Choosing Quality International Dental Care Abroad
These days, the concept of medical tourism has expanded and grown in demand as escalating healthcare costs and a shaky economy prevent many Americans from seeking much-needed dental treatments and procedures in the United States. Venturing abroad for high quality dental care has become a very viable option for many. International patients traveling to foreign destinations such as Mexico, Poland, Asia, and South America are able to save thousands of dollars on similar dental procedures in the United States. Lower costs are not at all due to less experienced providers or quality of care, but because dental providers in foreign countries are not burdened under the enormous obligation of carrying astronomical medical malpractice insurance as those found in the United States.
Choosing quality international dental care abroad takes some time and effort. Some of the most important things for consumers to look for in foreign destinations are quality in sterilization and sanitation, quality assurance, accreditation, certification, and credentialing.
Consumer information collected in easy-to-read dental guide packets or guides offer consumers information regarding the experience, technology of facilities and accreditation, experience and expertise of staff in foreign destinations. Many Americans or other citizens from around the world demand and deserve transparency in all medical and healthcare fields. Consumer information guides are especially valuable for Americans traveling south of the border for dental care.
Questions to Ask International Providers
A multitude of general questions might be asked of international providers, whether you're looking for dental work in Hungary or for teeth whitening procedures in Thailand. Some of these basic questions include but are not limited to:
- Are your facilities accredited by Boards of Hospitals in the country of origin, or are they JCI or internationally accredited?
- Are dentists, oral surgeons and staff at your dental facility certified in techniques and procedures you'll be needing?
- How much experience do you have in these techniques?
- Are before and after pictures available, as well as patient testimonials that I can verify?
- Do you belong to native or international organizations or associations in your field of expertise and can you verify that?
When looking for foreign dental healthcare providers, consumers should look for those who have internationally respected credentials or those who have staff trained in Europe, Australia, or the United States. However, medical standards in such countries as China, Japan, Thailand and Singapore are extremely competitive and offer assurance that surgeons are highly trained and skilled. The Joint Commission International accredits many foreign hospitals, as well as those who are accredited by the International Standards Organization. Many such dentists and dental professionals have been trained and hold accreditation by the American Dental Association, or for the purposes of the examples provided, the FDI or Hungarian Dental Association, or the Dental Association of Thailand.
Dentists and dental facilities who have undergone quality assurance audits by United States-based insurance carriers offer peace of mind. Many health insurance policies are beginning to offer coverage or reimbursement for beyond-borders medical care in many fields including dental care. Dental offices that carry malpractice insurance are especially popular in Mexico and South America.
Knowledge of Dental Association certification, labs, education and training, and state-of-the-art equipment and procedures approved of in international destinations may take some of the concern and worry out of international travel for dental needs for many Americans and other international travelers.
Take the time to access resources such as the FDI World Dental Federation or the International and Foreign Directories provided by the American Dental Association that will display dentists around the world who belong to the ADA.