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Top 6 myths about traveling abroad for dental care

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May 13, 2013 by

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Tens of thousands of Americans, Australians, Brits and Canadians travel to Mexico dentists, Thailand dentists, Costa Rican Dentists (and many more) for dental care every year and experience excellent dental care. 

Here are some common misconceptions you should understand about dental travel.


1. Everyone can save money
While it is true that you can save up to 70% on the cost of your dental care, traveling abroad for dental care doesn’t make sense for everyone.  If you need a few fillings, or an extraction, or teeth cleaning, spending a significant amount of money of travel won’t make it cost effective for you unless you are already travelling to that destination.

2. The cost of travel doesn’t make it worth it
While it is true that a dental vacation will not financially benefit everyone, some patients can save thousands of dollars.  The difference in price between having 2 or 3 implants or crowns done in the US can versus abroad can be multiple thousands of dollars, which more than covers $1000 worth of travel expenses.  The more dental work you need the more money you will save.

3. Foreign dentists are unsafe and poorly trained
There are bad dentists everywhere, including the US, UK, Canada and Australia.  Many foreign dentists, especially in Costa Rica, Mexico, Hungary, Philippines, Thailand have completed their specialty training at elite US, UK & Australian dental colleges and are members of the American Dental Association or Australia Dental Association or British Dental Association.  Search online for reviews about specific dentists you may plan to visit and check their credentials.  Also, check out photos of the clinics online to preview what the offices look like.  You may be surprised to find they look more modern than your dentist back home.

4. Insurance companies won’t cover dental travel
Your dental insurance company also has an interest in seeing you save money on your dental care.  While most dentists abroad will not be able to directly bill your insurance, your company will reimburse you for your dental expenses upon your return.  Check with your dental insurance
provider before you leave to find out their exact policy on receive dental care overseas

5. The low cost of procedures means low quality
The low price of dentistry abroad does not mean that it is “cheap” dentistry.  Dentists abroad use the same materials and technology as your dentist back home.  They pay the same prices for their materials, as well.  Often, because the prices are lower abroad; many patients can afford better quality materials than they would be able to purchase back home.

The primary reason why dental care is less expensive overseas is due to the cost of labor.  Labor costs are anywhere from ½ to ¼ the cost for similar dental treatment in Canada, United States, Australia and the UK.  Another element which also reduces the cost is that dentists outside of Western countries do not have to pay as much for their dental/malpractice insurance and the savings are past on to their patients.

6. Foreign dentists do not sterilize their equipment
While standards do vary from country to country, every modern dental clinic in the world uses steam Autoclave sterilization chambers to sterilize their tools and equipment.  Also, international rorganizations, such as the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or the JCI (Joint Commission International) offer membership and intenational standards to global dentists.

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This article is meant for information purposes only and is not intended to be dental advice or instructions for dental diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your dentist or a qualified dental professional before starting or changing dental treatment