Q. My sister went abroad recently and has come back with white teeth at half the cost of what it would have been here. Her dentist said her teeth weren’t suitable for crowns but the dentist abroad disagreed. Why shouldn’t I do the same when it’s cheaper to see a dentist in a different country?
A. Over the last few years the phenomenon of patients travelling abroad has become increasingly common. Magazines and newspapers now carry regular advertising for foreign dental services and also publish feature articles and accounts of patients who have availed of these services.
The attraction of so called ‘dental tourism’ appears to be the cost advantage, speed of treatment and the combination of some treatment with a holiday package. However’ as a relatively recent phenomenon’ we are not yet fully aware of THE LONG TERM prognosis for some of these treatments.
While some are carried out to an acceptable standard, unfortunately some are not. The reality is that huge amounts of dental treatment should be spread over months and sometimes even longer, not done over the curse of a few days.
The problem is that while your sister may have come back with white teeth, you must ask yourself why her dentist here didn’t recommend crowns in the long term Irish dentists may be reluctant to take responsibility for resolving problems resulting from treatment abroad as it is rarely a positive experience for the patient or the dentist.