With the resurgence of the US dollar, travel abroad is starting to look a lot more affordable for Americans, and with that comes the temptation to consider medical procedures abroad, what is commonly known as medical tourism.
But even if medical tourism is a good option for some procedures,it is definitely not a good idea for dental implants.
You Don’t know the Quality of the Dentist
It’s not that all foreign dentists are bad. In fact, many of them are pretty good, but there’s a problem. Many of the dentists that are good and are caring likely have so many local clients they don’t want or have room for bringing in clients from other countries. And then there are the world-class dentists who naturally draw some of the best clients from all around the world. Even adjusting for currency and local costs, you’re probably not going to get world-class care for discount rates. Which means that the dentists that are actively seeking clients from the US are probably not the best dentists, nor are they the most caring dentists. Instead, they’re probably average dentists (for their area) who are looking to make a great profit by drawing in foreigners.
But the truth is that you don’t know. The website may look great. It may promise numerous accolades and training and skills. But your resources for checking into the background of that dentist are limited, even with the Internet. You won’t know until you get there what the dentist’s office really looks like and you may never know what their training really is.
Your Back Is against the Wall
And once you get to that dentist’s office, you will realize that you don’t have a lot of options. You’re in a foreign country, far from home, in the middle of a procedure, and you’re being given a bait-and-switch. You don’t have the same options that you would have at home to get up out of that dentist’s chair and seek alternative care.
You Don’t Have Legal Recourse (and They Know It)
All around the world, most dentists are ethical. But for profiteering dentists that are looking to take advantage of people, we have another incentive for them to do what’s right: legal action.
But in another country, you might not have legal standing to bring a lawsuit, and that might tempt a dentist to give your procedure less than the best standard of care.
Dental Implants Require Multiple Visits
Medical tourism can save you money because the cost of travel is less than the supposed savings on the procedure. But you can’t count on doing implants all in one visit. For most procedures, you will need to see a dentist again for placing the crown on top of the implant. And if you’re adding in multiple trips, all of a sudden you’ve eaten up your supposed savings.
Dentists Have to Work Together for Best Results
So, okay, you decide to save money on travel by just having the foreign dentist do the implant itself while the abutment and crown get placed by a dentist here in the US. But there’s a problem.
Dentists have to communicate a lot of information to make sure you get a successful and attractive dental implant. Will your American dentist be able to read the notes from your foreign dentist? Even if they’re in English, dentists use different notation standards in different countries.
Don’t Risk Your Teeth to Save a Few Bucks
This comes back to a basic principle it’s important to understand: any health decision you make on the basis of cost is one you may regret. In fact, it’s quite likely that the “cheap” option will turn out to be much more expensive in the long run.
If you would like to learn more about how to find the best dentist to place your dental implant in the Hilton Head area, please call