Why are so many people travelling to get dental treatment such as dental implants in Spain? With the cost of dental care rising, dental tourism is gaining popularity. Hundreds of thousands of people now travel overseas every year to access more affordable dental care.
Spain is a popular dental tourism destination, renowned for its excellent dentistry standards but with prices around 30-50% lower than in the UK. Flights are quick and inexpensive, and there is the added bonus of being able to enjoy a holiday at the same time.
So if you're considering a Spain dental trip, this guide is for you. Find out what kinds of treatment are available and what you need to be aware of if you do get dental implants in Spain – or any other dental work.
Table of contents
Why travel for dental care in Spain?
Spain is the second most popular country for Brits travelling overseas for dental work. Hungary takes first place, while Poland comes in third. Spain is also popular among patients from Germany, Austria, and even North America.
The cost of dental implants in Spain
The main reason people look for overseas dental care in the first place is to save money. Well, as you'll see further down, Spain has that box ticked. Dental implants in Spain cost £1,450 on average, compared to an average of £2,300 in the UK.
Not only does Spain offer high-quality dental work at more affordable prices; there is the added benefit of shorter waiting times than many patients are used to back home. Most patients also comment on the great customer service which makes the experience more enjoyable.
Some UK dental tourists travel to more far-flung destinations such as Thailand, India, and Central America for dental work. However, the majority stick to countries closer to home for a number of reasons:
- Flights are cheap with low-cost airlines
- Dentists and clinics must adhere to EU law
- Travel times are shorter
- Dentists usually speak very good English
In addition, there are a number of reasons why people might choose to get treatment like dental implants in Spain over any other destination.
To practise in Spain, dentists must hold a degree from a Spanish university or a diploma from a recognised EU country. It takes around five years at university to train as a dentist in Spain.
Once a dentist has completed their undergraduate education they may choose to specialise in a particular area of dentistry. Continuing education isn't mandatory, but it's a good idea to ask what courses your dentist has completed since graduating. The best dentists in Spain should show a commitment to ongoing education even if it isn't required.
Dentists in Spain must register with the Spanish Dental Association (Consejo General de Colegios de Odontólogos y Estomatólogos) in order to practise. They must also register with their local authority. Although this registration requires dentists to meet certain minimum standards, it doesn't involve any kind of ongoing formal regulation.
There are other organisations for different specialisations, for example, the Spanish Implantology Society or the Spanish Society of Prosthodontics. If you need specialist work such as implants, crowns, bridges, root canals or periodontal treatment, it could be worth checking if your dentist has voluntary membership with the relevant association.
Spanish dentists may also register with the General Dental Council (the governing body in the UK). This is optional and doesn't offer any guarantees, but may give you extra peace of mind about the dentist's commitment to meet certain standards.
Some dental clinics might be TEMOS and ISO certified as well. This is another good indication that the clinic meets certain quality standards, but it isn't mandatory.
A dental holiday in Spain
Of course, Spain is a popular holiday destination in its own right, welcoming more than 80 million foreign visitors in 2017. Some come to explore the streets of Barcelona and Madrid, some hit the golf courses, while others head straight to the beach.
If you're holidaying in Spain anyway, it can be a good opportunity to access cheap dental care. Alternatively, if you're coming predominantly for dental work, you'll still find plenty to do during your free time.
One of the great things about travelling to Spain for dental implants or other work is the chance to enjoy a holiday, get your teeth fixed, and still save money compared to private treatment costs back home.
Dental implants and other treatments
The cost of dental implants in Spain makes them an attractive alternative to getting the work done in the UK. As you'll see in the table further down, you might be able to save around £850 per implant. You could also save hundreds of pounds getting your dental crowns in Spain.
Other popular dental treatments in Spain include:
- Root canal work
- Teeth whitening
- Other cosmetic dentistry
You can even get things like fillings and cleanings – not that it would be worth making the trip for a filling alone. But if you need a lot of treatment or are in Spain anyway for a holiday or business trip, it's worth considering.
Some treatments will require multiple visits to the dentist. When calculating the overall cost of your treatment, don't forget to include flights for every trip and accommodation for the full length of each stay. It may take several days to make prostheses such as crowns, bridges and veneers, during which time you could return home or enjoy some of the sights locally.
