Is Dentistry Safe Overseas?

WILLIAMSPORT AND COLLEGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA – The struggling economy is driving more people to seek cheaper options when it comes to dental implants. Often, those cheaper options lead patients- particularly baby boomers- overseas.

However, what are the risks?
“Senior citizens seeking dental implants often want to find dental care abroad due to the cutbacks in government aid and lack of dental insurance,” says Dr. David Digiallorenzo, a PA dental implants expert.

Medical and dental tourism experts estimate that more than 70,000 seniors need dental or medical services in the U.S., and since people are living to reach older ages, the global demand for adequate dental services is at a premium these days, according to an article posted on the Good Health website.

“Tight budgets and a desire to find cheaper dental treatment seems to be driving people to seek dental implants and other dental care needs in foreign countries,” says Dr. Digiallorenzo, a specialist in treating periodontal disease.

The dangers of going overseas for dental care are important to know.

“Saving money in the short term can have drawbacks on a couple of levels,” he says. “The quality of care in a foreign country isn’t always as good as in the States, and shoddy dental work can cause more damage that result in the need for expensive treatment to repair that damage.”

Those seeking tooth replacements need to realize that a procedure of this kind requires multiple appointments. These appointments ensure proper treatment and protect the well-being of the patient.

In the initial visits, a health screening should to take place to make sure the patient is healthy enough for the procedure, Dr. DiGiallorenzo says. Next, the dentist needs to map out a plan before the procedure takes place. Finally, having a post-treatment appointment is vitally important to ensure that the implant is healing properly.

Patients often only spend a short amount of time in the office, when seeking dental care abroad. The proper care is difficult to guarantee, says Philadelphia dental professional Dr. Digiallorenzo.

Another danger of seeking dental care abroad is the risk of your body rejecting the dental implants. Problems such as rejection could cause severe health issues in older patients. In the end, you could end up paying more to fix the mistakes.

Naija Jones, a bartender who needed to rebuild 10 teeth, went to Bulgaria to have her procedure done in 2006. Jones decided it was a better deal to spend about $2,000 overseas, rather than shell out more than $14,000 in her hometown, according to the Guardian website.

The dentist in her hometown was shocked to see the results of her abroad dental work.

“The nerve was taken out of six teeth, and two teeth were removed entirely,” says Dr. Oliver Harman, who treated Jones. This was a case of over-treatment and negligence on the part of the Bulgarian dentist.

Jones suffers with the embarrassment of what happened to her smile. Now she will have to pay more than $18,000 to fix the damage received after seeking a cheaper dentist abroad.

Technology in the U.S. for periodontal disease tops anything that an abroad dentist could offer, says Dr. DiGiallorenzo. That is reason enough to seek a local periodontist who specializes in gum disease and dental implants.

Our office offers gum disease treatment in one simple, painless office visit by detoxifying your mouth of the bacterial infection. Harmful toxins, which elicit your body to destroy bone and gum tissue, are removed by using Laser Assisted Periodontal New Attachment Procedure. LANAP uses laser therapy, so there’s no cutting and no suturing.

“We use the FDA approved LANAP protocol for optimal comfort, health and healing, often eliminating the need for surgery,” says Dr. Digiallorenzo.

Going overseas to save money is not worth the potential risks to your health and well-being, he says. The outcome could cost you more in the end.