Dental care abroad, also known as “dental tourism,” has grown in popularity in recent years. With promises of high quality dental work at bargain basement prices, some foreign practitioners invite you to schedule a low-cost procedure while on your next foreign travel jaunt. However, before you consider accepting such an offer, there are several things you should first consider.
The procedures, equipment, and drugs used by United States dentists are held to high standards by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stringent guidelines on infection control procedures for dental health-care settings are enforced. These guidelines exist to prevent the spread of infections, including hepatitis and AIDS. United States dentists must also abide by regulations for the safe operation of X-ray equipment and for proper disposal of biomedical waste.
Many dental procedures are surgical in nature and may require months of healing. Significant dental procedures require follow-up care to ensure proper healing and functioning. Possible post-procedure risks, such as swelling and infection, require good continuity of care. Services rendered by a dentist in a foreign country who is not familiar with your dental history cheat you of the benefits provided by continuous, comprehensive oral health care. Such comprehensive care allows for problems to be diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is simpler and more affordable.
United States dentists are the most rigorously trained dental professionals in the world. Dentists trained in the U.S. graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. They must pass national examinations and meet state requirements before they earn a license to practice.