Implants usually require two or three visits spread over six to nine months – or even longer. Some people opt for All-on-4 “teeth in a day”, which can replace a whole jaw of missing teeth with just two visits.
In the following video, one patient describes his experience getting full mouth dental implants in Spain:
Spain dental prices
The table below compares the cost of dental work in Spain with prices in the UK for common treatments including implants, veneers and crowns.
Dental treatment in Spain
Dental treatment in the UK
£50 - £170
Single tooth implant + crown
Dental crown (PFM)
Insurance not included. All prices are indicative and subject to exchange rates.
Do keep in mind that prices will vary between dentists and clinics in different locations. You might find that prices are slightly higher in areas that cater mainly to tourists, particularly along the coast.
Often the dentists with the lowest prices are those located in cheaper areas mainly populated by locals. However, these clinics can be harder to reach and may not have such good facilities. Those that specialise in dental tourism are likely to speak better English and still have competitive prices compared to UK private dentists.
Although dental prices in Spain are 30-50% lower than in the UK, there are other countries that are even more affordable. If you travel to Turkey for dental treatment, for example, you could save 50-70% on UK dental prices.
Why is it cheaper?
The 2007-08 financial crisis hit Spain worse than most other European countries, leading to an extended period of recession and high unemployment. The economy is recovering well, but for now, it remains one of the cheapest places to get your teeth done in Europe.
Cheaper prices aren't a reflection of poor quality and standards; dentists in Spain come under the same EU regulations as dentists in the UK. And since the majority of Spanish dentists run private practices they need to stay competitive to attract patients – both local and foreign. This means having the latest equipment, technology and training.
Naturally, as with any country, there are some dentists who aren't so committed to excellence. It's therefore important to research your choice carefully and not just decide based on price.
Best locations for dental implants in Spain
Whether you're a culture vulture or a sun seeker, there are dental clinics in the most popular tourist destinations. Even if the main purpose of your trip is dental work, you should still give yourself some time to explore this country!
Here are some of the best destinations for dental care in Spain:
The capital, located right in the centre of Spain, is easy to reach by plane from most UK cities. There are dental clinics spread throughout the city centre. You might prefer to stay close to your clinic to minimise travel time, but it's quite easy to get around using the city's transport system.
Fans of art and history will enjoy passing their free time in the city's many galleries and museums.
Situated in the northeast tip of Spain, Barcelona is famous for its shopping, food, art, architecture and beaches. You'll have no trouble passing a few days there in between dental visits.
Dental clinics are spread throughout the city, including some of the better-known chains which have multiple clinics in other locations.
Valencia is a port city on the East coast of Spain. It's a good place to stay if you want a combination of beaches, nature and culture. You'll find a cluster of dental clinics in the city centre, all easy to reach by public transport.
Other locations for a Spain dental holiday
They may be known more for their cheap package holidays than their dentistry, but coastal resorts like Tenerife, Alicante, Almeria, Costa del Sol, and Malaga, all have their fair share of dental clinics catering to tourists. You could even visit a dentist on the islands of Majorca and Menorca, off the east coast of Spain (but you'll have more choice on the larger island of Majorca).
If you do decide to get your teeth done on holiday, be sure to research your decision properly rather than impulse-buying from a sign you see on the street.
How to choose a dentist in Spain
The best dentist in Spain for you will depend on the treatment you need and whether you want some holiday time as well. Wherever you choose to go, you should check that they are registered to practise in Spain as a minimum. There are also other qualifications and memberships you can look out for, as mentioned above.
Cost will be a big consideration, and it's a good idea to shop around to get an idea of prices. However, you should ultimately choose the dentist you feel most comfortable with rather than the cheapest.
Before committing to teeth implants in Spain or any other treatment, contact the clinic and ask as many questions as you like. They should be happy to answer these to put your mind at ease. If possible, speak directly to your chosen dentist so you can assess their spoken English and ask about their experience.
Research and reviews
There is lots of information online to help you research your choice of dentist. You can read Spain dental reviews from former patients on travel forums, review sites and independent blogs. We also have a separate article featuring Spain dental implant reviews from patients who had implants and other dental work in Spain.
