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Oral Health 2020

Teeth on the cheap: risks of travelling abroad

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Dr Nishan Dixit BDS LDS RCS

President, British Acadamy of Cosmetic Dentistry

The risks of going abroad for cosmetic dental treatment and why you should seek consultancy in the UK.


Some people in the UK are always searching for a bigger, better deal. It’s no wonder that many Britons are choosing to travel abroad for cosmetic dental treatment.

This trend has only been further fuelled in recent years by celebrity endorsements, increased social media use, and the influence of popular reality TV programmes like Love Island.

Although reduced treatment fees are a boon to cash-strapped patients, there are several risks involved with going overseas for cosmetic dental procedures.

Differing standards

There are many talented dentists worldwide, but it can be a challenge identifying whether dentists abroad have the necessary training and experience to provide treatment safely and effectively.

Furthermore, some countries do not necessarily adhere to the same standards of practice that you might be accustomed to in the UK. Unless you carry out comprehensive research, you may not be able to determine whether you are receiving the best possible care from an overseas dentist.

The price of rectifying post-operative complications abroad could also outweigh the fee for initial treatment.

Unethical practises

There are some unethical dentists overseas providing unnecessary or invasive treatments simply for profit. These individuals will use deals to attract patients and pressure them into accepting an expensive treatment plan, whether they need it or not.

A trustworthy dentist should be willing and able to explain why you require certain procedures, so it is vital to exercise caution. 

Language barriers

Some dentists in other countries may not speak much English, if any at all. This can make communication problematic, which is when misunderstandings are more likely to occur. For instance, the dentist may not fully appreciate what it is that you are seeking from treatment, thereby hindering the delivery of appropriate care.

Inconsistent aftercare

Continuity of care when you return from having cosmetic dental treatment abroad is another major concern. If complications do occur, your dentist in the UK may not know enough details about the procedure you underwent overseas in order to provide the most suitable treatment.

Therefore, you might have to pay additional fees so that you can return to the dentist who treated you and ensure any problems are resolved. This is not only extremely inconvenient, but the price of rectifying post-operative complications abroad could also outweigh the fee for initial treatment.

Expert treatment

The reality of travelling overseas for cosmetic dentistry emphasises the benefit of seeking professional treatment from a BACD dentist. In this case, you can be confident in receiving ethical, top-quality care from a highly skilled and experienced dentist, who is passionate about delivering the results you want in the safest, most cost-effective way.

When it comes to your general and oral health, it’s in your best interest to avoid taking unnecessary risks. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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