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The Pitfalls of Dental Tourism

October 31, 2023

Dental Tourism

Dental tourism refers to the practice of traveling to another country to receive dental care, often at a lower cost than in one’s home country. This phenomenon has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the significant cost savings that can be achieved, especially for major dental procedures.

There are several reasons why people choose dental tourism:

Cost Savings: Dental procedures in countries like Mexico, Thailand, India, Turkey, and Costa Rica can be significantly cheaper than in countries like the United States, Canada, or those in Western Europe. Even with the cost of travel factored in, patients can often save money
Waiting Times: In some countries with publicly funded healthcare systems, there can be long waiting times for non-emergency dental procedures. Dental tourism allows patients to get timely care.
Combining Travel with Dental Care: Patients can combine dental treatment with a vacation, making the most of their time and money.

However, there are also risks associated with dental tourism. These include:

Quality Concerns: While there are many excellent dental practitioners abroad, there are also those who might not meet the same standards as those in highly regulated countries.
Communication Issues: Language barriers can lead to misunderstandings about treatment options and expectations.
Follow-up Care: If complications arise after returning home, it might be challenging to get follow-up care from the same dentist who performed the initial procedure.
Different Standards: Dental practices in different countries might adhere to different standards and regulations, which can be confusing for patients.

We decided to write this blog as recently we had a patient attend who had gone abroad for dental implants. There were severe issues we had noted including active infection. Whilst these issues can occur for similar issues provided in this country, the worrying point was there was no follow up care for this patient. He explained he didn’t really understand the language of the treating clinic and wasn’t aware of some of the risks associated with this type of treatment. He had no way of contacting the clinic except via email when he noticed problems occurring. He explained he had emailed several times without any reply back.  Follow up care, knowledge of what to do in emergancies is key to long term success. Thats why at Smile with Us, we are here for you.

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