There’s no doubt that getting dental crowns in Thailand can be seen as a money saver and according to research, over 15000 Australians who travelled overseas last year for cheap dental work would agree.
Yet while treatments like dental crowns can be considerably cheaper if you travel abroad, you are also opening yourself up to a whole heap of risks when you decide to take the cheap option.
Before we dive into those risks, it’s important to point out that there are some highly qualified dentists in Thailand just as there are bad dentists here in Australia. However, they won’t be the ones offering bargain basement prices on dental crowns to lure unsuspecting patients in.
So what sort of prices?
Well… as little as 6,000 Thai Baht in certain backstreet establishments – that’s equivalent to just 260 Australian dollars!
When you consider that a quality dental crown in Australia typically starts at around $1000, that’s a huge saving and one that is certainly enticing to anyone seeking out dental work on the cheap.
Even when you throw in the cost of a return flight to Bangkok, that’s still an attractive proposition for most people. That is of course until you consider the risks. Let’s take a closer look at what those might entail…
Risk #1 – Complete lack of dental regulation
Here in Australia dentistry is highly regulated and standards are particularly high. To be able to fit dental crowns, for example, you need to obtain proper education and training – That’s somewhere between 5 and 7 years depending upon the path you take. Not only that, once in practice, dentists need to employ the highest standards of infection control for patient safety.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any form of dental regulation in Thailand until 1994, so these same high standards aren’t always in place. Consequently, undergoing dental crowns in Thailand should be approached with caution, particularly in lesser establishments.
Risk #2 – Lack of training
We’ve already mentioned that Australian dentists are some of the most highly trained individuals anywhere in the world. Many have experience in the latest cosmetic techniques needed to fit elegant, well-crafted dental crowns.
Alternatively, in Thai back-street dental clinics, dentists are unlikely to be as skilled and therefore patients run the very real risk of receiving poor or shoddy work. Inevitably this may only increase the need for dental crown rework when a patient returns to Australia.
Risk #3 – Accountability problems
Did you know that as a non-Thai resident, it’s almost impossible to hold any clinician accountable for their actions once you have left foreign soil? This in itself creates a huge issue if you need to seek recourse for a shoddy or failing dental crown
Even if the dentist in question decided that he or she would take another look, there’s still the (not so) small matter of paying out for a return flight plus accommodation. That’s before the dentist has even agreed to do something about it.
Risk #4 – limited window of opportunity
It’s fair to say that most dental tourists who undergo dental crowns in Thailand have a limited time frame before returning to Australia. This gives the dentist a small window of opportunity to prepare the area and fabricate and fit the dental crown. While this might not be an issue if there are no dental complications, it can be problematic if the tooth or gum area is compromised. Ultimately, this can lead to dentists fitting dental crowns when it isn’t always in the best interests of the patient to do so.
So what should you do if you insist on going ahead with dental crowns in Thailand?
The simple answer is to look at the bigger picture. Don’t base decisions purely on price alone. Think about the risks involved and how you can go about negating these risks. Consider a well-respected dental hospital or dental clinic that specialises in the latest cosmetic treatments like dental crowns. If possible, make contact with the team who will be fitting your dental crowns before you decide to commit and check out any reviews and testimonials. This way you can get a gut feel for the dentist in question and your chosen destination. Also, consider what might happen if something goes wrong and what responsibility they will take should any of your dental crowns fail.
If, on the other hand, you feel that travelling abroad for cheap dental crowns is a risk you don’t want to take then come and talk to the team at Beyond 32 Dental.
We’re your trusted dentist here in Cherrybrook and use the latest materials and aesthetic considerations to fit flawless-looking restorations that blend in perfectly with your smile.
Call us on (02) 9158 6334 and talk to us about our flexible payment plans that allow you to get the treatment you need at a price that’s right for you. Schedule a smile assessment today.