Health care tourism has been on the rise in recent years. While this is partly due to the increased ease and affordability of traveling from one country to another, it can also be attributed to the popularity of people seeking low cost cosmetic surgery procedures. Naturally, the prospect of being able to combine a dental treatment with a vacation sounds ideal since you’ll have nothing else to do but relax as you recover. However, the risks of dental tourism are very real, and we encourage you to think about these points before you book your flight.
Consider the Type of Treatment You Need
Initially, you can save money on just about any dental treatment that you get abroad. However, more invasive procedures often require multiple visits over a period of weeks to months to the dentist to complete. For instance, you may have to travel back and forth several times for dental implants, which eliminates any real cost savings. Major procedures also come with a greater risk of complications. A failed root canal could set you back financially and cause serious discomfort until you can visit a dentist back home.
Research the Credentials of the Dentist You Plan to Use
One of the biggest risks with dental tourism is that other countries have different standards in place for professional practices. While you can easily look up the credentials of your prosthodontist here, you may not be able to find out much background on the person who performs your procedure abroad. Since the U.S. has strict standards for licensing and continuing education requirements, it can be shocking to step into a clinic abroad where even the hygiene standards may not be what you are used to seeing.
Factor In the Need for Follow Up Care
Relaxing in a tropical paradise may sound like a fun way to recover from a dental procedure, but the truth is that most people end up spending their so-called vacation in pain. You also need to think about how well you can travel back and forth if you need follow up care that lasts several weeks. Most people find that flying with an oral health issue that involves pain or swelling worsens due to the air pressure changes in the cabin.
Plan How to Handle Potential Complications
Every dental procedure comes with the risk of complications, and they tend to be more severe with major procedures. In America, revision surgeries are also on the rise, and these are harder to perform when the surgeon did not complete the original procedure since they cannot be certain if all of the proper protocols were followed. While a qualified specialist here can successfully perform a revision surgery, you can often avoid needing one by simply sticking to one in your community.
At our office, we are seeing more people coming in for revision surgeries after a failed procedure that was performed abroad. Please let us know where and when your surgery was performed when you come in for a revision appointment. This helps us know where to begin with restoring your oral health and comfort. Additionally, let us know if you are considering dental tourism by calling our office at 954-476-0770 so that we can help you decide if it is a safe option for your specific case.
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