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Can 'Dental Tourism' Help You

English Public

How far would you travel to see the dentist? More Americans are going abroad for dental work.

Scheduling a root canal or wisdom tooth extraction on vacation might seem odd, but more and more Americans are making appointments with dentists abroad. The trend's been dubbed "dental tourism." More than 500,000 Americans traveled out of the country for dental care in 2013, according to the medical tourism group Patients Beyond Borders.([url=http://www.alandental.com/category-59-b0-Autoclave-Sterilizer.html]Dental Autoclave Sterilizer[/url])

"Most people do so to receive the high-quality care they cannot afford back home," says Alberto Meza, DDS, dentist and director of Meza Dental in San José, Costa Rica. Travel to destinations such as Costa Rica, Mexico, the Czech Republic, and Thailand -- the top spots for dental tourism -- can save people up to 70% on dental health costs.

But before you hop on a plane for dental care, do your homework.

Look at the costs. You need to figure in other expenses, including the cost of international airfare and hotel rooms. Meza says most foreign patients spend at least a week in Costa Rica to fit in multiple appointments -- and some procedures require several international trips.

Find a reputable dentist. Research their education, experience, and accreditations, says Meza, who is a UCLA­educated dentist with accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Check organizations such as the World Dental Federation or the Academy of Dentistry International and Patients Beyond Borders.

Connect your dentists. Before patients arrive at his clinic, Meza requests X-rays, photos, and a treatment plan from the patient’s U.S. dentist. "We believe a patient’s case should be fully diagnosed before they decide to purchase airline tickets," he says.

Plan post-appointment care. Most dentists don’t advise you combine major procedures like wisdom tooth extraction with a vacation. Instead of sightseeing or jetting back home after dental work, Meza suggests you add recovery time into your travel plans, and also make a plan for follow-up care.

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Can 'Dental Tourism' Help You
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