Don't be put off by one or two bad reviews – remember that no dentist anywhere has a 100% success record. Sometimes complications occur and procedures fail. What sets good dentists apart is the way they resolve any issues that occur.
What precautions and considerations should you take when getting dental treatment in Spain?
As you research whether dental tourism in Spain is right for you, there are certain things you should consider. Spanish dentistry has a good track record but sometimes things can go wrong.
- Understanding your treatment: As well as researching your dentist, you should get clued up on the procedure(s) you need. This will prepare you for the work itself and equip you to ask all the right questions before making a decision.
- Finding a specialist: You should ideally find a dentist that specialises in the work you're having done. Check how many times they have carried out the procedure before and ask to see some before and after photos and patient testimonials.
- Guarantees: Check how long your dental work is guaranteed for, where you'd need to go for any follow-up work, and who would cover the cost of this.
- Insurance: Your travel insurance and UK dental insurance probably won't cover costs associated with any work you choose to have done overseas. Instead, ask your clinic or travel company what insurance they can offer you. Who would cover the expenses if you had to re-schedule a flight because of delays or complications, for example?
- Booking a package: You may book a dental holiday package in Spain through a third party company that specialises in this kind of trip. This is less hassle than arranging everything yourself and you may get extra protection in the case of complications. It might not work out as cost-effective as booking everything yourself, though.
Other destinations for dental work abroad
Spain is just one of the countries to consider if you want to save money on dental work.
Turkey is a little further away but there are some excellent dental clinics in Istanbul, as well as in coastal locations like Antalya, Marmaris, Side and Kusadasi. This makes it a great choice for a dental holiday, and the money you save on your dental costs may well be enough to cover a two-week break in the sun. You can also get cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening in Turkey.
If a holiday in the sun is less important to you, consider Hungary or Poland. Both have well-established dental tourism industries thanks to their internationally renowned dental schools and state-of-the-art facilities. Flights to most major cities take around two and half hours so it's convenient to visit for just a day or two.
Dentists in Hungary are mainly located in Budapest and some border towns, while Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk are the main destinations for dentistry in Poland. All these cities have plenty of sightseeing opportunities, museums and galleries for you to visit in your free time there.
You can cut the hassle and worry out of finding a clinic abroad in countries like Hungary and Poland with the help of Dentaly Go.
Start by requesting a free quote from Dentaly Go. They will advise you of the best dental clinics for your treatment needs, and arrange a free quote. Plus they can also help with hotels and transportation.Get your quote for dental treatment in Spain
The relatively low cost of dental implants in Spain makes it a popular dental tourism destination, and the chance to enjoy a holiday at the same time is an added bonus. Spain dental prices are not just lower for implants; you'll also find affordable veneers, dental crowns, dentures, and other routine and cosmetic dental treatments.
You needn't worry about sloppy standards; dentists in Spain must adhere to the same EU regulations as those in the UK. However, before going ahead with dental treatment in Spain or any other foreign country, it's best to do plenty of research into the procedure(s) you need and the dentist you choose. Anywhere you go you'll find some dentists who do a better job than others.
Even if you decide not to travel abroad, there are other ways you can save money on dental implants and other expensive dental work.
How much do dental implants cost in Spain?
Dental implants cost roughly £1,450 in Spain for a single implant and crown compared to the £2300 that it costs in the UK. This price does not include the cost of accommodation and flights on top.
What is the cost of dental implants in Tenerife?
Dental implants cost an average of £1,450 pounds for a single implant and crown which is similar to prices throughout all of Spain. Prices can vary from practice to practice and between dentists. There is not a whole lot of difference in prices between places in Spain, so the price may not be a big part of helping you choose a clinic to attend in Spain.
NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/going-abroad-for-treatment/treatment-abroad-checklist/ Consulted 24th April 2019.
General Council of Dentists of Spain http://www.consejodentistas.es/ Consulted 24th April 2019.
Spanish Society of Implants – SEI http://www.sociedadsei.com/ Consulted 28th July 2021.
Spanish Society of Stomatological and Aesthetic Prostheses http://www.sepes.org/ Consulted 28th July 2021.