A Novel Approach to Dental Tourism
The Smile Centre Kochi is an Speciality Dental Centre offering advanced facilities to perform the entire spectrum of dental and maxillofacial treatments. Dr. Prasanth Pillai, a highly experienced and skilled Dental Specialist, to be more specific, an Oro-Maxillofacial Surgeon & Implantologist, is the Director of TheSmileCentre.in . They offer procedures ranging from the basic dental treatment to complex dental procedures (dental implants, orthodontic treatment, smile designing etc.). They also offer advanced faciomaxillary surgery procedures, including cosmetic jaw surgery. Dr Pillai is ably assisted by his wife and a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Sreeja P. Pillai and a team of specialists and dental care professionals.
The Smile Centre is attached to some of the best hospitals in Kochi city to cater to the needs of patients including the need for procedures under sedation or general anesthesia. Medically compromised patients are also treated in these hospitals by the Smile Centre Team.
In a tête-à-tête with The Kerala Explorer, Dr. Pillai says he gets patients from different corners of the globe and he ensures they have an enjoyable time in Kerala, even while getting complex dental work done in his Centre. Excerpts:
The inspiration My father, Dr K S Pillai, was a dental practitioner of repute and he practiced close to 65 years. His legacy is what we are carrying forward.
On the Kerala advantage Kerala has highly qualified, skilled and experienced doctors in various specialties and, also has some of the best hospitals offering excellent medical facilities. This covers not only the modern medical field, but also of traditional Indian medicine like Ayurveda. Therefore, Kerala becomes an excellent destination with world class healthcare systems. The added advantage is that the cost of healthcare is considerably lower and affordable in comparison with leading health centres all over the world.
As a tour destination, Kerala is indeed God’s Own Country, with a unique blend of attractive locales covering mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, wildlife sanctuaries and beaches. Bestowed with a pleasant and equable climate throughout the year, Kerala is a tropical land where one can relax and be at ease.
The Kerala culture is a unusual blend of tradition with modernity and people are very warm and welcoming. The traditional dance and art forms, especially Kathakali is highly appreciated world over. And, to top it all, the Kerala cuisine offers lip-smacking delicacies to travellers.
Therefore, I am certain that medical value travellers cannot possibly get such a fabulous destination to visit for their medical needs, offering a provisions for world class medical care coupled with a fabulous vacation. The tourism industry in general with the travel and accommodation sectors in particular will certainly benefit from the boost in medical tourism in addition to all industries and support systems associated with these sectors.
On marketing his services across the world Our first international patients were casual travellers who came in for some basic dental work. However, once they went back to their respective countries, they started referring their relatives and friends to our Centre for treatment. The testimonials these patients have been giving us over years have been providing a lot of reassurance to the new patients who approach our Centre for treatment.
We also have an excellent web presence, such that people who search the internet for dental services in India find us easily.
The facilities provided “Dental Vacations” is the Dental Tourism Division of SmileCentre.in offering services which cover Advanced Dentistry coupled with fabulous Kerala Vacations! We offer packages on travel and tour of Kerala as well as South India in addition vacation packages to hill stations and nature resorts. We also offer medi cal assistance covering various disciplines as well as Ayurvedic treatment which is very much sought after by international patients. Many of our international travelers are interested in learning Yoga and meditation and we are able to guide them to experts in these fields. Some of our patients seek assistance with their journey to spiritual destinations, especially the Temples of South India, for which we offer assistance too. We have a dedicated team of Travel Experts who are able to assist our patients with their requirements.
The feedback As we have a very organized team offering excellent treatment and facilities, we are able to rise to our patients’ expectations in every possible way. They provide us with excellent feedback on our services and thus we are able to customize and upgrade them accordingly on tourism or recreational activities provided.
Ayurvedic treatment, Backwater boat rides, Kathakali performances and visit to exotic locales are a few of the recreational activities we offer our international patients. Some of them specifically ask for Yoga training which we provide. There are a few who wish to learn more about cookery and cuisines of Kerala, for which we offer assistance too. Some of our international patients wish to travel to different exotic locales in India for which we have a highly experienced travel agency whom we connect them to.
On awareness programmes We ensure that our patients are well informed and educated on the treatment procedures they are scheduled to undergo. We prepare the treatment plan in their presence and clarify all the doubts they raise with regard to the treatment proposal we are providing them. Therefore, our patients feel at ease even before they undergo the treatment. We utilise several computer programmes for the purpose.
On language barrier Yes, we do seek services of guides and translators while managing patients who are unable to speak English.
On GST effect It is too early to comment on this. I think we have to wait and watch for at least one year before analyzing the effect of GST on the medical sector. As of now, we have not really felt the impact of GST in our scenario.
The hindrances Indian visa is probably a big hurdle for many of the travelers to India. The external affairs ministry should be able to address such issues so that their travel to India is hassle free. The other problems faced by travelers include poorly maintained roads, erratic traffic and traffic snarls.
“What we offer our international patients is advanced dental treatment coupled with fabulous Kerala vacation, which includes Ayurvedic treatment, Backwater boat rides, Kathakali performances and visit to exotic locales.”