Dental tourism is a growing trend. Every year, more people are choosing to travel to foreign countries for their dental work. But this trend may not be a good one to follow. Find out about the rise of dental tourism and whether or not it’s safe.
What is dental tourism?
While dental work might be expensive, it is a necessity. To avoid paying the full price for dental work, people travel to foreign countries. In some other countries, dental work is much more affordable. You can pay a fraction of the cost for your dental work. While you’re there, you get the chance to explore another country. This has become a trend and people now call it dental tourism. As the economy still struggles, more people turn to dental tourism as an answer.
On paper, it all sounds great. It’s a lower price for the same type of dental work. However, the work is not the same. In many countries, the dentists have fewer qualifications and the offices are dirty. You could find yourself with a bad infection or worse. Going overseas for cheap dental work does not always work out. In fact, it rarely does.
What should you know about it?
Before you decide to give this new type of tourism a try, there are a few things you should know. The most important thing you should understand is why the procedures are so cheap overseas. There are a few reasons for this:
Currency exchange rates
The currency exchange rates in some countries help your dollars go further. When you exchange your money in Guatemala, you get a good exchange rate. As a result, you pay less for everything. The cost of a meal, hotel room, an even your dental work is lower.
Fewer professional restrictions
Sometimes, the reason for a lower dental work price relates to the professional restrictions. In many countries, dentists have fewer restriction. This can relate to hygiene, certifications, and other important issues. When dentists spend less money on hygienic practices, equipment, and certifications, they can charge you less. While this makes the dental work much cheaper, it also makes it less safe. It’s sacrificing your safety for a better price tag.
Easier to become a dentist
In the US, becoming a dentist is a difficult process. There are years of education to finish, and that makes for a great deal of debt. To pay for their education, dentists need to charge more. In countries with minimal education requirements, this isn’t an issue. They don’t have as much knowledge about dental work and procedures, but they can charge less. Before you choose dental tourism, you need to determine if this is a worthwhile tradeoff.
When a dentist pays less for materials, he can charge you less. Sometimes, dentists in other countries use cheaper materials for your dental procedures. For example, they might use an inferior material for your crown. Although using it could save you money, it could mean that the crown does not last as long. You might find yourself making a trip back to the dentist to replace the crown. In dentistry, cheaper materials usually mean lower quality.
The procedures are different
It may be possible that your dentist in another country performs a procedure completely different to the one that you need. Instead of getting the right procedure, you could end up with a cheaper one that’s only a short-term fix. You may not know about the difference in procedure until after the fact. Once again, you could end up making a trip back to the dentist soon. The first procedure might save you money, but the future procedures could cost you more than you saved.
Can it be safe?
There are many drawbacks to dental tourism. However, there are some things that you can do to make the experience safer. For one, you can do your research. The last thing that you should do is show up to a country and go into the nearest dentists. While some dentists may be very capable, not all of them are. You need to do hours of research to find one who can do good work. This involves looking up reviews, researching all the options, and looking into the background of the dentist. With some research, you may be able to choose a good dentist.
For the most part, the risk of dental tourism is not worth the reward. You need to consider unsanitary working conditions. When there is less regulation in dentistry, there are more infections. The unsanitary conditions could mean that you develop a harmful infection. Additionally, you need to think about the long-term effects. Your dental work could only be a temporary fix to a larger problem. In fact, your overseas dental work could cause you a new problem. If you want safe dental work, your best option is to stay close to home.