Dental procedures can be very expensive at times. To avoid costly treatments, some participate in dental tourism, traveling overseas to get treatments completed for a cheaper price. However, there are several risks involved with dental tourism that may cost you more—money-wise and health-wise—in the long run.
The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a strict set of guidelines to ensure optimal health and safety for those receiving dental care. While many countries have a similar set of guidelines, some underdeveloped countries do not. The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) states that “countries differ in their standards for infection control and safety. The use of fresh gloves, sterile instruments and safe water is not standard practice in all countries.”
A practice common to dental tourism is to compress treatment time. Some dental issues may need multiple treatments, which are often condensed in dental tourism. This is can cause problems and does not allow you the necessary amount of recovery time between treatments.
Dentist in the U.S. are required to have several years of education and experience before they qualify to perform cleaning and surgeries on patients. Some countries do not have the same requirements in dental education, so a dentist may not be as qualified as your own.
When you and your dentist don’t speak the same language, problems obviously arise. If the dentist can’t understand what you want done, they may inadvertently perform the wrong procedure on your teeth.
Those who try dental tourism do so because procedures can be cheaper outside the U.S. However, they could be too cheap. The materials used for crowns, implants, and even drugs used in surgery may not be regulated. Cheap material breaks easily and faulty materials can cause more damage to your mouth.
There is always the possibility of something going wrong in surgery. If this happens, then you want an experienced professional you know and trust to take care of you in an emergency.