Recently, I’ve had a influx of patients referred to me that have had a large amount of work completed in foreign countries “Dental Tourism”. Dental holidays or tourism is when a patient seeks treatment outside of their local health care providers. While patients seek treatment outside of the country for multiple reasons, the main consideration is financial. At 1/3 the normal cost of treatment in the United States, these holidays seem to be too good to pass up. Patients should be aware of the horrific down side of this treatment option. Problems associated with “Dental Tourism” includes treatment being completed in a short time frame, language barrier, no insurance benefits, and lack of federal and state laws regulating foreign dentists. These problems lead to a lack quality and no guarantee that your problems will be fixed. Patients will also find that once they return to the U.S., many Dentists will not retreat or take ownership of your case.
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The current patient was referred to me after receiving extensive treatment in her homeland of Vietnam. She presented with multiple failing Dental Implants and Crowns. The overall esthetic of the work was below average at best. I initially treated the patient by removing a Dental Implant that was connected to a natural tooth with a fixed bridge and completed non-surgical scaling and root planing. The site where the Dental Implant was located was grafted with bone particulate to regenerate the width and height of the alveolar ridge. This patient requires multiple additional procedures, and would have saved financially if she did not seek dental care in a foreign country. Therefore, my advice to all people seeking cheap dental treatment in a foreign country is to reconsider!