Mohammad Reza Amirinia/Avrupa Times-Medical health tourism is a growing global trend. Many clinics, hospitals, and agencies advertise their services to attract tourists interested in various types of medical and cosmetic treatments. Spa treatments, thermal tubs, mud baths, traditional healing, and homeopathy are just some of the areas covered by in the world of wellness. Medical surgery covers anything from personal injuries and complicated disorders to cosmetic surgery for personal beautification.
The term “Medical Tourism” arose as many people began to travel from their own countries to other countries for the medical treatments for a variety of reasons, primarily economic but also recreational, whereby one has the desire to combine their healthcare with sightseeing and exploration.
An emerging trend involves the industry shifting from Europe to third world countries and developing such as Cuba and Costa Rica in the west or Turkey and Morocco in the East. Cost and quality are a key driver as to why westerners would, with advanced healthcare systems in their own countries, flock to less developed nations for health and wellbeing services.
The world of hospitality has combined with wellbeing to provide services and facilities beyond traditional hospitals and clinics. Customer care, transfer, spa treatments and other services are more similar to a luxury hotel, encouraging foreign customers to choose these new international tourist clinics.
In the UK, limitations in NHS healthcare and very expensive private treatments have encouraged British citizens to look for alternative plans overseas. UK hospitals have the best surgeons in the world and have historically been considered a mecca for foreign patients. They still attract many medical tourists who can afford the costs in very specialized fields in the UK. However, there is a void in the national healthcare system that encourages UK and European citizens to look for new avenues in healthcare in other countries, normally less developed countries.
Mohammad Reza Amirinia: "I was in Antalya to attend Hestourex 2018, the World Health, Sport and Alternative Tourism Congress and Exhibition. It was a great opportunity for B2B meetings for visitors from all over the world to engage with local Turkish businesses and other international guests working in healthcare. I visited many stands exhibited by Turkish hospitals and clinics from Antalya, Mulga and other Turkish cities and regions. There were also many hotels, resorts and sports institutions as the show was dedicated to the Sport."
During Hestourex, I met Dr. Sevil Kaderli, the founder of Atalya Dental clinic in Antalya. We talked about the practice and the type of services that she offers to the customers. I was invited to visit the Atalya clinic in Antalya’s Kepez district. It was a seven-story building consisting of 17 clinics equipped with all the latest dental technology. One room was designed and decorated specifically for children. One floor was dedicated to a large laboratory for making teeth, dentures, crowns, and implants. There was also a floor with several apartments dedicated to accommodate foreign guests. Dr. Kaderli also owns and manages another branch in Dokuma district in the city of Antalya.
Mr. Gokhan, the manager of Atalya Dental clinic explained the ambitious ideas of Dr. Kaderli and her team to provide a personal service to patients from initial consultation and caring therapy procedures to the final post-therapy advice to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
I was there in Antalya for business meetings - I never thought that I would go for a dental treatment. I didn’t have any emergency issues with my teeth, however, due to historic tooth decay, I was previously advised to have dental bridges or implants done. Mr. Gokhan suggested having implants placed instead of bridges.
Dr Kedrli examined me carefully and recommended placing 6 dental implant posts. My flight was the next day, but Sevil assured me that she could do the job in the morning before my flight. It was a hard decision to go through such an intense procedure in half a day. However, I didn’t hesitate to accept going through the treatment. The nurse took a panoramic x-ray, monitoring the state of my tooth, before the surgical operation. The x-ray machine was a state of the art machine connected to a computer.
The surgeon began the operation after evaluating my x-ray and deciding the places of the implants. Dr Kedrli cut the gum to drill holes into my jawbone for insertion of implant. The deeply implanted fixtures act as new tooth roots. The implants are made of titanium, because it contains alloys that the human body can tolerate more easily and won’t cause any allergy or contamination in the body. The quality of my bone was low in one section around my tooth. Therefore, the surgeon had to use the bone graft to do bone rehabilitation and restore the bone structure to strengthen it to hold the implants. The bone grafting is a costly essential requirement, if the bone is not good enough to cover the implant.
