Dental Care Outside the U.S.


Many Americans travel outside the U.S. for vacation, but did you know that people also schedule trips to other countries for dental care? It’s a growing trend called dental tourism.


Cost savings and treatment efficiency are key reasons people pursue this option. But before heading to another country for dental care, here are seven things you need to know:


  1. Dental tourism destinations – Travel experts report that popular locations for dental care are Mexico, United Kingdom, Philippines, Costa Rica and India.
  2. Popular services – Dental implants, crowns and dentures are among the services people want.
  3. Ask for referrals – Ask family, friends and co-workers for feedback on dental tourism destinations and recommendations of dentists or dental offices in other countries. Check online for reviews and feedback about the care provided.
    • If the dentist and other team members are not certified by a U.S. dental organization, check whether he or she is affiliated with an international professional dental group.
    • The American Dental Association states that there are good dentists everywhere, but it’s important to find an expert in dental care.
  4. Check costs – Before making a commitment, find out how much the dental care will cost. Ask if there are additional charges for X-rays and pain medications. If a crown or implant is needed, find out how long it will take to complete the procedure, so you can plan your trip.
    • Budget for visas, travel, hotel accommodations, transportation and meals.
  5. Communication – To avoid misunderstandings, check whether the dental professionals speak or understand English. Ask for details on the treatment plan, materials that will be used and understand the process for each dental procedure requested. Request that the dentist provide documentation of services so you have a written record in case follow-up care is needed when you return to the U.S.
  6. Infection control – Request information about the dental office’s procedures for sanitizing and cleaning tools and office equipment.
  7. Recourse for care – Before scheduling an appointment, ask whether services are guaranteed, or if there is compensation available if problems occur. Also, find out whether the country has a minister of health or other official who handles complaints.

Read about Los Algodones, a small town that has become a major dental care destination.


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