We know the cost of dental services such as cosmetic dentistry can be high, in Perth and across Australia. Consequently, a lot of Australians have chosen to take advantage of currency rate exchange and go to South East Asia for their dental work.
On the surface, it looks like a great deal. Sadly, more and more dentists across Australia are reporting that a lot of patients are coming in with serious problems caused by overseas dentistry. In most cases, it costs more to fix the shoddy work than it would have to stay home and have the work done in the first place.
According to Leonard Crocombe of the Australian Dental Association, patients come home with what they think are good results in the short term, only to find that problems begin to surface within six months to a year. According to Mr Crocombe, “(6 to 12 months) after the treatment is done…things flare up on them.”
For example, a woman in Darwin had four crowns and a root canal in South East Asia in 2013. She paid a total of $2,400 for the work. Within six months, she noticed discolouration at the top of her gums. She knew there was infection underneath her teeth and she visited a specialist. The specialist told her that she had to have the teeth removed and referred her back to her original dentist.
According to her dentist, the root canal was not filled properly and the crowns were not an exact fit. This was the result of doing “complex dentistry in a short period of time, which is not possible.” The patient ended up paying over $10,000 more to repair the work that she got for $2,400. In addition, she went through a lot of pain and hassle, not to mention a trip to South East Asia.
10,000 Australians Go Overseas for Dentistry Every Year
The current estimate of Australians going overseas for cheap dental treatments is 10,000. The reason is that prices are cheaper due to currency conversion. Consequently, a full mouth reconstruction that costs $35,000 in Australia can be had for $8,000 in the Philippines. A crown that would be $1,500 in Australia is $700 in Thailand. A three unit bridge that goes for $4,500 here can be as low as $300 in Vietnam.
What is the Problem?
According to Mr Crocombe, dentists in other countries aren’t as qualified as dentists in Australia. Mr Crocombe is of the belief that less than one out of three dentists in foreign countries providing cheap dentistry to Australians have passed the stringent tests and adhered to the high standards required of Australian dentists.
Another big problem as mentioned above, is the time frame. You may be frustrated if your dentist takes a month to do a procedure due to caution or complications, but there is always good reason behind it: your safety. When Australians go overseas, they are asking for work that should be done over a period of at least a month to be done in one day. In the case of dental implants, the timing can be extremely dangerous to the patient.
Repair and Patient Knowledge
Another big problem is repair. When you travel overseas to get work done, it’s a bit difficult to go in for a follow-up. Even if you could, dentists in Asian countries speak English as a second language or as a courtesy. Sometimes, the real problem can be lost in translation.
For those who have a regular dentist, the dentist knows you. He or she may not recognise you on the street, but dentists keep detailed charts that help them remember. They know how you got to where you are now. It doesn’t always make a difference in recommended treatment, but in the cases where it does, it can be a huge factor in decisions for various treatments.
Call eDental Perth Today
We aren’t saying all dental care overseas is substandard, but do you want to risk your future health when you’re not sure? You need a high quality dentist who is committed to finding caring, efficient solutions and cost effective manner.
To learn more, call us today: (08) 9361 1728.