December 10, 2014 9:24 am

What if dentistry abroad goes wrong – how can I make sure my teeth are looked after?

Worried about dental treatments going wrong abroad

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A common question for anybody that is going abroad for dental care, and one that is all too frequently overlooked. However, the question should be the same regardless of whether you have your treatment by your local dentist, or a global dentist.

Unfortunately, the internet and the media is filled with horror stories of people whose teeth are ruined at the hands of unscrupulous dentists abroad. While this is not to denigrate the less than satisfactory experiences that some people have obviously suffered, the stories may not necessarily reflect the experiences that many satisfied patients have received from their dentist abroad.

Similarly, you may also find a considerable amount of people who are not at all happy with the care they have received from their local dentist, although these don’t tend to be splashed across the news or the internet, unless there is an element of fraud or other criminal practices, for example, unqualified people posing as dentists and carrying out treatments. While rare, these scenarios do happen in the West and so you should always take the same approach to finding a dentist no matter where you decide to go – do your homework and find out as much as you can before you place your mouth in their hands!

Here’s some simple tips to make sure you have a happy and carefree experience with your dentist:

1: Find out about your condition or the procedure you want so you can ask the right questions

For example, if your local dentist has informed you that your tooth is loose because of gum disease which has led to bone loss and that they recommend you have a dental implant then you have a number of things to consider, and it may not be just down to cost.

Do you want an implant or dentures or a bridge? How long does each procedure take? Do you want to wait – in the case of an implant it may take up to a year to complete, or even longer if you need a bone graft? Will you need to see a periodontist (gum disease specialist) or an implant specialist – is there a difference?

2: Find out as much as you can about your dentist

Dig around on the internet – search for online reviews from previous patients – are they overwhelmingly positive? What qualifications and experience do they have? Do they specialize in a particular field of dentistry? How long has their clinic been established?

It may be a daunting and time-consuming task trying to find out all this information but you can always try Dental Departures, who have a global network of around 2,500 dentists in 29 countries, who have been background-checked and where you can find clinic photos, prices and real patient reviews freely available.

3: Medical Procedures Cannot Be Guaranteed

It is worth bearing in mind that any medical or dental procedure cannot ever be guaranteed 100%. The human body is varied and individual and many different things can influence healing rates, including genetics, lifestyle and even your age.

However, with this in mind you should consider what you should do if something did go wrong. Many good dentists abroad do have warranties and guarantees on their work, but they do vary in length so you will need to check them out.

Patients who book through Dental Departures also have the additional support of Dental Departures, as well as their dentist guarantee, who will ensure that any problem will be put right.

You should also factor in that if you have travelled far you will need to pay accommodation and air-fares if you have to go back. However, there is an easy remedy to this, and that is to take out a low-cost insurance plan to cover your expenses if this eventuality arises – again this is something Dental Departures can help with.

Just remember that there is a risk with any medical or dental procedure, but you can minimize your risks of dental care abroad by doing a little homework.

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