The economy is in the tank these days and Americans are making swift budget cuts on everything from date nights to decadent desserts.
Dentistry of course, is not too far behind on the list. But that should be at least one thing we must not forego in this time of financial strain, our regularly scheduled dental appointments.
And that’s not just to fill space in some socially sharing local dentistry blog post. Seriously, it will cost us more money to not go to the dentist.
Maintaining regular dental appointments allows our dentists and hygienists to catch any oral malady early, and to take care of it with minimal pain experienced on our part – both physical and financial.
If we choose to ignore our unsightly smile, or the slight little annoying tinges of tooth pain, matters will only get worse.
This will then require more time, materials, and labor to deal with – increasing the cost of our deferred dental treatment. We will feel a greater degree of pain than if we had not ignored optimal oral health in place of making excuses and blaming the economy.
It’s a fact; ignoring optimal oral health now will only cost us more money in the future!
Is Dental Tourism the Answer?
Maybe you too could have the dental vacation of a lifetime, previously reserved for heads of state or international rock stars. If Steven Tyler can do the dental tourism thing, why can’t we?
Do you think Steven Tyler actually chose to travel outside the U.S. to get his dental treatment, voluntarily?
While in Paraguay getting ready to perform at a local concert, Mr. Tyler felt dizzy and fell in his hotel room.
Two new dental implants later, and he’s back to belting out Bostonian ballads.
But, it wasn’t an Aerosmith dental vacation en masse or even a dental tourism jaunt on Mr. Tyler’s part – it was basically a dental emergency, and it just happened to take place in the South American country of Paraguay.
Surely Mr. Tyler’s army of publicists, traveling medical practitioner(s), manager(s), personal assistant(s), or extended entourage must have properly vetted the dental practitioner in charge of jockeying the front man’s teeth back together.
If only the rest of us could afford the luxury of having such an entourage.
Here are 5 reasons why we feel dental tourism is not the answer to our collective dental budget crisis.
1. Communication: If we’re going to a foreign country, communication will certainly be an issue. Maybe we have relatives there, or perhaps we even speak the language, or are lucky enough to have a friend in the country.
But as with all international travel, at some point communication will be an issue. Do we really want those issues compounding our dental health issues?
2. Education & Accreditation: The dentists themselves may have been trained and educated in the States, but was their entire staff?
How about complications, emergency procedures, safeguards, and pain management procedures?
3. Materials & Procedures: Do we know where our dentists in the States have their crowns fabricated, or where they purchase their instruments, or who manufactures their meds?
Probably not, but we can ask…communication shouldn’t be an issue. We can also take comfort in knowing we have laws and regulations protecting us, at least here in the United States.
4. What if: Who knows, there’s too many what ifs…do we want to be away from friends, family, and home when a ‘what if’ turns into a ‘that just happened?’
5. Recourse: Here’s another, what if something happens…what recourse will we have with a medical procedure performed outside of the United States?
More questions than answers?
If you’re considering travel abroad for a medical procedure, or a just dental tourism jaunt across the border; do yourself, your wallet, and your family a favor.
Learn as much as you can about the who, what, where, why, how, and what ifs!