April 9th, 2015
Since the snow has taken longer than usual to start melting, it might come as a surprise that summer is almost upon us! Summer brings a variety of activities; you can finally plan that trip to the Cape, maybe go camping and of course, you finally have time for that six-month dental appointment. You might even be considering jumping on the bandwagon for a quickly rising trend called “dental tourism.” Dental tourism is the act of going abroad to find a cheap dental appointment, and getting a quick vacation in at the same time. Seems like a great idea, right? For the 500,000 Americans in 2013 who participated in the trend, it surely did.
According the the International Medical Travel Journal, “Teeth whitening in the U.S. can cost $2,300, but only $450 in Turkey, $350 in Mexico, $300 in Thailand, $250 in Costa Rica, and $100 in India. Patients can pay $2,000 for a dental crown in the U.S. and $1,000 in the UK, but only $400 in Mexico, $350 in Venezuela and Thailand, $300 in Turkey and India and $100 in Philippines.” From these numbers, it’s easy to see why someone might be inclined to get a dental appointment in with their summer excursions abroad. However, it’s essential to take into account the other costs and potential long-term effects. First comes the obvious issue of travel expenses. For the most part, after you buy a plane ticket to any of these countries, you’ll have already gone above and beyond the cost of the procedure at your own dentist. Then you have the issue of dealing with your dental insurance. Chances are, your insurance does not cover international procedures or appointments and this could cause your trip to be much more costly than it’s worth.
Aside from the risk of lower quality of care and communication issues, you must also take into account that you will probably need follow-up appointments. These multiple appointments could force you to stay at your travel destination for much longer than you’d planned. If you still decide to go abroad for your appointment, take a look at these tips to make the most out of your trip:
- Make sure to research reviews from other dental tourists who visited this dentist. Did they have a good experience? How has their procedure fared since their appointment?
- Never visit a dentist (at home or abroad) with poor sterilization and cleanliness! This could pose a true safety issue and an exponential amount of follow-up care costs.
- Make sure you bring a friend. It is possible that you’ll find yourself needing a buddy in the waiting room in the instance that you’ve had any anesthetics.
- Prepare yourself for the potential to stay abroad longer than you’d planned. Keep your hotel reservations as open-ended as possible.
- Make your at-home dentist aware of your plans and do your best to connect her/him with your dentist abroad.
There are always risks in going abroad for dentistry or even switching dentists at home. Just follow these tips and make sure to stay safe if you decide this new trend is for you!
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.