Dental tourism involves flying overseas to have expensive dental procedures completed for a cheaper cost, giving a vacation while saving money. Sound too good to be true? It is. If you are considering participating in dental tourism, first consider some of the risks that accompany it.
1: Health and Safety Guidelines
While several countries practice similar health and safety guidelines as the U.S., some do not. OSAP (Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures) says that “the use of fresh gloves, sterile instruments and safe water is not standard practice in all countries.”
2: Something Going Wrong
If something goes wrong during a dental surgery, is the dentist qualified to treat it? Not all countries have the same emergency care as we do, and if the dentist can’t rectify an emergency then you are in a world of trouble in an unfamiliar country.
3: Material Quality
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates dental drugs and instruments in the U.S. However, other countries might not have the same regulations. You could come home with a faulty implant or dentures that break after a week of use. That isn’t the type of cheap most people go for in dental tourism
4: Procedure Time
A shorter treatment period is a common practice in dental tourism. Though while this sounds good, it actually isn’t. When procedures are compressed into shorter segments, they don’t allow the same amount of recovery time needed which can result in additional problems.
5: Communication Problems
Chances are that you and your dentist speak the same language. In dental tourism, you might not have this luxury. Even if you have a translator available, there are so many nuances of language that you may be telling the dentist something different that what you mean.
6: Dental Qualifications
Education standards differ widely across countries. U.S. dentist spend many years gaining qualifications necessary to help their patients. Some countries don’t have as high of a bar set for their dentist’s education. You don’t want to have a dentist lacking in experience and knowledge trying to perform complex surgery on your mouth.