Now that summer is quickly approaching and hopefully Covid numbers will continue to decline, many of us are dreaming about taking a long awaited and deserved vacation abroad. But have you ever thought about taking a medical or dentistry tourism vacation? Dr. Dirk Thompson, our Calgary dentist, provides some thoughts for consideration before you book your dental tourism vacation.
WHAT ARE THE DENTIST’S QUALICATIONS AND DENTAL OFFICE’S STANDARDS?
One of the most valuable benefits of seeing a Calgary dentist, or any North American dentist, is that their licensing and professional activities are regulated by their respective dental associations. In Alberta, this governing body is the Alberta Dental Association & College. This means that every time you see a Calgary Dentist, you can be assured that they have the appropriate educational qualifications and licensing requirements to become registered members of the Alberta Dental Association & College. In Alberta, you are also able to determine whether the providing Calgary dentist has had any complaints or disciplinary action taken against them by checking with the Alberta Dental & Association and College.
DOES THE PARTICULAR TRAVEL JURISDICTION HAVE REGULATED DENTAL STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS?
In addition to licensing its members, the Alberta Dental Association & College also provides a robust set of standards with which all Calgary Dentists must comply. This set of standards ensures that your dentistry is delivered safely, effectively and ethically by your Calgary dentist. These standards include such matters as:
- infection prevention and control protocols
- the operation of x-ray units
- standards for ensuring x-ray units are inspected at regular intervals by a professional to ensure their safety and proper operation
- waste and needle (sharps) disposal regulations
- standards for follow up care
- standards for emergency care of patients
- billing practices
- patient health screening protocols
- occupational health and safety matters
- advertising standards
HOW WILL YOU MANAGE RE-TREATMENT AND POST-TREATMENT COMPLICATIONS?
According to our Calgary Dentist, another extremely important aspect to consider prior to booking your dental tourism vacation is what will you do if you require re-treatment or develop post-treatment complications, which may occur days to even months after your treatment. This is particularly important when a patient pursues dental tourism for more complicated dental procedures such as dental implants and dental crowns. More complicated procedures can require more intense follow up treatment and are also more prone to dental complications.
At our Calgary dentist office, this is the biggest issue that we see. For instance, if a dental implant fails or becomes infected, the patient has likely already left the vacation spot and now relies on a Calgary dentist to address the problem. In most Calgary dentist offices, if there are post-treatment complications, that dentist would likely provide the follow-up services as part of the initial treatment, often with no additional charges for the patient. Some offices also have arrangements regarding dental implant failures, such that if the dental implant fails, it will be replaced at no additional cost or at a reduced cost. If your dental work is completed in another country, you will not be able to avail yourself to this kind of benefit without the cost of travelling back to the foreign jurisdiction, and that is only if this benefit is available at all from the foreign dentist. This is therefore a crucial consideration for all patients who are considering dental or medical tourism.
HOW WILL THE FOREIGN DENTIST DEAL WITH BILLING ISSUES?
Another issue to think about before booking your dental tourism vacation is how the foreign dentist will deal with your request for a refund for failed or sub-par dental treatment.
In Alberta, if you have an issue with a Calgary dentist and are unable to resolve it with that dentist, you can seek assistance from the Alberta Dental Association & College to help you to resolve your concern. You also have the opportunity to avail yourself to Alberta’s court system, if necessary. It should be noted that not all jurisdictions have regulatory bodies that can or will assist you to address complaints against a dentist in the same manner as the Alberta Dental Association & College would, or at all. Also, foreign jurisdictions may not have the same type of court system available to foreigners to address any concerns that may develop.
Although there is undoubtedly quality dental care available in foreign jurisdictions, if you are considering dental tourism, it is imperative that you do your homework and be completely comfortable with the foreign dentist’s qualifications and reputation as well as their dental protocols and procedures and that of their regulatory bodies.
Dr. Dirk Thompson, our Calgary dentist, has been a proud member of the Alberta Dental Association & College for over 26 years. At our close and convenient centrally located Calgary dentist office, no plane ticket is necessary! We encourage anyone who has any questions about the dental procedures provided at our Kensington / Hillhurst / Sunnyside area office to give us a call at 403-283-4252. It would be our privilege to be your partner in your dental health care.
This blog post written by our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., is for informational purposes only. It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis. Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine. Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more information about your specific dental health requirements.
Copyright 2021: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental. Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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