While researching dental procedures, you may have come across advertisements for overseas dental treatment. This type of treatment typically combines a beach holiday with dental care, offering an all-inclusive price that is much cheaper than undergoing treatment in the UK. While this might seem incredibly tempting, there are many hidden dangers of overseas treatment.
In this guide, we will outline some of the biggest problems facing patients who choose to go overseas for treatment. While it might save you money in the short-term, the long-term impact can be devastating if things go wrong. These are just some of the issues you could face with overseas dental treatment:
You have no support if something goes wrong
When you undergo treatment at your local dentist, you know exactly where to go if something goes wrong. If you’re still in pain days after the treatment, you know that the dentist can have you back in the chair the same day to check if everything is healing as it should. With overseas dental treatment, you have no such protection. You could also be left out of pocket to correct the problem with your usual dentist.
You might not have legal protection if something goes wrong
All dental professionals in the UK are monitored by the General Dental Council and there is a very clear legal process if you are unhappy with your treatment. If you go overseas for treatment, you’ll have no such legal protection. If your dental surgeon makes a mistake, you might not have legal recourse to force them to correct it.
If you aren’t a resident in the country, it can be difficult to navigate the legal system. You might need to instruct a local lawyer and navigate the proceedings in a different language. You may also have legal bills on top of the cost of restorative work.
Language barriers can get in the way
You might know enough of the language to order a coffee in the morning, but medical language is a lot more difficult to master. If you do not speak the local language, this can create a very stressful situation. If there is no one around who speaks English, you may be left in the dark throughout your treatment. This can be very stressful and scary. It can also make it more difficult to ask follow up questions or follow the treatment plan if something changes.
You don’t know who will be performing the treatment
It’s not uncommon for the dentist carrying out the work to change on arrival. You might be sold a highly accomplished dental surgeon in the sales brochure, but they might only be “overseeing” your treatment. When the time comes for your dental treatment, you might encounter a junior or less experienced dentist. As mentioned above, if you don’t speak the language, it can be difficult to confirm who will be carrying out the treatment when you arrive.
The treatment plan may change
It’s very uncommon for dentists to give you a treatment plan before their initial consultation. But with overseas dental work, this is the norm. Since you won’t meet your dentist until you arrive at your destination for treatment, they can’t give you an accurate idea of the work required. This could mean that your treatment plan changes on arrival. Since the turnaround on this type of trip is often very tight, you won’t be given the proper time to consider your options. Some patients even feel pressured into accepting treatment that they don’t really want because they have travelled so far.
It’s difficult to follow up
When you undergo treatment in the UK, it would be common to have multiple follow-ups to check that everything is healing correctly. With overseas treatment, you won’t have this option. It can be difficult for your usual dentist to determine if the dental work has healed correctly if they weren’t involved in the treatment plan. Your dentist will do everything they can to help you, but any follow up work could be expensive.
What is the alternative?
If you’re thinking about going overseas for treatment, visit your usual dentist before making any decisions. Explain your situation and your motivation for going overseas. Your dentist may be able to help you with an interest-free payment plan to help spread the cost of treatment. They may also be able to offer alternative treatments that you aren’t aware of. If you do decide to go overseas for treatment, make sure you do your homework and keep a contingency fund for any additional expenses.
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