With medical tourism being a success story for many Asian countries, Cambodia seeks a share of this by promoting dental tourism.
Many new dental clinics have opened in Phnom Penh and other cities over the past two years, and they are attracting the interest of a growing number of medical tourists from as far as Japan, Australia and the Middle East.
Roomchang Dental and Aesthetic Hospital in Phnom Penh, is one of the largest dental clinics in the country, with 100 staff. Others in the city include the long-established European Dental Clinic, the Sakal Dental Clinic, the Sok Chea Dental Clinic and the Pachem Dental Clinic. Some of them also have branches in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, both prime tourist destinations.
Some private Cambodian dental clinics claim they make 90% of their revenue from foreign patients.
According to the country’s Ministry of Health, there are 20 clinics in Phnom Penh that operate in accordance with international standards with an appropriate ISO certification and have many of their dentists trained abroad — mainly in Europe, Japan, Australia or New Zealand. Some foreign dentists are opening their own dental clinics in Cambodia.
The biggest market targeted is people who used to go to Bangkok for dental care and now prefer Phnom Penh because the quality is claimed to be the same but the price is cheaper than in Thailand.
One driver is the rise of cheap airfares on new air routes to Vietnam, Thailand and the Middle East.
With the growth of dental tourism, specialised medical tourism agencies have opened such as Dental Holidays Cambodia that organises dental treatment inclusive of a prearranged treatment plan with price quotes and a package including local accommodation and transport.