Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines – These South East Asian countries have become favourite holiday destinations of Australians for a variety of reasons; beautiful beaches, cheap cocktails, delicious food, and bargain shopping all just a short flight away. But that’s not all that’s on offer. These countries also provide cheap cosmetic dental procedures, which is enticing Aussies in their thousands to book a ‘dental holiday’. If you are tempted to travel abroad for dental work, there’s a few important things you need to consider.
There’s a Reason Why it’s Low Cost
One of the driving factors behind Australians travelling to overseas dentists is the cost. Many of these dental practices offer treatments and procedures at half the price of what it would cost here, or even less. However, it’s important to think about why they can offer such low prices. Dentistry in these countries is much less regulated than in Australia, that means there is no governing body which oversees health and safety regulations. In Australia, our standards are set incredibly high. Our dentists use the best products and treatments available, they must invest in infection control measures, sterilisation, and cleanliness, and ensure they continue training to remain at the forefront of the industry. Dental standards overseas are different, and potentially much lower. Without less stringent regulations by which they must abide, infection control, sterilisation and cleanliness of the practice may not be a high priority. This can put you at risk of contracting serious infections and bacterial or viral illnesses, many of which can have life-changing consequences.
Can You Be Sure the Dentist is Adequately Qualified?
Many dentists overseas will have plenty of training and experience, but some may not, and the issue is that it can be difficult to tell. Australian dentists must possess the appropriate qualifications and registration, and this will always be transparent. In the event that you experience significant issues with their quality of work, you have the peace of mind of knowing that there are avenues through which you can make a complaint, and the dentist will be investigated.
Language Barriers May Make Communication Difficult
Communication is key when discussing your dental options. Whilst many overseas dentists have excellent English skills, communicating your needs can be still difficult. Dentistry involves some complex terminology, and ensuring they understand your needs and expectations may prove challenging. Knowing your medical and dental history is also vital before undergoing any form of procedure, and it may also be hard to communicate this in another language.
Will You Need Follow Up Visits?
Even in Australia, dental procedures don’t always go smoothly. Some will require follow-ups and, in some cases, a new procedure to fix something that goes wrong. Even straightforward procedures may be complex when undertaken by a dentist who does not know your dental history. You’ll need to be prepared to return to the country if follow-up appointments are required, and this will mean paying more for flights, accommodation, and time off work. If there were any concerns after treatment with your dentist in Australia, it could be rectified quickly.
What Happens if Something Goes Wrong?
When overseas, it’s vital that you have insurance in place just in case things don’t as planned. Sourcing travel insurance which includes cover for complications arising from elective dental procedures is almost impossible. This means that if you suffer complications from your procedure and need emergency post-procedure dental or medical care you may end up thousands of dollars out of pocket. When buying insurance, always confirm that the policy covers elective dental treatment and read the fine print to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered in the event of an emergency.
Look After Your Smile Locally
If you are considering a dental holiday, really take the time to have a clear understanding of the procedure required and do your research. Ask plenty of questions and be prepared for a worst case scenario. If the price is your deciding factor, weigh up whether the cost of flights, accommodation, time off work, and the risk of things going wrong are really worth it. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Dr Tony Heilberg and the team at your local bayside family dental practice, are here to provide the highest level of dental care. With treatment plans to suit individual needs and budgets, there’s no need to jet off overseas for affordable dental procedures. Whether you need cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, or the services of an emergency dentist, Cheltenham families rely on us for comprehensive dentistry in a gentle and comfortable manner. Request an appointment online now or call us on 03 9583 2233.