Have you heard of dental tourism? It’s the concept of going abroad for oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures.
If you’ve looked into dental tourism, you’ve probably seen that there are many conflicting opinions on whether it’s advisable to go outside of the U.S. for care. While there are possible benefits, we don’t recommend it. Why not?
The Pros? It Comes Down to Cost.
The main reason anyone leaves the country for oral and maxillofacial surgery is because of the reduced cost. If in-country insurance doesn’t pay for a procedure, seeking it outside the country may be cheaper. Even when insurance covers a procedure, paying to have it abroad still may be cheaper than paying deductibles and copays.
The Cons? The List Starts with Surgeon Expertise and Quality of Care.
While price is an issue to consider, take into account other important factors as well. For one, the expertise of the surgeon you are entrusting with your care should play a prominent role in your decision-making. Other countries do not always have the same educational and licensing standards as the U.S. You could get care that’s cheaper, but it may also be lower in quality, with less of an assured outcome.
In addition, medical facilities in foreign countries may not follow the same high sanitation and disease-control procedures as the U.S does, which could potentially leave you at risk of infection.
Next, Consider That Costs May Not Be as Advertised
While lower cost is a factor that proponents of dental tourism often cite first, remember that prices are not always as advertised. The U.S. has strict regulations on how prices for medical procedures are presented. In other countries, there may be a range of additional fees (“fine print”) that you aren’t aware of until after you’ve had the procedure.
In the end, when you add up your travel costs, you could pay more than if you’d stayed in the U.S. and received a higher level of care.
You’re on Your Own if Something Goes Wrong
The most important thing to note is that the risk often doesn’t lie in the travel or the initial procedure, but the recovery period. If you experience a medical emergency while you are abroad due to an elective dental procedure, it’s unlikely that travel insurance will cover you for a hospital stay. Also, if you experience complications while back in the U.S., your American insurance policy may not cover the ill effects.
Get Informed Beforehand
If you are concerned about the costs of oral and maxillofacial surgery, talk to our team. We are more than happy to fully disclose all costs to you up front and work with your insurance to get approval for your procedure. Before you embark on a potentially risky dental tourism trek, see what options we can provide right here in Indiana. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.