An Exploration of Dental Tourism

What is dental tourism? 

You may have heard of the growing, world-wide phenomenon, and the team at James A. Burden, D.D.S. is here to explore the topic. 

People will always be attracted to a deal, and as countries get larger and more competitive, patients are beginning to look for less expensive healthcare options outside of their own healthcare systems. These patients are usually traveling to less developed countries, and will even tack on a vacation to their travels.

Because these countries are huge tourist magnets as well as developing countries, some of the most popular destinations include: 

  • India 
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Thailand

Cost is a huge consideration for many travelers, as they want to get the care they need at the most conservative prices. Access to public healthcare can also influence a traveler’s destination of choice. 

Is dental tourism safe? 

Now that we understand what dental tourism is, it begs the question… is it safe? There are several things to consider before committing to a trip. 

  • Dental Standards
    Standards vary from country to country. For example, the reuse of certain medical supplies, like gloves or needles, is typical in some parts of the world. The United States may have higher costs for treatment, but it comes with the security of higher dental standards. 
  • Language Barriers
    Seeking medical treatment in a country where you don’t speak the native language may pose a whole new set of problems. Accurate communication is important, not only for understanding what a doctor is doing, but to build trust. One misplaced word could end up causing a serious issue. 
  • Medical History & Quality of Care
    When patients find good doctor’s, they often stick with them. But this has an added benefit for your healthcare provider. When doctor’s understand your medical history, they know you, your body, and can provide higher quality care. Traveling somewhere that’s unfamiliar to you means seeing a doctor who’s unfamiliar with you. This can lead to a dip in quality. 

Is dental tourism worth it? 

It’s certainly possible that you could take a dental tourism trip, get the care you need, have a lovely vacation, and be perfectly happy with your decision. But there are also risks to seeking care outside of your healthcare systems. There are no guarantees that treatment will be successful, and it may be difficult or impossible to return for any follow-up care. 

Receiving care close to home from a trusted dentist will ensure that if any post-care issues do occur, they can be addressed properly. And at the end of the day, having to go through a procedure twice (and having to pay for it twice) won’t save you anything. 

Safer ways to save money at the dentist’s office 

The cost of care can vary from practice to practice, which can feel intimidating to patients who just want comfortable, quality treatment. The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice on quality. You just have to know what to look for. 

  • Focus on Prevention
    The least expensive dental care, which is almost always covered by any dental insurance plan, is preventive care. Make it a priority to come in for regular 6-month checkups and cleanings, and your dentist will be able to make you aware of any potential problems and make recommendations on how to avoid them.  
  • Look for Financing Options
    If dental insurance isn’t an option, many offices work with third party lenders to help you get the care you need. This is often a preferred method for payment because you aren’t limited by what insurance plans will and will not cover. Working with a healthcare financing company allows you to get the care you need while sticking to your budget.  
  • Take Advantage of Special Offers
    From free consultations to discounted treatment, dentists are willing to stay competitive for an opportunity to earn your trust and show you their quality of care. For example, James A. Burden, D.D.S. & Associates offers 3 specials that you can take advantage of today: 
  • Free Consultations 
  • $500 Off Invisalign 
  • $648 Mini-Implants

The Bottom Line 

If you’re going to travel for healthcare, do your research. But the team at James A. Burden recommends staying local for dental treatment. Better yet, come see us at 277 McLaws Circle, Williamsburg, VA 23185 for quality treatment at an honest price. Call (757) 229-1224 today to schedule your appointment!