With dental prices being so high in the United States, many people are resorting to dental tourism to get better deals. In many cases, they are finding that the prices for dental care abroad are much cheaper than in the U.S. This has actually been creating a growing industry offering dental holiday packages.
The Value of Dental Tourism
Instead of rushing out to get your dental treatment abroad, you might want to ask yourself about the actual value and cost of such ventures. It may end up costing you much more than you had originally budgeted for it.
Understand the Actual Procedure
When you know exactly what is needed for a particular dental treatment, it may help you save money. Some of the dentists in poorer countries will look at “rich Americans” and try to sell you additional services that you may not want or need. If you do not know what the procedure normally involves, you could easily be sold additional services you do not need.
Flying back and forth for dental travel, if multiple dental visits are needed, could end up costing you as much as it would getting it in the United States. In some cases, it could cost even more.
Leaving American shores to get dental implants abroad is a good example of knowing the procedure beforehand. If you need to get bone grafts, for instance, prior to actually getting the dental implants, several trips may be needed. The wrong kind of dentist may want you to make three or more trips for the procedure, as well as some follow-up visits. A more modern dentist could require fewer trips.
An example of this is that with some types of dental implants, you could get teeth-in-a-day. This is called the all-on-four dental implant system. Instead of having to wait for healing, which is normally up to six months, you can go home with a usable set of teeth from day one. Although some follow-up visits will be needed, it would mean fewer trips.
Check Out the Products for Dental Tourism
Getting cosmetic dentistry abroad has led people into believing that they would get top-of-the-line products but actually end up receiving a product of much lesser quality. This can easily occur when you are getting dental veneers or dental implants. The dentist’s advertisement might promise one type of veneer, but you actually get veneers of much poorer quality. This will require needing to have the experience repeated shortly. One thing that will promote this type of behavior among dentists is the severe competition in some foreign countries. Since costs are already low, the only way that dentists can compete with other dentists is to use lesser expensive materials.
Beware the Upsell
If you have a limited budget and know the steps to the procedure you are getting, it will not be as easy for someone to upsell you with unnecessary services. Otherwise, you could easily become a victim of a slick upsell dentist and end up paying a lot more than necessary for the treatment you want.
The Local Dentist Advantage
With a dentist in your area, you have the definite advantage of having a dentist nearby. If there is a problem, it can be treated quickly – or at least as soon as you can get an appointment. You will not need to worry about getting enough money together to fly back to the other country.
Treatments such as dental implants require ongoing visits to the dentist. These follow-up visits can be made easier when the dentist is located nearby. Even with lower costs, repeated trips via airline to a foreign country can eat into those savings rather quickly.
There is also the matter of legal protection. If there is a problem that requires a lawsuit, or other issues, you have a good amount of legal protection in the United States. It may not exist at all in a foreign country and you may be left without any way of recourse.
Having someone perform the dental work on you who speaks your language is another benefit. Language barriers can lead to many complications – and possibly additional costs if you cannot communicate well with the dentist or their technicians or office staff.
You also may not be able to guarantee that the dentist has sufficient training and experience to do a good job. The country may not have the same type of health regulations in place as you would have in America. This could lead to possible health complications.