Have you ever had a patient walk into your office and ask for a referral for a dentist in another country? Have you seen patients with foreign-made and placed crowns or other dental work? According to many consumer publications, such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, among others, Americans are increasingly crossing the borders in search of low-cost dental care. Some insurance policies cover the procedures and are even offering referral services to help patients find English-speaking dentists.
What is Dental Tourism?
Dental tourism, or dental vacation, is a concept in which an individual seeks dental care in another country (e.g., India, Canada, or Mexico) because of the low cost of care in that locale. Tour packages are available to accommodate Americans who are looking for good dental care at third-world costs. This vacation trend is becoming more popular.
The difference in charge of a Dentist from US to India is worth a thought. That is why India has recently become a major tourist hub of Dental Care Solutions. You can have your tooth fixed and make your holidays memorable at the same time or simply, enjoy the different hues of Mystic India and get the Dental treatment done without getting a hole in your pocket.
Dental health providers in foreign countries advertise prices at one-third to one-tenth of U.S. prices. What’s more, even insured patients may benefit from traveling for dental tourism care trip.
History Of Dental Tourism
The concept of Medical Tourism or Dental Tourism is not a new one. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. This territory was the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios. Epidauria became the original travel destination for medical tourism.
Says Dr. Abraham Sebastian of Dental Care, Fort Cochin, “Dental tourism as a concept was at its inception around three to four years back, when tourists used to drop in for a tooth ache or a broken filling but now it has become a thriving business with tourists from Europe, America and even Israel knocking on doors of local dentists as part of their travel package. They have realized that they get quality treatment with the state- of- the- art technology, at a rate 10 times lower than their respective countries.” With attractive charges, skilled expertise and designer clinics mushrooming in the city it looks as though dental tourism is here to stay.
What Can I Expect from a Dental Vacation?
A large amount of dental work can be done within a short time frame during a dental vacation. In the United States, dentists may plan to complete dental work over a number of months. On a dental vacation, patients will get months of work completed within a few weeks. However, there may be a language barrier. If a foreign dentist does not speak English, and you don’t speak his or her language, it may be difficult to discuss treatment plans and patient expectations.
Do Insurers Cover Treatments Performed on Dental Tourism?
Most insurance companies only pay benefits for dental services rendered outside the country during emergency situations. But there are companies that will pay for dental services wherever they are rendered with some stipulations. Some insurers have begun to offer referral services to help Americans locate English-speaking dentists in foreign countries.
Do Foreign-Based Dentists Comply with the Same Standards as U.S. Dentists?
Not necessarily. Dentists in the United States must adhere to higher standards, as well as the state and federal laws that regulate their practice. Dental school accreditation and professional association review committees set the bar higher for dentists practicing in the United States.
In addition, dentists in foreign countries may use lower quality materials for restorations and other dental procedures.
Are There any Dangers Involved with Dental Tourism?
The biggest danger involved is that dental work completed overseas cannot be guaranteed. Patients who undergo dental procedures in foreign countries may have to pay much more to fix problems that occur when they return to the United States. Also, there are differences in the legal systems of foreign countries. In cases of gross negligence, patients may not be able to sue for compensation. Finally, government agencies regulate sterilization and infection control in the United States; regulation standards may be different overseas.
Dental tourism is completely not dangerous and not punishable thing, you will spend time with pleasure in the country where you arrive plus you will increase your health!