There’s no doubt about it – medical and dental tourism is big business! Last year alone over 15,000 Australians travelled overseas for cheap dental work such as dental crowns in Thailand. Yet, while it might be seen as an initial money saver, patients are also opening themselves up to a whole heap of risks that they mightn’t necessarily encounter from the same procedure back here in Australia.
Before we move on, however, it’s important to point out that there are some high-quality dentists in Thailand, just as there are poor dentists here in Australia. Typically, however, they aren’t the ones offering bargain-basement prices for what is essentially a custom-treatment.
Instead, we’re talking about the back-street dentists (of which there are many) who simply don’t have the infrastructure and/or the training in place to fit quality dental crowns to willing participants. As a result, the risks involved for the paying public are high.
But let’s put that aside a second and talk about why people travel to Thailand for dental treatment in the first place.
Firstly, you don’t have to look far to see a plethora of advertising for treatments like dental crowns, bridges, implants and even teeth whitening in destinations like Thailand. And with prices for a PFM dental crown being advertised for as little as 6,000 Thai Baht, (around AUD 260) in certain back-street establishments, that’s a huge saving vs dental crowns back here in Australia which start at about $1000.
Throw in the added bonus that Thailand is indeed a beautiful country and the perfect place to recover from dental treatment, and it may seem – on paper at least – to be a completely logical decision.
But…And there’s always a but, right?
When you undergo treatment for dental crowns in Thailand particularly at lesser establishments, there may be long-term consequences. Let’s take a closer look at what those might be.
Lack of dental regulation
Dentistry here in Australia is highly regulated and standards are high.
To become a dentist you need to obtain the proper education and training, be fully registered and operate in a dental practice that reaches the highest standards of sanitation and infection control. These same high standards are not always in effect in Thai dental establishments. As a consequence, getting any dental procedure including dental crowns should always be approached with a great deal of caution.
The language barrier
It’s often hard enough undergoing dental treatment back here in Australia when you feel somewhat anxious or nervous. At least here, you can explain exactly how you feel. As a result, any decent dentist should take on board your comments and adapt treatment or introduce measures to accommodate those fears. Conversely, when there is a distinct language barrier, allaying those same fears can be difficult, if not impossible.
As already mentioned, dentists in Australia are highly trained individuals with experience in the latest cosmetic techniques needed to fit exquisite dental crowns. They have undergone several years of training to qualify and many have gone on to receive further training in particular dental fields.
In back-street establishments in Thailand, however, dentists and their staff are highly unlikely to be as skilled. This opens up the risk of receiving shoddy or poor dental crowns in Thailand or receiving a lesser quality dental crown that may fail at any given time. Inevitably it will only increase the need of having rework once you arrive back here in Australia.
Lack of accountability
One of the primary concerns about getting any form of dental work including a dental crown from lesser establishments abroad is the lack of accountability.
When you receive any dental treatment from outside your own country, there is always the risk of a lack of accountability if something goes awry…
Do you know for example, that as a non-resident, it can almost be impossible to hold the dentist accountable for their actions once you have left the country? As a result, it may be challenging to get the follow-up care you need from the dentist who initiated the treatment.
So, what should you do if you insist on undergoing dental crowns in Thailand?
The simple answer is to look at the bigger picture. Don’t just look at the cost savings you may initially make. Instead, contemplate all the possible risks. Consider a well established dental clinic or dental hospital that has great reviews and if possible, talk to the dentist or team who will be fitting your dental crown or dental crowns before you make the trip.
Dental crowns at Randwick Smiles
If you feel that undergoing dental treatment abroad is a risk you simply don’t want to take, then consider the team at Randwick Smiles. We’re highly trained and highly skilled in general and cosmetic dentistry and will consider the quality, colour, position, size and shape when fitting dental crowns to achieve a flawless and long-lasting smile.
Call us at (02) 8188 4625 for a consultation today. We’ll determine the best treatment plan for your unique smile.