Carl had already gotten used to the idea of needing dentures at the age of 42. The dentists he consulted in the US had all given him the same response: replacing his natural teeth with a denture was the only procedure his insurance would cover. Attempting to save a few of his teeth would have been a gamble, and most of all, costly—$25,000 to $30,000.
His friend Vera didn’t give up on trying to find a better solution, so she started researching different options online. And that’s when she landed on Qunomedical and got in touch with one of our Health Managers, Emma.
“The problem with the research was that I had no idea what I was doing. The overflow of information was overwhelming. The prices were all over the place, or I couldn't find English-speakers, or the clinics themselves seemed dodgy”, Vera writes. “As my phone bills skyrocketed and desperation grew, I turned to a Berlin-based company called Qunomedical for advice. I spoke to Emma Allen, a Health Manager in Berlin. We became as inseparable as could be over email.”
The problem with the research was that I had no idea what I was doing. The overflow of information was overwhelming. The prices were all over the place, or I couldn't find English-speakers, or the clinics themselves seemed dodgy.
Emma is part of Qunomedical’s English-speaking Health Manager Team and she remembers when she and Vera first got in touch: “I remember sending Vera a quote for Mexico, which was extremely over budget for Carl. Once I received the quote from Bagatin Clinic, I presented this to Vera. We spoke a little via email and then agreed that I would ask the clinic to get in touch with Vera and Carl directly. They were extremely helpful and there followed a chain which is now to around 90 emails between myself, the clinic and Vera. Every question asked was answered and gradually, Vera seemed to become more confident in us.”
As my phone bills skyrocketed and desperation grew, I turned to a Berlin-based company called Qunomedical and spoke to Emma, Health Manager. We became as inseparable as could be over email.
In regard to booking Carl in easily, Emma mentions: “Vera and Carl were the ideal patient as they already had all of the required information before contacting us. For dental work, it is very important for us to have a panoramic x-ray in order to provide an accurate quote. Once we have this, things can happen a lot more quickly.”
As Vera recalls, “When Emma sent me a quote from Bagatin Clinic in Zagreb, I nearly cried. Suddenly, my fantasy dream escape turned into the most viable chance we had to fix Carl’s teeth affordably.”
Emma arranged a video consultation for Carl and Vera with Dr. Marin Radic from Bagatin Clinic to discuss the procedures involved in greater detail. With a crippling fear of the dentist, Carl never really liked stepping into a dentist’s office. “Carl had gotten kicked out of dentist's offices for panicking, had pulled his own teeth out with pliers, and had generally neglected for all of his life”, Vera writes. “Dr. Radic spoke flawless English and sat behind a window wall overlooking a panoramic view of Zagreb. Even discussing root canals, his calming presence overshadowed the sound of the multiple invasive procedures.”
When Emma sent me a quote from Bagatin Clinic in Zagreb, I nearly cried. Suddenly, my fantasy dream escape turned into the most viable chance we had to fix Carl’s teeth affordably.
Carl had never travelled outside the US and always considered traveling to Europe a distant dream he could probably never afford. Now, Croatia seemed to be the only viable option for affordable, high-quality dental care. A few days later, Carl and Vera decided to confirm the treatment at Bagatin Clinic and left for Zagreb.
Carl’s treatment involved several dental procedures, including root canals, teeth grinding, and crowns. The treatment at Bagatin Clinic, which they described as “a luxury clinic, a place we wouldn't dream of having access to in America”, would last about a week, with different procedures performed each day. Here are a few pictures of Carl while undergoing dental treatment.
And here are Carl’s new teeth after about a week of dental work:
These are Vera’s words when looking at Carl now: “I have a hard time concentrating when he talks now because the transformation is so staggering that I catch myself staring. It's like the dental work unwound five years, bringing a youthfulness to his face that I can't quite accept for reality.”
Carl and I had to leave America in order to get a higher level of care. Intensive as it may have been, the opportunity to do this bought him freedom.
As Carl and Vera mentioned, this experience wouldn't have been possible without the help of a few friends who contributed to Carl's medical expenses through a crowdfunding campaign. Still, starting this journey was made possible by the competitive price of an overseas clinic, which was about one third the price they were quoted in the US. “Carl and I had to leave America in order to get a higher level of care. Our situation left us with a difficult choice to make and the dental tourism option gave my friend a chance for a fresh start, avoiding two years of scraping together money between dental appointments. Intensive as it may have been, the opportunity to do this bought him freedom.”
Here’s the link to the beautiful and emotional full story of Carl and Vera.
Pictures: Vera Pash Photo
Bagatin Clinic is a leading multispecialty clinic founded in 1995 by Prof. Dr. Marijo Bagatin. Bagatin Clinic prides itself on providing a patient-focused approach to all its patients. The clinic is a Gold Member of the Medical Tourism Association and has been certified by the Global Clinic Rating, a medical comparison website that evaluates clinics and hospitals at an international level. The clinic was also appointed "Best International Cosmetic Surgery Clinic” at the 2017 IMTJ Awards, which celebrates excellence among medical travel service providers around the world.