What Are The Risks of Dental Tourism?

The appealing dental tourism brochures are luring many to consider whether they should get their dental implants or veneers done by dentists overseas.

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Christmas is coming! For many people holidays involve parties, sun, surf and beaches. But for increasing numbers of people, they also mean a chance to get some dental work done ‘on the cheap’ overseas, part of a trend popularly known as “dental tourism”. If you are one of those tinkering with that idea, there are a number of things that you need to consider before jumping in with two feet.

1. What are the qualifications of the dentists?

Many would-be patients forget to ask this fundamental question: Are the dentists qualified to work on my teeth? Are they registered dentists? How can I be sure that they are what they claim to be? While Australian dentists are trained to a very high standard, must be registered, and are required to practice in a strictly-regulated environment, not all countries have the same standards. The overseas dentists you select may not be as qualified as their Australian peers and may not be working with the same quality materials as those routinely used here.

2. Infection control standards aren’t as stringent

A matter of increasing concern for health professionals is the growth of “Superbugs” which are resistant to antibiotics. Previously rare in Australia, they are appearing more frequently as people return from treatment in overseas hospitals and clinics without this country’s infection control standards. Australian dentists, by contrast, are obligated to adhere to strict infection control protocols.

3. Am I suitable for the procedure?

You would have wasted the entire trip – not to mention expensive flight and accommodation – if you went all the way to find out that you are not suitable for the procedure in the first place. For example, patients with inadequate bone density are advised against receiving dental implant surgery – which happens to be one of the most popular treatments that dental tourism caters for.

4. Is there enough time for the procedure?

Many dental treatments, such as root canal therapy, need to be provided over a number of visits at least a week apart to give the teeth and gums sufficient time to recover between procedures. Many have found out too late that they have squeezed too many treatments into a short holiday, and failed to allocate sufficient recovery time for the procedure. This may reduce the success rate for your dental treatments.

5. Things can go wrong 

If things go wrong while you are in overseas, you may be cut off from the expert emergency care you need. While it’s true you may save some money in the short term, the reality is that things can go wrong and all those expected savings can quickly disappear. Finally, will you be able to have any complications rectified and at what expense and time commitment?

Contact us for any further questions regarding dental tourism. Morgan Street Dental Centre is a fully accredited dental clinic so you can be sure that we meet Australia’s high safety standards and requirements. Make an appointment today with our highly qualified dentists in Wagga Wagga.

Reference: Australian Dental Association

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