Dental Tourism – Should you trust it?

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Dental tourism is a term used for a growing industry attracting overseas travellers to countries such as Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Hungary or Poland, usually for major dental work and the promise of a wonderful holiday included.

In our experience at Medland Dental Centre we have seen a number of patients return having had extensive dental treatment which often appears to be sound and of similar quality to that expected in Australia, but problems often soon arise.  Deeper investigation generally reveals some level of substandard dentistry.  We have seen instances where crowns are joined together as one unit, making cleaning between teeth almost impossible. Crowns are often ill-filling, and in some cases have led to damaged or dead nerves, resulting in root canal treatment or extraction. Quite often, poorly planned bridges result in fractured supporting teeth and complete failure of the restoration.

So before going on that overseas dental holiday one has to ask themselves a few questions.  These questions may include :-

  • Yes, I can perhaps get the treatment done at a cheaper price overseas, but will it be performed well?
  • When I return to Australia, who will provide me with ongoing care and support if I have concerns with the treatment I’ve had?
  • How am I going to have my teeth replaced if the supporting teeth fail?
  • What is left of the underlying teeth if I have to have one or all of my new crowns replaced because I cannot clean them properly?
  • Why is it that this complex treatment can be done so quickly overseas when my Australian dentist has recommended a longer treatment period?
  • What infection control protocols are being followed and are instruments being sterilised properly?
  • What training/qualifications are held by my dental providers/assistants/technicians/hygienists?
  • Will I be supported by a regulatory health body in the event of an unfavourable outcome?
  • Am I prepared to gamble with my dental health or do I prefer quality dental treatment?

At Medland Dental Centre we would not pretend that only Australian dentists are able to provide quality dental care.  However we do believe the old adage “you get what you pay for” generally applies to dentistry and medical treatment. If you would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.