Risks of Having Dental Treatment Abroad


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Treatment abroad has kindled controversy over some of its risks and ethical considerations. The potential for legal complications exists and is one of the potential problems of seeking such treatment. Generally these difficulties only arise in cases of malpractice, when the litigation procedures of the country are insufficient in comparison to those of the UK in extracting compensation from the guilty party.

Similarly, medical complications could occur, but these are not covered by the clinic or hospital. You must therefore find out what the healthcare provider would consider a complication, and if this potential complication would be covered by the patient’s insurance. It is invaluable to know every potential problem that could arise so it is more easily dealt with should it actually materialise. It is also crucial to find out about cancellation procedures, and have every detail down in writing before proceeding with any course of treatment. If you are fully prepared then any potential legal complications should be resolved, if at length, in your favour. Generally speaking, if things do go wrong with the dental treatment, a UK based dentist should be able to resolve the problem relatively easily.

There are also numerous ethical problems relating to treatment abroad: in some countries, such as India and China, there are documented cases of the illegal purchasing of tissues and organs to be used in transplantation procedures. Similarly, the possibility that a foreign patient of sufficient wealth will be able to skip waiting lists often comes at the cost of the service of local patients. Furthermore experimental treatments that have not been fully tested or ratified by a qualified standards board can carry great risks. If you choose to opt for any such treatment you can be unknowingly submitting yourself to unethical practice.

Although a portion of patients go for treatment abroad with the intention of avoiding MRSA, they can also put themselves at risk of contracting diseases endemic to the country the intended treatment will take place. It is important for you to consider that both local and foreign treatments can carry risks of infection, and also to know the kind of diseases you will face in the country of choice. This guide will outline the infectious diseases local to every country which offers treatment abroad, providing you with enough information to make an educated decision on the course of action. However, MRSA is more common to hospital based surgery and less to dentistry.

One of the advantages of a local treatment is the quality of post-operative care, and the lack of immediate long-distance travel. This care cannot always be guaranteed in dentistry abroad. Often patients will take additional time out to relax on holiday in the country for a period after the treatment, and this is often made feasible by the lower costs of treatment compared to those in the UK. Conversely a prolonged stay in some countries may expose the weakened patient to the local diseases and cause severe difficulties. It is advisable to voice any such concerns to the health provider before arriving at a decision, as a reliable contact will be able to provide the most appropriate advice for any particular situation.


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