With dental treatment prices soaring around the world, tens of thousands of people in need of dental work are taking solace in dental tourism. Dental tourism involves the patients travelling to a foreign country to seek treatment at an affordable (sometimes half) price. At a time when the economy is still in turmoil and when a lot of people are unable to afford insurance, dental tourism comes as a savior. With the advantages that it offers though – and travelling overseas for dental work can seem like an attractive alternative – it does also come with a lot of perceived disadvantages that are actually inaccurate. These dental tourism myths are waiting to be debunked, and this article will do exactly that.
Dental Tourism Myth #1: Like price like quality
Fact: Simply put, low prices do not always commensurate to low quality. Cheap is a relative term; the concept of “inexpensive” is different for western countries than it is for the rest of the world. Thus, cost is not a valid measure of the quality of a country’s health care system. In countries that offer relatively inexpensive dental options, the tools, materials and cost of living is less as well so this allows the businesses to provide a top notch service using state of art equipments at a fraction of the price. It is a common misconception to think that only western countries have the most advanced dental facilities, and that every hospital abroad offers substandard services. This is far from the truth because often the clinics/hospitals that cater to an international patient base is privately owned. They also offer a multicultural and friendly environment that enables every customer to feel at home.
Dental Tourism Myth #2: It is unsafe
The concern that it won’t be as safe to get dental treatments abroad as it is to get them at home is a fear that many dental tourists (as well as other travellers) have. Along with that, doubts about the healthcare provider’s expertise and qualifications also linger. This is a problem that can be easily avoided with research and by taking precautionary measures.
Each country has its own local laws. Familiarizing yourself with them as well as using safety measures, like not flaunting your valuables etc., will keep you from being the target of criminal activities.
As far as the expertise and qualifications question goes, a little bit of research will solve that problem and make sure that you are in safe hands. Contacting hospitals and providers beforehand to ask for proof of qualification, experience and accreditation will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision.
Dental Tourism Myth #3: Dental tourism is not covered by health insurance
This is a false generalization. Every dental insurance policy is different – and some can cover dental tourism. Instead of assuming this generalization as a fact, a better choice would be to contact your dental insurance provider to see what they cover and what they don’t. This way you will not just throwaway free financial assistance.
As with anything else, taking due diligence when selecting a facility can make sure that you get the best and safest treatment and allow you to take full advantage of the low costs of dentistry abroad.
Evan Mason is the lead researcher in dentistry and has many articles and research papers about dental care to his credit.