Various statistics, studies, and even blogs show a rise in dental tourism. Some people go across the borders to get their dental work done because they do not have dental insurance while some have insurance which does not cover their preferred treatments. Whatever the reason, dental health is of prime importance and it is best to make an informed decision.
I have put together the pros and cons, and steps to go about it for a flawless experience.
The pros: Good quality premium dental treatments are done at a fraction of the cost!! It often happens that the round trip cost all inclusive( yes, your food, stay, flights, dental treatment all of it) turns out to be cheaper than just the treatment at your hometown. Isn’t that the whole purpose of the dentacation( cool term right! I like it too). And for all the travel lovers, this is just another reason to go and explore some other parts of the world.
On a serious note, with the rise in healthcare expenses, sometimes traveling abroad makes those treatments possible, which you would have definitely skipped back at your hometown. In that case, this might be a good idea, irrespective of how much you love or hate traveling.
The cons: The standards of sterilization protocol and the dental materials, might match up to the US standards, might not, you will have to do extensive research about the chosen destination. The more tricky part being, if some problem arises in the treated tooth, it will be a long way to come back for the fix, or you will then have to go see another dentist in your hometown which is again going to be expensive. Also, the follow-up schedule is going to be something you will need to plan before starting the treatment.
That much said, let us dive right into the factors to consider before picking out the destination.
The closer, the better: Some dental treatments need multiple appointments, whereas some need frequent follow-ups. So just make sure you don’t choose a dentist too far, in case you plan to come back home between appointments. Also, it will be easier for you to go for an unplanned follow-up if needed.
Research: Like a lot! In this era of technology, we are privileged to check-out reviews of places far far away. Check them out on every review site possible. See their website, go through what the patients have to say, see their before-after photos concerning the treatment you are planning to get done, it will help you set realistic expectations about your after treatment look. Furthermore, you can call up the dental office to get an estimate of the duration and the cost for your dental work.
Get recommendations: you might want to consider some location where you have your friends and family residing, and go to their family dentist, that is if they have been going to that dentist for a while now. That way you will be dealing with a known dentist. This by no means can substitute the research part. This is more like an add-on to your research to make this dental tourism as safe as possible.
Know your requirements: Before the trip, have a clear picture in your mind as to what treatment are you planning. It sometimes happens that dentists might try to oversell a few esthetic procedures, in that case say no. Though it is normal that you might require a treatment or two more than what you expected. It might be a good idea to get them done, you do not want to go back to your hometown with work pending in your mouth.
Conclusion: Is dental tourism safe? Yes, it is, provided you take an informed decision, and follow the basic guidelines mentioned above or on some other reliable sites out there. Regardless, do what your gut tells you, is it ok if you are an overthinker/…… and want to get your treatment done nowhere but across the lane, and can afford it, the extra money spent is worth the mental peace. And for the explorers, here is a list of the most popular destinations for your upcoming dentacation.