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Knee Replacement Surgery Abroad Costs Just 30-50% of That in the U.S.

Knee replacement surgery costs $34,000 at U.S. hospitals, but only $19,200 in Singapore, $11,500 in Thailand;and just $9,500 in Costa Rica. Medical tourism gets you feeling better for way less.

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Teeth Whitening Procedures, Types and Cost

20 March 2015

Most individuals have sparkly white teeth at first, due to the tooth's porcelain-like enamel covering. However, the enamel wears down with time due to various reasons and turns transparent, thereby allowing the core of the tooth or the yellow dentin to show. While chewing food, the many micro-cracks develop in the enamel, which is slowly filled with debris and stains. This gives the teeth a stained or dull appearance.

Teeth whitening procedures are usually not compensated by dental insurance due to their elective nature. While there are teeth whitening kits that are far more affordable and cost about $20-$100, they come with a few drawbacks. One, these over-the-counter kits can cater to only a few teeth (the front few), and may not be able to whiten the remaining teeth. Two, the results last for just a year, in most cases, while professional dental teeth whitening procedures could last for a minimum of three years. In the search of affordable professional teeth whitening procedures, many individuals have found solution in places like Mexico, India, Thailand, Costa Rica, China, Cyprus, Malaysia and the UAE. A trip to these destinations for affordable dental procedures also comes with an added holiday.

Types of teeth stain

Teeth stains can be either intrinsic or extrinsic in nature. Extrinsic stains are caused from the exposure of the teeth to foods, dark-colored beverages and tobacco, while intrinsic stains are caused from aging, trauma, excessive fluoride ingestion, exposure to some minerals such as tetracycline, and other reasons. Extrinsic stains can be treated through prophylactic cleaning or brushing, while teeth bleaching procedure may help remove the more persistent stains. These stains can turn ingrained when not treated at an early stage. Intrinsic stains were believed to be out of the scope of treatment earlier, but today, even deep-set stains can be treated due to research advances in dentistry.

Teeth whitening procedures

In-office teeth whitening
This procedure can show a considerable improvement in the teeth color within a short period of time. During the treatment, a high concentration of peroxide is applied onto the stained teeth in a regulated manner. The peroxide is allowed to remain on the stained teeth for many short intervals of about 15 minutes, which sum up to an hour at the maximum. In cases of persistent staining, the patient may be asked to come in for subsequent sessions or partake in teeth whitening using a bleaching system at home.

Teeth whitening can be performed using hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide helps clean stains that are deep-set and at the surface, and does not have any abrasive effects on the teeth no matter how concentrated it is. Carbamide peroxide, on the other hand, is more commonly present in home bleach modules. It can be helpful in cases of stubborn staining. It works by breaking down into hydrogen peroxide and urea when it comes in contact with the saliva. In cases, where higher carbamide peroxide concentrations are to be used, it has to be done under medical supervision at a dental clinic. The average cost of these treatments is about $650 for each visit in the US.

Laser teeth whitening
This is among the most recent techniques utilized in cosmetic dentistry for the purpose of teeth whitening. The procedure is preferred by many individuals as it is simple and shows results instantaneously. During a laser teeth whitening procedure, the stained teeth are coated with a translucent film of gel. Then, the gel is exposed to laser light, which then reaches deep down all the way into the enamel. It affects the teeth in a way that it reflects more amount of light, thereby resulting in brighter teeth. The procedure takes a meager 20 minutes, and does not usually require more than one visit.

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