Idyllic beaches, exotic food, cheap sarongs, cheap plastic surgery, cheap dental implants and cosmetic dentistry.
Glossy websites. Supposedly acclaimed experts.
Definitely worth the risk of several days of Bali belly, right?
It all seems like an offer too good to be true.
Before undertaking dental treatment in Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia or Eastern Europe here are a few things to think about…
Infection control requirements for dentistry in Australia are of world best practice standards. Those of overseas countries, especially some Asian and Eastern European countries are far less intensive. Dental treatment often involves surgery so excellent standards of infection control are essential. Will it be safe? Will I contract a disease?
A major issue we see is accountability. Having left the country, patients have extreme difficulty in addressing the ongoing complications and failures with the dentist who carried out the procedure. Overseas dentists may have different moral, professional, legal and ethical duties of care. Often the problems are not immediate however become apparent over several months. When something goes wrong are you prepared to return overseas to rectify it. Have you bargained on extensive and costly repairs if something goes wrong?
In addition, many overseas dentists who provide treatment are practitioners that would not be able to register as dentists in Australia.
Communication, language and cultural differences may mean patients having treatment overseas may experience difficulty in having their needs and wants met. Are you fully aware of what treatment will actually be provided?
Equipment and materials used by Australian dentists is subject to scrutiny and approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration thus guaranteeing they comply with the highest international standards.
Complications to your health from elective dental treatments obtained overseas are not always covered by travel insurance and may not be covered by Australian health funds.
The moral of the evidence I have seen is “buyer beware”. If you believe all dentistry is the same (and it definitely isn’t) then you will naturally seek the lowest price. This is a potential gamble with your dental and whole-body health. Your teeth and face are an integral part of your total health. I have always believed that it is important in life to have a good working relationship with your doctor, dentist and hairdresser! so that when you need them they will be there for you.