Dental tourism doesn’t sound like something fun. Many people try to postpone or avoid dental care because they find it uncomfortable and scary. However, teeth are part of your body and the state they’re in can affect the quality of life, health, and appearance.
Since dental work can be expensive, people started traveling abroad to get their teeth done for lower prices. This started a new travel trend, offering this medical service and tourist activities as a package deal. If this is something you are considering, here is everything you need to know about dental tourism to make sure it goes smoothly.
Why do people choose dental tourism?
You probably wonder why would someone go on a vacation and have their teeth done at the same time. Vietnam or Mexico may sound great for sightseeing and leisure, but you may question whether it’s wise to entrust your dental health to a dentist there.
If you check the dentist and all the expenses are less than you would pay for only the procedure in your country, then why not. It may not be the experience you dreamed of, but you can ease the fear and anxiety of dental work by admiring art, culture, history, and other landmarks of the chosen destination.
Choose the right dentist
Regardless of the country you are going to have dental work done is less developed than yours, you can still find excellent dentists there. Just because the service may be cheap or affordable, it doesn’t mean you will come back home with botched results. Before you make arrangements, make sure to do your research by finding reviews, patient experiences, and discussions on the dentist’s care in the desired destination.
It would be best to have a personal recommendation from someone you trust, but reading message boards, Reddit threads, or any other source of information may be enough. You want to concentrate on the dentist’s background, education, previous work, and reputation. Once you have the list of names, check them for accreditation through international organizations, like the Academy of Dentistry International.
Get a clear idea of the costs
You may have chosen an affordable option for dental health, but that doesn’t mean it will turn out less expensive. Foreign dental practices may advertise one price on their online profiles, and then charge you additional costs for anesthesia and other extras. Contact the clinic and ask them to give you an estimate for the full service, and then compare it to prices on their website and of other clinics.
Another thing to consider is the cost of travel, accommodations, visa, and other possible costs of making the trip. Some travel agencies may offer dentist tourism deals or you can make arrangements on your own. Just make sure that you have everything covered to avoid unexpected expenses and see if even the price of it all is worth the effort.
Include your dentist in your plans
Your dentist may be expensive for you, but they can help you to make the right choices. Fill them in on your intentions and ask them to send your dental laboratory results, X-rays, and copies of your chart to the foreign dentist. They can even work together on creating the care and deciding on the procedures you should do if your dentist is willing to go that far.
But, regardless of that, your dentist should at least know what you are planning to do and tell you what to expect. Some procedures may cause more damage than good, or a foreign clinic may use outdated methods.
Plan for emergency
While having dental work abroad doesn’t mean something bad will happen, you should have a plan B in place. It should include an emergency fund, travel dental insurance coverage, and taking a friend or a family member with you.
See what kind of health regulations the country of your destination has when it comes to sterilization, cleanliness, and infection control. Every health procedure carries certain risks and you should have a contingency plan or resources at your side if it happens.
Some dental work can be done with one or two appointments, but others may require coming back to the dentist several times. The periods between procedures can also be long, so you may have to come back home until the next one.
Because you are traveling abroad, this means you will need more money for the tickets, accommodation, additional time from work, and other expenses. Being realistic is crucial to not completely deplete your funds or end up without money to finish what you started.
All in all
As a person who decides about your health, you can choose less expensive, a bit adventurous, and yet quality options. Dental tourism has always existed, but with the growth of affordable travel options, this is certainly an emerging trend.