BENGALURU: Getting dental treatment in Bengaluru is an expensive affair, and hence, many prefer to travel to other cities or states to get treated. They say that travel expenses, treatment and stay costs less than what a single root canal would cost in Bengaluru.
According to Medifee.com, a portal that provides costs for various medical and diagnostic tests in India, the cost for a root canal in India can range between 1,500 to Rs 12,000 approximately, depending on the position of the tooth and level of severity. However, in Bengaluru, the average cost for a root canal is Rs 5,644. Dental cleaning costs about Rs 800 to Rs 4,000, and a basal dental implant costs between Rs 30,000 to 60,000, depending on the implant.
Sheena Mehta, a 22-year-old student, says her friends would make fun of her asking if there aren't dentists in Bengaluru that she travels six hours to Puducherry just for a root canal. "I lived in Puducherry for about eight years and would visit one dentist for all my treatments, so he knows my dental history. I used to find him expensive too, but after coming to Bengaluru, I realised how cheap it is back in Puducherry,” she says. So whenever she visits Puducherry, she gets a check-up done there and travels again if she needs follow-up sessions. “The travel costs Rs 600, treatment costs Rs 7,000 for two teeth, and stay is just Rs 200 at a guest house. Once, I got a root canal done here in Bengaluru after I broke a tooth in an accident, and it cost me Rs 15,000 - double of what it would cost me in Puducherry,” she says.
Lavita Rao, who visits her children in Bengaluru often, says she delays her dental appointments so she can travel to Delhi and consult her doctor there, as it is expensive in Bengaluru. “My children live in Bengaluru and my husband and I live in Delhi. I keep travelling to Bengaluru. I did a root canal at the dental department of a hospital in Delhi, and it cost me only around Rs 2,500 for a tooth a few years back,” says the 66-years-old.
Harris Sebastian agrees with Sheena and Lavita. He wishes he had travelled to Vellore for his root canal, as it would have cost him "at least Rs 3,000 less" than what he paid for a crown and moulding here in the city. “It cost me Rs 11,000 for crown and moulding. It is expensive in Bengaluru. Had I done the same in Vellore, it would have cost me only Rs 7,000,” he says. The travel from Bengaluru to Vellore would have cost him a maximum of Rs 450, and stay only around Rs 700. “I was getting my teeth filled when I visited Vellore. The treatment was good, and they charged me only a little over Rs 4,000 for cleaning, bleaching, whitening and filling five teeth. In Bengaluru, a dental filling can cost Rs 2,000 for each tooth, I hear,” he says.Bengalore is actaully cheaper than cities like Mumbai annd Delhi. Dentists in the city, however, say Bengaluru provides dental treatment services at "reasonable" rates. City-based dentist, Dr Kripa Johar says, "The cost varies from city to city. Treatment is costlier in Mumbai and Delhi as compared to Bengaluru. I don't think it is expensive here - rates are fixed as per the facilities provided and their staffs' experience and qualification." Dr Rashmi Shetty also feels Bengaluru is not as expensive as Delhi. "If you compare it with regular clinics in Andhra Pradesh, you may find it comparatively cheaper. Kerala, which promotes medical tourism, isn't really cheaper," she says.
Dr Shantaram, another city-based dentist, says rates cannot be compared, as it varies in different clinics and hospitals within the city as well. "In a market where there is so much competition, there isn't a chance that the costs would be higher.At my clinic, I charge around Rs 2,500 for a root canal, but in Delhi or Mumbai, you may have to pay around Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 for the same treatment," says Dr Keshav KR, another dentist.