I realized the dental work was getting in the way of the rest of my life. I couldn’t make long-term plans, because I didn’t know when I’d be in Hungary. I finally bit the bullet, made the appointment(s) with the dental office I selected, and bought the plane ticket.
Now here I am, in a hostel in Budapest. The normal schedule for the dentists’ office is treatment from Monday to Friday, but that schedule doesn’t work well from a flight cost perspective, so I arranged to fly in on Tuesday/Wednesday, and they scheduled the first pass of the dental work today on Thursday, with follow-on appointments next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. I fly back home Friday morning.