You bite down into your favorite food and are met with a sharp pain in your mouth. When you touch the offending tooth, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve chipped it. Now what?
Your health insurance doesn’t cover dental procedures and you don’t have the money to get it done out of pocket. Many people in your situation turn to something known as dental tourism.
It’s a great way to get the dental work that you need while enjoying a relaxing vacation. Still, it does have its drawbacks. Check out this guide to learn more about what dental tourism is and find out if it’s right for you.
- 1 What is Dental Tourism?
- 2 Types of Treatment You Can Get
- 3 Are the Risks Worth the Cheap Dental Work?
- 4 Are There Any Benefits?
- 5 Is Dental Tourism Right for You?
What is Dental Tourism?
For many people, affording dental work is a struggle. Most insurance companies don’t cover it unless you pay extra. That’s why many people travel from their own country to a place where a dental visit is much cheaper.
This is the basic definition of what dental tourism is. Most people don’t make the trip to get a basic cleaning done. There are only a select number of treatments someone can choose from.
Types of Treatment You Can Get
Dental implants and veneers are the most expensive type of dental work. That’s why it’s so popular to get them done overseas. If you have a Lost Crown or Crown Fell Off, an international dentist can repair the problem.
It seems silly to travel to get a root canal or filling done, but many people do it because of how cheap it is. You can even get your braces put on in another country. There are only a select number of braces you can choose from, but it’s better than nothing.
Are the Risks Worth the Cheap Dental Work?
There are a great number of risks involved with traveling. This is especially true right now in the face of a global pandemic. There’s also a possibility for infection and other dental emergencies.
Let’s say that you want to get dental implants. You already have gum disease, which poses a problem. You can’t get the implants while your gums are still in bad shape.
You have to have the first problem fixed first. If you don’t, you risk getting infections. Most dentists can’t handle gum disease and implants within a single session.
You would have to go on multiple trips to get everything done. Dental tourism makes this almost impossible unless you stick around for a while. As you can imagine, that can get pretty costly.
If bacteria were to infect your gums during your procedure, it can cause a nasty infection. This infection won’t show itself until days or even weeks after your implants were inserted. By that time, you’re already back at home.
The good news is that the infection can be taken care of before it gets too bad. The bad news is that your regular dentist will have to take your failed implant out and reinsert it after handling the infection. By the time it’s all said and done, you’ve spent way more money than you ever intended to.
The thing about infections, they don’t occur if the dental work happens in a sanitized environment. Practices in the US and other developed countries have high standards that they have to adhere to. If they fail to meet these standards, they’re shut down.
They also have to keep up with ongoing education and are required to have malpractice insurance. The same can’t be said for some international dentist offices.
Lack of Dental Coverage
While dental work is cheaper overseas, you’ll have to pay for the entire treatment out of pocket because the practice won’t accept your dental insurance.
In most cases, insurance companies won’t cover any dental work that you get outside of their network. It doesn’t matter if the practice would be willing to accept it or not. So, international dentistry means that you’re letting your insurance benefits go to waste.
Right now, traveling is risky for obvious reasons. The more often you leave your house, the more likely you are to contract the Coronavirus. Going to other countries posed a danger even before this global pandemic began, however.
Every country has its own diseases that you have to worry about. By staying within your own country, you reduce your risk of exposure.
Are There Any Benefits?
With all the negatives, you must be wondering if there are any benefits to international dentistry. There are a few. The main one is that dental surgery costs a lot less.
If you get your dental implants in the USA, you could spend over 7,000 dollars for them. By hopping on a plane and going to Thailand, you’ll shave about 6,000 dollars off your total. The prices are as different as night and day when you’re on a budget.
Lower Wait Times
If you make an appointment for dental surgery in a more developed country such as Canada or the US, you could wait weeks before you’re seen. Appointment availability is much more flexible in other areas, so you won’t have to suffer from a broken tooth for too long.
You Get a Relaxing Vacation
Once your dental procedure is done, you can spend a little time catching some sun. Everyone needs time to relax. Going on a dental vacation provides the perfect excuse to take a break.
Is Dental Tourism Right for You?
If you don’t have dental insurance, getting your tooth fixed can prove a problem. A simple procedure in the US can cost thousands of dollars. That’s why many people travel overseas for dental work.
Even though international practices won’t take your insurance, they can still be pretty cheap. It comes with its own set of risks, but if those dangers are no problem for you, dental tourism might be worth it.
As long as you take care of your teeth, you won’t need to have work done. Check out the health section of our blog to find out how to keep your pearly whites strong.