Dental care in Australia keeps getting more and more expensive as time passes. As a result, many Australians are taking advantage of dental tourism opportunities from several parts of the world, especially in South-East Asia. However, is this really worth it or not?
The truth is that the biggest advantages of dental tourism for Australians is the fact that prices are much lower. This makes dental work much more affordable. At the same time though, there are some disadvantages that do have to be taken into account. This is why we should evaluate all the risks associated with dental tourism for Australians.
Biggest Risks To Be Aware Of
Costs are highly attractive when looking at dental tourism but there is so much more that you have to consider whenever you want to skip on your Canberra dentist and move to medical treatment in another country. Remember that it is your health that will be on the line. As a result, your choice should never be made while solely thinking about costs.
According to the ADA (Australian Dental Association), dental tourism brings in some serious risks. The biggest ones highlighted are:
- Australian law might not allow procedures to be carried out by those who do it in another country.
- The procedures might be performed under inferior safety and health standards when compared to what happens in local dental offices.
- Language and cultural barriers. These could easily lead to miscommunication. You might even be faced with the unwanted situation in which incorrect procedures will be performed.
- Not respecting the proper intervals between procedures like crowning and root canals since you want to avoid revisits.
- Lack of availability for legal recourse when something goes wrong.
Other Risks To Be Aware Of
Besides those above, you should also think about the following:
You have to be aware of exactly what you will get yourself into. The dentist should also know. Language and cultural barriers often lead to unwanted situations in which clarity is sacrificed. It is very important to clarify expectations and not undergo any procedure before that.
Always look for dentists that speak English. This drastically reduces the possibility of misunderstandings and miscommunication.
Not Knowing Details About Procedure Before- And After-Care
All Australian medical professionals and dentists have to respect very strict regulations and laws. This includes a professional code of conduct and even consumer protection laws that apply. For instance, all dentists have to fully disclose all potential procedure complications and risks.
With overseas dental procedures, requirements might be less stringent. It is quite common that the dentist does not tell you how to prepare, what happens before the procedure, after it, and even during it. You might not even be told what could go wrong.
This relates to unprofessional behavior, infection control, and overall quality. In so many dental tourism destinations, there are no accreditation levels, infection control protocols, or even standards that have to be respected in Australia. In Australia, when quality problems appear, laws exist to protect patients. Being a medical tourist does not give you this recourse. Always look at reviews to make an informed choice.
Unfinished Dental Treatments
This can be highly frustrating for patients. You have to be sure that detailed records are offered for all the procedures performed. For instance, with dental implants, there are over fifty systems that can be used. The dentist back home has to figure out what work was done for potential follow ups and dealing with complications.
Always take into account the risks that were presented above if you live in Australia and you want to consider medical tourism. Take these as being warnings. As always, at the end of the day, you need careful research, planning, and be covered by health insurance.