Should You Pay Cash For Dental Treatment in Turkey

    CASH ONLY DISCOUNTS raise a RED FLAG in any business, but in healthcare it is a big NO! NO!

    There is no mistaking that Turkey offers high quality dental treatment at great prices, but we should not forget the saying 'if something looks too good to be true, it probably is'.


    If you're exploring the idea of dental treatment abroad, nothing is more important than researching the company behind your treatment. One thing which should most certainly raise an eyebrow in dental tourism is the offer of CASH ONLY DISCOUNTS.


    CASH ONLY DISCOUNTS raise a RED FLAG in any business, but in healthcare it is a big NO! NO!


    How we purchase anything today is dramatically different to what it once was. With just the waving of your card, the introduction of contactless payment makes your bank balance a little lighter. In addition, modern technology is enabling us to pay using applications such as GooglePay and ApplePay and let's not forget the ever-increasing digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Of course, for those of us who are not ready to trust the payment revolution just yet, we still have the classic methods of payment: Credit and Debit cards.


    It is not uncommon to see disappointment in the salesperson's eyes when you hand over a wad of cash. Remember the saying 'DIRTY MONEY'? Shops and banks really do not want your cash anymore! They want a clean, sanitary, easy, auditable transaction. Payment by card also allows us some level of guarantee on our new purchase. Over the next decade, paper money will be almost completely replaced by plastic, phone applications and digital currencies.


    'Anti-money laundering' is a term that's been increasingly banded around for the past decade, and there are now much tighter controls on how we spend our cash. Strict protocols have been placed on cash withdrawals, with restrictions and limits and endless paperwork on larger cash deposits and more limits on the amount of cash that can be accepted when paying for an item in-store. Although Turkey is cheaper than many countries for dental treatment, the treatment itself is not cheap. Many patients work hard and save hard to pay for their new smile. With patients usually spending between £3,000 - £6,000 and sometimes £10,000 for more complex treatments, that's a lot of cash to carry in your handbag or carry-on. When planning dental treatment abroad, the complications of carrying a large amount of cash and the risks involved in storing it while you are travelling must also be considered. So, it begs the question, why would a dental tourism facilitator encourage you to pay in cash?


    TO AVOID LEGAL OBLIGATIONS – Cash payments often result in an unofficial invoice. In the eyes of the law, no matter where you are in the world, without an official invoice, you were never really a customer/patient at all.


    TO AVOID PAYING TAX – The clinic that insists on cash payments is most likely operating an under-the-table arrangement in order to avoid paying tax. In this case, it means you were never a registered customer/patient, and even with the cash-only discount, the clinic is making a huge profit as it is all in its back pocket.


    TO AVOID RESPONSIBILITY – In the event of an issue, if you need the clinic's services, they can simply say there is no record of you just as there is no record of the cash you paid with.


    Over the years we have learned of many patients paying for their dental treatment in cash in order to gain a sizable discount. Many of these patients have later experienced problems when attempting to exercise their guarantee, realising they were never legally registered as a patient or worse still, the company with the flashy website which promised a 'Lifetime Guarantee', and the winning of 'Awards' and 'Certifications' was not legally registered at all.


    As Turkey's popularity for dental treatment soars, unfortunately, so does the number of cowboys in the industry, with a high number of dental tourism websites behind which there is no legal entity. BE WARNED: It can be hard to identify a professional-looking cowboy but CASH ONLY DISCOUNTS should raise a red flag, with bells and whistles on.