Dental Tourism

Each year thousands of people from the West and other progressive counties take their bad teeth and go on a dental vacation to third world countries that offer high quality work for a fraction of the cost it would have taken in their own native soil. This is the phenomenon called Dental Tourism.

The majority of us probably have a certain degree of phobia when it comes to visiting the dentist. The sound of the drill and the glaring lights can make you grow cold all over and it’s not because of the air conditioning unit turned up too high either.

Perhaps another reason to dread going to the dentist is the high cost, most especially if your insurance does not have a dental plan. Maybe a combination of both is the reason why so many of us wait until something really serious happens before we go visit our dentist and when we do, it is highly likely that multiple work will be needed. This makes dental work all the more prohibitive and since most of us probably don’t have any dental insurance coverage in the first place, what are the alternatives.

Well, why don’t you go on a vacation?! Each year thousands of people from the West and other progressive counties, like Australia, take their bad teeth and go on a Dental vacation to third world countries that offer high quality work for a fraction of the cost it would have taken in their own native soil. This is the phenomenon called Dental Tourism.

Countries like the Philippines, India and Mexico are frequent destinations for these Dental Tourism where the patient can get professional dental work while taking in a relaxing vacation at the same time. Even when factoring in the cost of travel and living expenses, most often than not, these Dental Tourism packages comes out much cheaper.

Try to Google the term “Dental Tourism” and you’ll be given a result totaling to more than a million pages. A lot of these are pages that offers links to other web sites offering a multitude of options for potential dental patients that are willing to cross the border or even thousands of mile of ocean.

Dental tourism may not be practical if you only need a cleaning or just to fill in a cavity. People are not flying over to the other side of the world for single routine restorations. So, unless you need extensive dental work done, like dental implants, root planning, bridges, or full denture whitening, it will not be cost effective for you to plan on taking a dental vacation.

Of course, before embarking on such a trip, it is important to do some checking first: . Will there be a language problem? Will they be speaking in English or in your native tongue? A language barrier could be critical especially when the dental work needed is complex.

  • Ask around from those who had experienced a dental vacation. It is always best to get a first hand report from those that have experienced one of these vacations. Just like everything else, a good referral says a lot.
  • If possible, talk to the dentist who will be doing the procedure. Call the office where the procedure is scheduled and ask the dentist in advance how the procedure will be done so you won’t be surprised when you get there.

There are also some issues that you must be aware of with having your dental work done outside the country:

  • Your insurance may not pay for procedures done outside of the country
  • Different countries may have different standards imposed on their dentists as compared to those in your country. Although, this doesn’t mean that you will not be getting quality work.
  • Do not have too many procedures done all in the short time that you are there. This limits complications cropping up when you’re already back in your own country.

As with everything else, there are pros and cons with dental tourism and you will have to weigh these carefully before deciding on it.