Dental tourism is a subset of the sector known as medical tourism. It involves individuals seeking dental care outside of their local healthcare systems and may be accompanied by a vacation. Dental tourism is growing worldwide as the world becomes ever more interdependent and competitive, techniques, materials, and technological advances spread rapidly, enabling providers in "developing countries" to provide dental care at a relatively significant cost-saving manner when compared with their peers in the developed world.
In the US, UK, and many European countries, dental care is expensive, especially if extensive reconstructive or cosmetic work is required. In the US, only the most rudimentary dental care is covered by health insurance plans, which is why more than 150 million Americans live without dental coverage, despite the many reforms to healthcare systems.
As we age, our flesh outlives our teeth, often calling for extensive reconstructive or restorative procedures costing tens of thousands of dollars. Thus, savings are a real factor for a global population living 10-30 years longer than its predecessors. Highly competent dentists who attended respected schools of dentistry and are certified by boards in Western countries often work "just across the border," providing excellent services for a fraction of the cost.
Patients who take a vacation in a dental destination country may find that they can work some affordable dental care into their holiday plans. Business travelers whose work takes them overseas may arrange for dental care while on a business trip—saving on both oral treatment and travel costs.
Sri Lanka, being a popular tourist destination, has a greater opportunity to provide dental care at a reasonable price with unprecedented accessibility for travelers whilst they stay in the country; in the midst of the post-war rejuvenation of the tourism sector.