While dental treatments abroad can be less expensive, they aren’t always better. Like most services, dental treatment can be performed at different levels of expertise, safety, and care. Materials used can also vary significantly in quality, especially when it comes to procedures like veneers, crowns and implants. Depending on where you receive treatment, the risks can sometimes outweigh the benefits.
Teeth are a little like cars. Similar to maintaining your car, you need to maintain your teeth and take appropriate steps to keep them in good condition. Also like your car, you need to service them well: repair where necessary and try to prevent problems before they occur. Regular checkups help increase the odds that your dentist or hygienist can spot problems before they advance into more serious issues.
The Dental Association (ADA) have issued past warnings on the possible risks of dental treatment abroad.
One of the biggest risks with seeking overseas treatment is that, if performed improperly, it may result in damage that is hard or impossible to reverse. For example, patients who get veneers done overseas may find that the veneers were not fully sealed. This can encourage decay and deterioration to the teeth underneath, which the patient may want to address. What patients may find is that some dentists in Australia can be reluctant to take on any treatment completed overseas as they might then be seen as responsible for the deteriorating state of the patient’s teeth. This can make correcting the issue much more complicated.
Another thing to consider about overseas treatment are the regulatory standards. In Australia, we have a number of National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, as well as state and federal regulations that we are legally obligated to follow. These are in place to protect patients from harm and improve the quality of healthcare in Australia. It is important to remember that not all countries follow the same standards or regulations.
Sometimes, patients won’t have as many options to take legal action if their overseas procedure isn’t administered correctly. And, if they want to correct a problem, the costs of extra work might end up outweighing any money they saved initially.
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*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.