Do you love getting a bargain?
Who doesn’t? Everyone tries to take advantage of a good deal whenever possible.
In fact, quite a few people take their bargain hunting to the next level by traveling to other countries for their healthcare – including dental care.
It isn’t uncommon to hear of patients getting dental implants in Mexico, for example.
Is this the best decision to make though?
I get that people want to save money. After all, the cost of dental implants isn’t cheap. But is going to another country really the best choice?
Dental tourism – Why getting dental implants in Mexico and abroad is so popular
While dental treatment isn’t anyone idea of a vacation, thousands of people travel to Mexico, Europe, and the Philippines each year specifically for restorative dental work.
Dental implants in Mexico and abroad are typically less expensive. Plus, the dentists in these countries work much faster. And there are so many options. One town in Mexico has 350 dentists within a few blocks of each other.
Patients like the idea of spending a few hours in the dental chair, getting multiple fillings, crowns, and even implants for a fraction of what they’d pay in Canada.
I understand the appeal. This seems like a great option for people who are on a tight/fixed budget. But is going abroad for your dental care worth it?
The downside of having dental work done so far away
Having dental work done by a dentist so far away can cause a lot of problems. In fact, it can be a nightmare for these four reasons.
Restorative procedures – like dental implants – require adjustments
Restorative dentistry includes fillings, crowns, and implants. When you have these procedures done, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll need
to have them adjusted. All dentists do their best to get the bite just right, but this can be really tricky if the patient is numb.
When your jaw is numb from anesthesia, you think you’re biting like normal when the dentist checks your bite. Unfortunately, you don’t always bite down as hard or in your normal position when you’re numb.
That means that after you’ve had the restorative work, you might need to have some adjusting done at a later date. Not getting the necessary adjustments can result in:
- Sore teeth and jaw muscles
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped fillings and crowns.
What happens if your crown, veneer, or implant breaks?
Sometimes, accidents happen. You eat something hard, sticky, or crunchy, or receive some sort of trauma, and our crown, veneer, or implant comes off or breaks.
What are you supposed to do in this situation? You probably can’t spend the time or money to head back to Mexico or Europe for retreatment – at least not right away. And if you’re like most people, you want something like that fixed ASAP.
Ultimately, it’s better to get your work done by someone local, who is an emergency dentist in Calgary. They can see you for regular treatment, as well as those unexpected emergencies.
You aren’t really getting comprehensive treatment abroad
Optimal dental treatment is not just about restorative care, it’s comprehensive.
You need someone who is going to provide cleanings, fillings, TMJ care, and oral cancer screenings. A local Calgary dentist can provide comprehensive care at regular intervals so that you don’t end up needing tens of thousands of dollars of work done at a time.
You can’t really hold a dentist abroad accountable for shoddy work
Not all dentists abroad do bad work, and not all Canadian dentists do great work. However, there are a lot of horror stories of people receiving shoddy work abroad and then having to pay a local dentist to redo all of the work.
The good thing about getting work done locally is that you can hold a local dentist accountable. There’s really no recourse or accountability when you go abroad.
What you should do if you’ve already had dental work abroad
Have you already gone abroad for some of your dental work? If so, I highly recommend scheduling an appointment at my Calgary dentist office.
It’s always a good idea to get regular checkups, but especially if you’ve had work done out of the country. By getting some x-rays and an oral exam, we can confirm that the work was well done.
And if it wasn’t, we can catch problems before they become serious, painful, and expensive. Let’s work together to prevent that from happening.
Are you worried about the cost of dental care? We understand and are here to help. Contact us to find out more about our fees, as well as general insurance, billing, and payment questions.