How Dentistry & Tourism Come Together

In Conversation with Dr. Marina Ježina

  • Dental tourism in Split, Croatia

  • Working with healthcare platforms and agencies

  • Demography of patients seeking dental tourism

  • Patient trust and quality care

  •        Potential challenges and opportunities


Dr. Marina Ježina

Owner of Dental Practice in Split, Dalmatia

Hrvojeva 10, 21000, Split, Croatia

In Conversation with Dr. Marina Ježina


Dental tourism is a growing trend in which patients travel to other countries to receive dental care at a lower cost or to combine their treatment with a holiday. Patients can choose from various treatments, such as cosmetic dentistry, prosthetics, implant surgery, and orthodontics, and can save money while enjoying a vacation. Dr. Ježina’s dental practice in Croatia has been at the forefront of this growing trend for over a decade.

Our team at Zircon Medical recently hosted Dr. Marina Ježina, the owner of a dental practice in Split, Dalmatia, on our podcast series to discuss how dentistry and tourism come together.

Introducing Dr. Marina Ježina, the owner of a dental practice in Split, Dalmatia

When Dr. Marina Ježina first entered dental school, she had no idea that her career would eventually lead to a unique intersection of dentistry and tourism. Today, as the owner of a successful dental practice in Split, Dalmatia, she combines her expertise in dentistry with the tourism industry to provide patients from around the world with high-quality care and a memorable holiday experience.

Dr. Ježina was always mathematically oriented, with a strong interest in computer science. She entered dental school as a challenge and found that she enjoyed it, ultimately deciding to pursue a career in dentistry. As she explains, “for a person with a mathematical mind, dentistry is a good choice because it gives a new dimension of solving problems.”

Dental tourism in Split, Croatia

Split, the second-largest city in Croatia, has a rich history and is known for its beautiful beaches and popular Ultra music festivals. In recent years, the city has become increasingly popular as a destination for medical and dental tourism. Dr. Ježina's practice has been at the forefront of this trend, providing high-quality dental care to both local patients and patients from abroad.

"About 15 years ago, patients from abroad started finding me," Dr. Ježina explains. "At that time, when there weren’t so many virtual platforms, it was a matter of mouth-to-mouth marketing. The recommendations were coming from the US since I’d worked there for a while. I also had colleagues living in the states with ancestors in Croatia. In the US, the cost of dentistry is very high, so they recommended my practice to patients who couldn’t afford treatment in the US. And then it started spreading from there."

Working with healthcare platforms and agencies

Dr. Ježina's practice primarily receives patients through online platforms that connect patients with certified dentists and medical professionals. However, she sees potential for working with tourist agencies in the future. "I don’t work with agencies, which is a missed opportunity," she says. "We could make much better business for patients, us, and tourist agencies if we worked together."

Demography of patients seeking dental tourism

Dr. Ježina's patients are a mix of solo travelers, couples, and families. Popular treatments include cosmetic dentistry, prosthetics, implant surgery, and orthodontics. For some treatments, patients need to return multiple times, which provides an opportunity to combine their dental appointments with a longer holiday in Croatia.

"Most of the popular treatments are cosmetic dentistry, prosthetics, implant surgery, and orthodontics," says Dr. Ježina. "For prosthetics, patients can get treatment, and it’s done. But for implants and orthodontics, patients need to come back repeatedly. The first time, they can stay short-term, and then they may stay for a longer time."

Patient trust and quality care

Dr. Ježina emphasizes the importance of building trust with her patients, a lesson she learned while working in the US. "When I was working in the states, one of the major things I learned from my professor is that the patient must have trust in the doctor. The most important thing is to make a good plan with the patient.” 

Despite the challenges of running a successful dental practice and balancing the needs of both local and international patients, Dr. Ježina has found a way to excel in both areas. By focusing on building trust with her patients and providing high-quality care, she has established a reputation as a trusted and skilled dental practitioner in the region.

In addition to her expertise, Dr. Ježina also understands the importance of offering a unique and enjoyable experience for her patients. By working with local organizations and providing information about things to do and places to visit in Croatia, her practice offers a truly unique and memorable experience for patients looking to combine their dental treatments with a holiday.

Potential challenges and opportunities

Despite the many benefits, Dr. Ježina acknowledges that there are also challenges involved. She mentioned that one of the challenges is the language barrier that some patients face during their treatment. To address this, Dr. Ježina has a team of multilingual staff members who can communicate effectively with patients from different countries.

Another challenge is the coordination of follow-up appointments and treatments for patients who need to return multiple times. To ensure that patients receive the best care possible, Dr. Ježina and her team work closely with patients to plan their appointments and treatments in advance, so they can plan their travel accordingly.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Ježina believes that the opportunities that come with dental tourism far outweigh the challenges. She sees a growing demand for dental tourism services as more and more patients look to combine their medical and dental treatments with travel.

Dr. Ježina also sees an opportunity to work more closely with local businesses, such as hotels and tourist agencies, to offer package deals for patients. This would provide patients with a more convenient and cost-effective way to plan their dental treatments and holiday. It would provide a mutually beneficial partnership for the practice, the tourist agencies, and the local businesses.

Dr. Marina Ježina's dental practice in Split, Croatia, is a prime example of how dentistry and tourism can come together to provide patients with high-quality care and a memorable holiday experience. With her focus on building trust with patients and providing high-quality care, Dr. Ježina has established a reputation as a trusted and skilled dental practitioner in the region.

As dental tourism continues to grow in popularity, practices like Dr. Ježina's will play an increasingly important role in providing patients with the care they need while also helping to boost local economies. With the right approach, dental tourism can be a win-win for patients, dental practitioners, and local businesses alike.

You can find Dr. Ježina via Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or visit her official website for more information. You can also listen to her on the latest episode of the Zircon Medical Podcast.

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