There are countless reasons to travel. For the most part traveling can be an incredibly enlightening and rewarding experience. However, a surprising trend has become common in recent years.
Dental tourism, as it’s being referred to, basically consists of traveling outside of the country to seek cheaper prices on dental procedures that would cost much more in the US.
With the climbing costs of health care, a logical alternative would seem to be traveling to another country that offers the same procedure for a fraction of the cost. However on closer inspection this most certainly is not the case.
Before you even start crunching the actual numbers for things like travel, expenses, lodging and food to determine the difference in cost, a few other points should be addressed first.
Time for teeth to heal
First of all, and this point may be the most important, dentists have a very good practical reason when they schedule treatment plans over several weeks or even months. This reason is pretty simple. It’s that your mouth requires time to heal between procedures.
Also, many follow up visits are often required so you dentist can monitor your progress and healing and to be certain that you teeth and gums have settled before going on to the next procedure.
So if your window of time is limited to say, a week or so, you could be in for complications.
Problems with dental work
Another factor you should consider is what will your expenses be if the job is botched? What happens if the overseas dentist makes a mistake? It’s not like you just have the option of going back next Tuesday, driving a few miles and recovering at home.
The cost of this “cheap solution” can be very costly on your wallet and your health.
Travel Buddy for Dentistry
Another consideration is a traveling companion. Traveling alone to have the procedure done would be cost effective but probably not wise. After a major dental procedure a patient is barely capable of standing up, let alone hailing a cab, finding the hotel and recovering without aid.
This means bringing either a trusted friend or a caregiver along, preferably one that speaks the native language of whatever country you’re traveling to, due to the fact that after a dental procedure you may be completely incapable of speaking to anyone. This leads to even larger expenses.
We should probably address the elephant in the room and ask if you can really trust a dentist in a foreign country, especially some of the third world countries in which people are choosing to have these procedures done.
Doctors in these countries have almost zero accountability if something goes wrong and you could be left with what could potentially be life threatening problems and absolutely no way whatsoever to solve them.
Visit your Austin Dentist
The underlying point here is that while it’s no secret that treatments here in the US can be costly, as a citizen you are protected by laws and standards put into place for the benefit of the patient. No matter what the savings, no amount of money is worth taking your life and putting it in the hands of someone who is not subject to these laws and standards.
Many dentists strive to find a way to work with patients so that they’re able to afford the procedures they need. If you need dental care come in to Dr. Matthews’ Austin office today and at the very least, discuss your options.