Emergency Dentist: Knowing When to Call

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Should I go overseas for my dental treatment?

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The idea of combining a tropical holiday with getting your expensive dental work done for less has gained some popularity. Overseas dental procedures are often advertised as being of the same quality as dental work that is performed in Australia. However there are some very good reasons why it is still better to get your work performed by a dentist in Australia. 

Limited follow up care

If you have work performed overseas, you will usually be back home within a week. With dental work that is performed in Australia you will usually have follow-up appointments in the following weeks and months after your care to make sure that it is still healing or working as expected. You will also be provided with a number that you can call if your dental treatments suddenly start hurting or fail in an unexpected way. Crowns, implants or bridges fitted overseas, on the other hand, may not be evident immediately while there is still post surgical swelling, but can result in pains and gum infections once you have returned to Australia.

Similarly, if you have an unexpected complication from the procedure while you are abroad, you may not be covered by your travel insurance if you end up needing medical assistance. In some cases you can have a toxic reaction to materials or medications, and with all surgery there is the risk of infection or excessive bleeding.

Potential for communication issues

When you are in country where English is not the first language, you can run into communication issues. If you are in pain and speaking less clearly due to your dental treatment, it can be hard for the local staff to understand you and respond to your comments and queries as quickly as you would like.

No warranty

If you do have a dental failure from dental work you have had performed overseas, you will not have a warranty if you need remedial work to fix your teeth further. This can often be more expensive that the initial procedure and take longer to heal.

If you have an issue with a local dentist, they will usually work with you to fix the problem and there are further avenues for complaint in Australia, including the Australian Dental Association complaints resolution process.

In many cases you can work with a dentist in your area, such as Dr David Young & Associates Dental Surgeons, to develop a payment plan that allows you to receive the dental care you need at home. Obtaining a higher level of private health insurance "extras" cover can also help to offset the high price.