My doctor also had to extract two teeth. It was a very cumbersome procedure with a delicate surgical operation, but it was all done diligently. I have always resented tooth extraction and root canal treatment. The local anaesthesia was required to relieve the pain. However, this implant placement caused just minor discomfort, despite intense treatment. The doctors and nurses were very supportive during the treatment and the whole procedure was done in a few hours. I was ready to fly back to London in the afternoon.
I had to use ice bags on my face to stop minor bleeding following the operation and during my flight. The implant wounds started to heal in a week and stitches were dissolved slowly. I didn’t have any inflammation, but I had a slight discomfort around implant posts after a few weeks following the procedure. I visited a local doctor to have an examination. He found an undissolved stich on my gum. He easily removed it and that relived my discomfort. It is always advisable not to panic with little pain. It is a good idea to have a regular check-up, in case of any complications. There are always risks of infection, bleeding or delays in bone healing. But the majority of people don’t have any serious complications. The dental implants are an important decision to make for anyone. Despite the cost, it seems that the implant placements are the most reliable option in the long term.
The placement of implant fixtures is the first phase of the treatment. The healing of the bone and the gum around posts, similar to the growth of gum tissue around natural tooth may take 3 to 6 months. You should allow enough time so that the implants blend with the jawbone properly, before the new tooth can be placed over the posts. Actually, the longer it takes the better, because the implants sitting on your jawbone would need to become part of the anatomy of your body.
I was extremely busy during the year and did not get a chance to travel to Turkey. I returned to Antalya after a year during Hestourex 2019. It was a good opportunity again to combine my business meetings and sightseeing tours with completing the dental treatment. I was there for only for five days, but normally it is better to allow one to two weeks to complete the second stage of the treatment.
Dr. Sevil Kaderli worked very intensely on my teeth over three sessions. She was initially satisfied that the implant healing was good by taking an up to date x-ray. Then she began by cutting and preparing my existing tooth to adjust them in line with the new artificial tooth. Sevil created a model of my upper and lower tooth and sent it to the laboratory. She made a temporary removable denture for my upper tooth, before the final one was done. Sevil owns her own private laboratory on the 6th floor of her building. Therefore, it was convenient for me to go to the laboratory for handy slight adjustments.
The new crown tooth was made of zirconia ceramic with a natural colour to match my existing tooth. The Zirconia crown is made of zirconium dioxide, a very robust material, and much stronger than porcelain. The zirconia is a kind of ceramic with high transparency and durability features. It doesn't contain the metal. The crown was fitted via abutments to screw the prosthesis over my implants.
Sevil did all my treatments as a priority with immediate attention, but very carefully to avoid any negligence. I was amazed of her dedication and caring attitude, giving me comfort during the procedure with her bright demeanour. If you are going to do this dental treatment, I suggest to allow more time in each stage to get it done with more relaxation and be less worried about the time.
I am very happy with my new teeth, which has positively changed my appearance. Dental marketers call it the “Hollywood Smile” to promote their work. I look younger and happier and most importantly, it helps with my food digestion.
Dr. Sevil Kaderli also operates another branch in Rixos Downtown Antalya. It is a luxury private setting for clients who are looking for more exclusive dental treatments. The clinic is called Medworld in a building adjoining the Rixos Hotel Spa centre for various types of physical treatment and rehabilitation.
The Atalya clinic in the city of Antalya is only an example of several dental clinics in Turkey. There are always risks in choosing a reliable and trustworthy clinic. The selection of the right dentist is not just about cost, worrying about guarantees, but also the trust, professionalism, expertise, quality and appropriate dental equipment in the clinic. It can be worrying to fly to a distant country, speaking a different language and then going under any treatments. However, word of mouth and researching reviews online are good ways to help make a decision.
Turkey like many other countries in the world has suffered because of the covid-19 pandemic and all required restrictions. Slowly the situation is changing and things are going back to normal with careful consideration of social distancing. The Atalya clinic in Antalya is open and business is as usual to welcome the guests for all their dental treatments observing of all medical precautions.
For further information about the dental treatments by Atalya Clinic contact https://atalyadis.com/en/ or https://dentatur.com/.
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