Tourism dentistry is becoming extremely popular. Thanks to the internet, the world doesn’t seem quite so big anymore. Now, you can plan everything from liposuction to dental implants at a medical or dental office on the other side of the globe.
Why are people doing it? To save money. Unfortunately, the cost is all relative once you finally start to break down what’s involved with going overseas for dental work.
The Background of the Dentist That You’re Seeing
One of the first things that you’ll need to be weary of is the background of the dentist performing your procedure. It’s not unheard of for dentists to have their license stripped away in the United States or elsewhere, only for them to move to another country and practice using the same procedures that had their license taken away in the first place. You should be extremely careful with who you choose and do plenty of research.
The same can be said for their education. Not all dental schools are created equal. In fact, the United States requires dentists from overseas to retake most of their education in an American dental school before receiving licensure to practice in the states. Some countries just do not provide the same level of training or licensure requirements for an individual to practice dentistry.
This should also be considered when considering someone who claims to be a “specialist.” American specialist dentists have four years of dental school plus another two to three years of training in their area of expertise. If they are board-certified, they have the national credentials and testing to reflect that. Credentials in other countries are not always held to the same standards.
Regulations Differ from Country to Country
As with dental school educations, the regulatory requirements of operating a dental practice will differ from country to country. Some may have extremely rigid infection control protocols and high-level equipment where others could be so unkempt that it would get them shut down if they were in your home town.
No Access to Follow Up or Maintenance
Let’s say that you’ve found an impeccable dental office and highly skilled dentist that is located abroad. That’s wonderful! But what will you do once you’ve come back a week after getting your treatment, and something goes wrong with your tooth?
Some types of treatments or materials used in other countries are not the same as what an American dentist is familiar with. Even the tools needed to make adjustments on something as simple as implants may be unavailable here. The last thing you want after spending thousands of dollars on getting treatment abroad is to come home and have problems with something.
When faulty dental treatment is completed and you’ve come back home, there’s no way for you to get the original dentist to retreat your tooth. You also won’t be getting a refund anytime soon. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings a bell. Once you’ve left their office and come back to the U.S., there’s no reason for the treating dentist to be liable for what happens thousands of miles away. Now, it’s someone else’s problem.
This is especially important if a risky treatment such as “Teeth in a Day” is performed. Only certain people qualify for such a treatment in the United States. Others need to wait up to three to six months from their implant surgery until the site is healed enough to have the dental restorations placed. Going abroad for dental work may mean that you’re rushed through a complex treatment without giving your body the time that it needs to heal. It could be months down the road before you ever realize that there’s a problem. By the time that happens, you’ll be paying another dentist for follow-up care instead of having it included with the cost of your initial treatment.
It Costs More Money in the Long Run
If you carry dental insurance, it is not going to help you pay for treatments that were performed out of the United States. Everything dental related that is done abroad must be paid for out of your own pocket. After you’ve added up airfare, lodging, food, appointments, and treatment…. you are likely to have spent more on the ordeal than it would have cost to complete your treatment with a local dentist.
Does concern about your oral health have you wondering if you would be better off going to another country for your treatment? Contact LowerMyDentalBills.com today to find out how we can help you access affordable dental treatments in your area. Your smile deserves it, and your health demands it!