What are the risks of having dental treatments abroad?

Dental tourism is a growing trend especially with anyone looking to achieve the perfect Hollywood smile. While cheaper prices and the promise of a good holiday may sound appealing, are the risks really worth it? In this blog, we’ll take a look at the common risks associated with overseas dental treatments and why it makes sense to choose a UK dentist.

Lack of regulation

Dentists in the UK are regulated by the General Dental Council which ensures an incredibly high standard of care with regular inspections carried out by the Care Quality Commission. The same can’t be said for a lot of other countries, especially those in Eastern Europe and Turkey where the prices seem to be cheapest. While the dentists may be fully trained, can you be sure that the equipment and clinic would meet stringent UK regulations?

Medical and dental history

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a dentist in the UK is that they will have access to your dental and medical history. Without this detailed history, it is easy for patients to have treatments carried out that are not suitable for them. From sensitivity to certain drugs to the overall health of your mouth, your local dentist will have a full picture of your health and be able to advise on what the best course of treatment is for you.

Language barrier

How well do you speak Turkish, Polish or Hungarian? Language barriers can be one of the biggest problems when it comes to having dental treatments abroad. This is especially true when things don’t quite go as planned. You may have been impressed by a shiny brochure or professional looking website but are you sure that the treatment you have agreed will be as described.

Use of low-cost materials

You get what you pay for and the reason that treatments such as crowns and veneers may be cheaper abroad could be down to the use of inferior materials. In the UK the materials used in dentistry are strictly regulated to ensure they are suitable. Low-cost materials may look good initially, but they could result in your veneers or crowns becoming damaged over the course of a few years.

Complications and aftercare

While cosmetic dentistry is a relatively safe procedure there is always the risk of complications. If you have a sudden dental emergency while abroad then the language barrier could pose real problems as could the lack of support. In the UK we have an exceptional health system with the NHS providing professional medical help for those that need it. Even if things go smoothly who is going to look after your dental aftercare? If you suddenly had a problem with your cosmetic dentistry would you be willing to fly abroad to have this rectified?

As you can see there are a number of reasons why having dental procedures abroad may be a false economy and could end up leading to bigger and costlier problems in the future.

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