Reasons to Beware of Dental Tourism
When patients consider getting dental implants, they sometimes get overwhelmed by the cost. Looking for a more affordable alternative, they may be tempted to participate in dental tourism. In other words, some patients travel to Thailand, Mexico, Hungary, or Poland hoping to save thousands of dollars on their procedures.
While the prospect of saving money and experiencing the excitement of a vacation may seem attractive, the risks are not worth the savings.
A Dangerous Lack of Planning
Successful dental implants require careful planning that won’t be possible if you travel to another country for the procedure. No doubt you will plan for your trip by packing the right clothing for every occasion. But will you be prepared for your surgery?
Typically, preparing for dental implants requires that you consult with a dental surgeon one-on-one. Before your procedure, your dental surgeon will want to take x-ray images and possibly CT images to see if you have enough jawbone to support the implant. If not, the surgeon will recommend a bone graft to ensure the success of the implant.
If you go to a dental surgeon outside of the country, this type of preliminary exam would not be possible. Receiving a bone graft would require that you go through the expense and trouble of making a return trip later to have your dental implants placed. In the worst case, a surgeon might place the implants without the proper jawbone support, which sets up the risk for eventual implant failure.
Leaving Implant Patients High and Dry
Proper follow up after a dental implant procedure is crucial for the success of the surgery. Once you have returned home, your foreign dental surgeon won’t be available for follow-up appointments that can detect and solve any complications that might arise.
For instance, if you develop an infection or experience abnormally heavy bleeding, you won’t be able to schedule an exam with a dentist in Central Europe or Southeast Asia. Local dentists may refuse to treat you or charge substantially more to solve problems created by dental tourism.
Even if a problem doesn’t arise, regular follow-up appointments with your dental surgeon are an important part of ensuring the long-term success of your implants.
You Get What You Pay For
Part of what you pay for when you get implants in the United States is the advanced training of the dental surgeon. The people who promote dental tourism may claim that foreign surgeons have equivalent training to those in the United States, but these claims may be false. These surgeons may also lack the board certifications that guarantee you are being treated by a qualified doctor.
To practice in the US, dental surgeons must pass a 2-part National Board Dental Examination for state licensing. To place dental implants, your dental surgeon must undergo extensive training outside of dental school. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons complete a 4 to 6-year residency training after dental school and then are able to sit for their board certification examination. The placement of implants and management of complications of implants is part of their extensive training.
The expense of domestic dental implant procedures also comes from state-of-the art equipment and procedures that ensure you get the best treatment possible. CT scans and computer-aided navigation enable dental surgeons with access to advanced technology to scan every aspect of your mouth and to place your implants with unparalleled accuracy.
The savings foreign dentists pass along to you may be due to a lack of government regulations and medical malpractice insurance. Without regulations, you may receive surgery in an unsafe and unsterile environment. In the event of complications or implant failure, you will be left unprotected.
Go Local for Dental Implants
The best options for dental implants are right in your own backyard. Why risk implant failure by missing out on crucial pre-planning and follow up when you can get the close attention you need from a local dental surgeon?
At Cumberland Surgical Arts, we provide the latest in dental implant surgery techniques and technologies to ensure the best results for each patient. If the cost of implants is a concern for you, we work with our patients to make sure the procedure fits into your budget. For more details, take a look at our blog, Designing a More Affordable Treatment Plan.
Take the safer route for your smile transformation. Have your dental implants placed safely before you travel and show off your beautiful new smile in all your vacation pictures.
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