Is Destination Dentistry Really a Thing?

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We have all heard stories of Canadians travelling to other countries for healthcare services. Sometimes this is an effort to "jump the queue" when they deem the wait-time at home too long, other times the procedure or treatment they plan to undergo isn't covered by the government health insurance program.

No matter what the reasons are for Canadians to consider seeking treatment outside the country, it would seem that it’s a rising trend. But what about travelling abroad for dental care? Are people really turning destination dentistry into a “thing”?

Apparently, they are!

We know that dental treatments are an important part of taking care of our health, and that these treatments can be very expensive, especially for people who don’t have health and dental insurance. But if your emergency dental care plan is to hop a flight to parts unknown, there are a few things you may not have considered.

Dangers Seeking Dental Care Outside of Canada

Regular dental cleanings are easy enough to manage when you don’t have health and dental insurance. It’s the cost of treatments like extractions and tooth replacements that can quickly become out of reach for the average Canadian family.

It has led some people to make dangerous decisions, like seeking care from unlicensed dentists. Others have elected to go without treatment, leading to a host of complications and a real pain in the tooth. Rather than going without necessary dental work because they can’t afford it, some people are choosing to seek treatment outside of the country.

It’s hard to imagine it being less expensive to go abroad for dental care once travel costs are factored in, but we’re not questioning the math. We do have some concerns about the assurances of safety given by some of the companies arranging these trips for dental care.

The Canadian Dental Association has weighed in on this matter with their piece, “Dental Tourism: Issues Surrounding Cross-Border Travel for Dental Care.” The article cites many challenges with so-called Dental Tourism, including widespread reports of substandard care that can potentially lead to serious complications.

Local Treatment and Health and Dental Insurance are a Safe Option

There is no doubt that dental care can be expensive, and that costs for dental treatments are on the rise. Without the cost-mitigating influence of health and dental insurance benefits, it’s tempting to let offers of a better deal override good judgement.

Don’t be fooled!

Private health and dental insurance gives some certainty because it’s a fixed cost every month that can be worked into the family budget. Rather than running the risk of travelling abroad for what could be substandard dental care, you can recover in the comfort of your own home.

When you’re dealing with local regulations and standards of practice, you know you’re in good hands. Using health and dental insurance benefits to take care of your dental health locally really is the safest choice.

Stay home for dental care, go to the beach for fun!


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