Dental tourism has become something of a phenomenon over the last few years and on the surface, combining a holiday with getting treatment, may seem like a fantastic idea. However, there are certain pitfalls and you need to be extremely diligent when planning your treatment.
In other countries, standards of hygiene and cleanliness may not be as high as in the UK and there may be a greater risk of contamination and infection; regulations about cross-infection may also not be as stringent abroad. Regulations concerning training and qualifications may also not be as strict as the UK and the dentist you see may not be as highly qualified as the dentist you would have seen in the UK. You also need to be aware of fraudsters; in some countries, ‘bogus dentists’ target tourists and try to lure them in with attractive prices and incentives.
Most people choose to go abroad in order to save money. However, you need to consider that you could end up paying a lot more than the original quote in the UK if you go overseas and the dentist botches the procedure. You also need to be aware that if your treatment doesn’t go to plan, you may be left with huge medical bills, as many countries do not have a free health system like the NHS and you may be left stranded in a foreign country.
Things to think about
If you’re planning to go abroad for dental treatment, there are many things you need to think about; you need to spend time researching both the treatment and the place you intend to go to for your treatment. Firstly, you need to think about the treatment you are having, so look into the details of the procedure, find out what the actual operation involves, research prices at home and get a realistic impression of what results you can expect to achieve from the treatment.
If you are sure that you want to have treatment, spend some time researching the places you can go for treatment. Look at different clinics, read patient testimonials, look at details of dentists’ qualifications, training, expertise, experience and background; always make sure that they are registered with the relevant body in their country.
Think about the price of the treatment in relation to the cost at home. You need to make sure you factor in accommodation and transport costs and remember that you need to take follow up care into account. It may be that you have to go back to the clinic for aftercare and this will affect your budget, as you will need to get there and arrange accommodation during your stay.
If you decide to go abroad make sure you have a comprehensive insurance policy; check the details and make sure that your treatment is covered by the plan. Try to get the best possible insurance policy it is worth paying a bit extra to ensure that everything is covered.
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