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My neighbor recently returned from a foreign country where he had extensive dental work done. He says he saved a lot of money by doing this. Isn’t having dental work done out of this country a bit risky?

added on: January 20, 2012

This country enjoys one of the highest standards of dental care in the world. There are some countries that have care equal too that in the U.S. but those are not the places where dental tourism occurs. In countries such as Switzerland the costs of dental care can be much higher than here in New York. I have seen many cases of foreign dentists coming to the United States and attempting to gain licensure here. If they can pass the pre-requisites they then need to take the entire dental program over again. Our dental educational program is very rigorous and each student must take arduous national boards.

If a patient has dental work done out of the country, what recourse do they have when things go wrong? State dental boards have peer review groups that oversee breakdowns in doctor/patient relationships and act as patient advocates in recouping losses when needed. Good luck seeking legal council against dentists outside of our borders. Unfortunately, I have had to inform patients of their need to replace all or most of their dental work done abroad. The pinch in their expense account pales in comparison to their anger and frustration about having to go through the whole process again.

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