Australian dentists issue warning about dental tourism

The Australian Dental Association has reiterated the dangers of undertaking major dental treatments far from home.

Following an episode of television programme Destination Thailand, that appeared to favour going overseas for cosmetic and medical procedures, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has reiterated the dangers of undertaking major dental treatments far from home.

ADA warns; “The risks can be considerable with insufficient time given to recovery from complex procedures. This heightens the risk of complications that may result in extensive corrective action, and substantial consequential costs that can dwarf the purported savings”.

When contemplating going overseas for any dental or medical procedure, the ADA strongly encourages prospective dental tourism travellers to consider the following:

  • Squeezing complex treatments like root canal surgery, which needs to be conducted over multiple visits at least a week apart, gives teeth and gums too little recovery time, risking a host of different complications.
  • Any purported savings can be wiped out if corrective work on the original overseas-conducted procedure necessitates a return visit or a consultation with an Australian-qualified dentist who, against best practice, will be required to step in to administer treatment mid-stream.
  • While Australian dentists are highly trained, must be registered and are required to operate in a strictly regulated environment, not all countries have the same requirements; overseas dentists may not be as qualified as their Auastralian peers nor use the same quality materials.
  • Superbugs resistant to antibiotics used to treat serious infections, are increasingly common in Australia, the direct result of Australians returning home from treatment in overseas hospitals and clinics that do not adhere to Australia’s strict infection control protocols.

The Australian Dental Association is a not-for-profit professional membership organisation. Its members include the great majority of practicing dentists and nearly all students of dentistry.

Australian dentists have a track record of attacking dental tourism as thousands of Australians seek cheaper treatment in Malaysia and Thailand, claiming that Australian dentists work to keep local prices high.