Show your pearls: tips on finding a dentist | 2011-01-25

Private dentistry costs in some countries have caused many patients searching for dentists travel abroad from Thailand to Panama, an act known as dental tourism. According to the 2007 International Passenger Survey 100,000 UK residents traveled abroad for healthcare, the majority for dental and cosmetic treatment.

Though expats living in Europe needn't travel far for a reliable dentist at an affordable price. As an expat dentist for almost five years, and member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Thomas Tsang has seen his fair share of expats and "dental tourists" in the Netherlands -- a country with one of the lowest dental price ceilings in the EU. Still, finding a dentist that suits an expat’s expectations takes a bit of shopping around; here are some helpful tips on how to pick a pro in your country of residence:

Look at where the dentist received training
Each country sets a certain standard that dentists are required to meet, yet requirements fluctuate from place to place. Although dental qualifications in EU countries are required to reach a minimum approved by their government, the General Dental Council (GDC) in the UK agrees that researching health regulations and professional dental bodies in your country abroad will help you reach educated decisions.

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