Dentist David Hovhannisyan says that most dental tourists in Armenia come from the Armenian Diaspora as thus they can combine their treatment with a holiday in their historical homeland.
“Due to our compatriots abroad, dental clinics in Armenia without any additional promotional effort can always have a large number of patients,” the specialist says.
The dentist, however, adds that the focus of dental tourism is not limited to ethnic Armenians living abroad only.
“We try to develop the sector so as to also have other international patients along with Diaspora Armenians. This is what the success of dental tourism depends upon,” Hovhannisyan says. “We do have non-Armenian patients, but there are not many of them. Our main patients are Armenians from Russia, the United States, Belgium and France.”
Average prices of dental services in Armenia are relatively more affordable than those abroad, and this price affordability is one of the advantages of Armenia’s dental tourism industry.
Hovhannisyan explains: “Given the economic situation and average incomes of the population in our country, for many locals these services are not that affordable, in certain cases the cost of materials used in dentistry in Armenia is higher than, for example, in Moscow. But we must also take into account the factor of the specialist – [the dentist, the orthodontist] – who can work at a more affordable fee than his or her counterpart abroad, and at the same time be satisfied with these conditions.”
According to Hovhannisyan, apart from competitive prices, Armenian specialists offer services and technologies of a quality that corresponds to international standards.
“With the recent globalization processes and the popularization of social networking it has become common to have better communication with doctors abroad. If we compare what we had in 2010 and now in 2015, we will see a great difference. At present, conferences and meetings are organized on a monthly basis, specialists from abroad are involved and an exchange of experience takes place,” Hovhannisyan says.
In his opinion, all this cannot but have a positive impact – patients can see this progress and the introduction of new technologies, which inspires greater confidence in them.
One of the latest technological innovations in Armenia is the transparent dental braces that come to replace traditional orthodontic cases. Specialists say they are particularly applicable in the dental tourism sphere as they do not require frequent interventions from the doctor during a long-term treatment.
Hovhannisyan says there is no integral data yet that would show particular figures concerning the dental tourism industry in Armenia.
“The Dental Tourism Foundation, which is involved in the development of the sector, intends to fill this gap in the near future by collecting data on the number of those who use dental services as tourists,” Hovhannisyan says, adding that having such data will also help better organize the work to accommodate for an even larger number of dental patients from abroad.
He says that the organization also cooperates with travel agencies, which makes it possible to raise awareness of dental services in Armenia among ordinary tourists.
Source: Armenia Now