Overseas Dental Holidays
The Australian Dental Association strongly recommends that Australian’s adopt a ‘buyer beware’ approach when considering Overseas Dental Holidays.
Dental Tourism (where you take an overseas trip with the primary purpose of having dental treatment performed) is increasing in prevalence. The attraction seems to be cost-based: the strength of the Australian dollar means that an individual may be able to have an overseas holiday, complete with accommodation and tours, and complex dental treatment for less than the price of the same treatment in Australia.
The ADA warns that there are increasing numbers of cases where Australians experience problems with the dental treatments provided overseas. They advise that Australians should be aware of the following:
- Dentists in Australia comply with high standards of quality and safety and professional competence: this is not always the case overseas
- Infection control standards in Australia are world best practice, unlike many other countries
- It can be challenging to communicate expectations and needs in a dental practice in a country with differing language and cultural expectations
- Dental treatments like the placement of Dental Implants cannot be performed in short time frames usually associated with overseas holidays
- If something goes wrong with treatment, it is difficult to get it rectified without going back overseas.
- Travel agents arranging Dental Tourism packages may not be able to offer independent advice about the professionalism of the dentist or standard of hygiene in the practice: seek independent evaluation of any practice you do decide to attend. In particular, try to find out where your practitioner trained. Also do your research about hygiene regulations in professional practices in the country you’ll be visiting.
Above everything, take care. And remember, there are some dental treatments that cannot be reversed.
Don’t hesitate to contact our practice or the Australian Dental Association for more information.
This article was first published on December 27, 2012 . It was updated on August 29, 2019.