Dental Vacations — Are They Worth the Savings?

A reader from England recently wrote about a dental bridge that was installed in Turkey, but that broke six weeks later. It sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Take a vacation to a far away location with beautiful scenery and pay for it by saving money on dental care. While this does work great for some people, many others find the results to be quite the opposite!

One of our dentists here at the Placerville Dental Group had this to say about the risks of medical tourism or medical travel:

Medical and dental vacations are becoming increasingly popular for the attractive cost savings that going abroad advertises. Who wouldn’t want to save while seeing exotic locations? Please know that complications do arise, especially on more complex work. Something breaks, an infection takes hold, something goes awry, complications occur, even amongst the best health care providers. While no one, including foreign health care providers, wants complications, they occur and must be dealt with carefully.

A good question to consider is: “Would it be better to get complications treated inclusively with someone local at no additional charge versus traveling abroad?” Going abroad marketing will not ask this question. Traveling, accommodations, time, etc. all add up if you have to do this a few times for complex work. Speaking as a dentist in the USA, I admit that I am biased. I wish costs in the USA were less as well. That being said, I’ve seen firsthand that some people go abroad, get complex treatments thinking they were saving money, and sad to say, come to find out that their cheap dentistry costs them more in the long run.

Here in California it has always been common for Southern Californians to travel to Tijuana for dental care. That’s a quick hop over the border for a San Diegan or Los Angelino, but what if you live in Placerville? In Sacramento? A broken bridge or a failed dental implant is not much fun on a flight to Mexico or a long drive to the border.

For our Eastern European neighbors living in California we often find that they forestall dental care in the United States, waiting instead to go back to their homeland where dental care is cheaper. Sadly, it also comes with a higher risk of contracting hepatitis from shared instruments and a greater likelihood of the dental problem getting worse before it is treated.

Ultimately, we believe that the risks inherent in travel dentistry are worse than the costs involved in being treated with the world’s best available care right here in the United States. For more information about dental insurance, credit programs, and payment plans for dental care, contact the Placerville Dental Group by phone or online.


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