Dental work can be costly, and for that reason, some people may look for options that on the surface may seem cheaper. One such option is dental tourism or traveling abroad to receive dental treatment.
However, if you’re currently considering traveling abroad to receive dental treatment, it’s essential to understand the downsides of dental tourism, which can be more costly in the long term.
What Is Dental Tourism?
Dental tourism is when someone needing dental treatment travels to another country for more affordable care. For Americans, that country is often Mexico, but other places are also popular for dental tourism.
The Risks of Dental Tourism
It may sound enticing, but dental tourism can be a gamble for these reasons:
There May Be Different Hygiene and Safety Standards
The US holds its dental practices to exceedingly high standards in terms of hygiene and safety.1 If you choose to go to a country for dental tourism that does not follow the same standards, you can run a higher risk of infection or other issues related to your treatment.
If you don’t see specific sanitization measures taken at the practice, it could be a red flag that your care is unsafe.
Materials May Be of Poor Quality
Getting a dental implant, a crown, a bridge, or any other prosthetic procedure is like receiving a new body part. You don’t want that body part made out of inadequate materials, and yet in some countries, the standard for these prosthetics is well below what you’ll receive in America.
Training and Technology May Not Be Adequate
Just as there are different standards in other countries regarding hygiene and safety, there are also different standards for becoming a dentist. The doctor you see may not be as experienced or educated in the field as those you’ll find in America, which can lead to many issues with your treatment.
And even if the dentist is highly experienced and capable, they may not be working with the level of technology that American dentists are. If you notice a lack of standard, high-quality equipment, this could be a red flag for substandard care.
Cutting-edge technology makes procedures faster, easier, and more accurate. This technology also ensures procedures are more comfortable and safer overall, which is difficult to place a price tag on.
Your Treatment Might Require Multiple Visits
Most dental treatments that might make someone consider dental tourism are more extensive and invasive. This means that you’ll likely require multiple dental visits to ensure effective treatment. If you’re receiving that treatment abroad, you might be unable to make all those dental visits.
There May Be a Language Barrier
A dentist abroad may not share your language. Your dentist needs to communicate with you, as do you with them, throughout the entire process. When you and your dentist don’t share a common language, discussing your treatment plan and goals could be difficult — and your treatment could be compromised.
Resolving Complications Can Be a Challenge
Should you go home and find that there are issues with your treatment, it’s unlikely that you’re going to fly back to another country to have these issues addressed. And even if you were willing to return, not all countries have the same patient protection as America.
If you suffer complications, you may not have a choice but to address those complications in the US, ultimately defeating the purpose of seeking treatment abroad.
Dental Tourism May Not Be More Affordable
Many people assume that dental procedures are more expensive in America by default. However, when you factor in the cost of flights, accommodations, and possibly more than one visit abroad, dental tourism can quickly become more expensive than receiving treatment in the US.
Additionally, most dental practices in the US offer payment options, and dental insurance can help make your care more affordable.
A Trusted Dentist Near Me
If you want to ensure that your dental treatment is safe and effective, turn to Albion Family Dental. We provide comprehensive general and cosmetic dental care to Albion, NY, families in a warm and friendly office and offer flexible financing options. Reach out to us today to learn more. Or give us a call at 585-589-9044.