Dentistry is one of the most frequent major, unforeseen and financially inconvenient expenses for most people. Worse - larger treatments like multiple crowns, dental implants and dental makeovers are not usually covered by your insurance.
Each year hundred of thousands of Americans and Canadians head south visiting dentists in Mexico while enjoying the sunshine, perfect beaches, margaritas and affordable root canals.
Awaiting these innocents from abroad are a variety of dental service providers ranging from board certified and non-certified general dentists, dental school drop-outs, dental technicians posing as dentists and dental mills employing young dental school grads at minimum wages.
It is estimated by the Mexican dental association that over 85% of the dentists in Mexico are non-certified for the procedures most dental tourist patients require. Here’s some tips for dental tourism patients from Certified Doctors & Dentists Internationale’ (CDDI) on how to avoid dentists with suspect credentials abroad.
1. Always get estimates from certified dentists who are accredited for your procedures. Certified dentists in most developing countries cost the same as less trained non-certified general dentists.
2. Professional patient advisers are important. Certified Doctors and Dentists Internationale’s pa’s are (as the name implies) real doctors and dentists not call center agents working for a .com dental tourism broker agency.
3. Avoid commercial dental tourism broker agencies like WhatEva Dentist, DentureAdventures etc. who list any dentist who pays their fees. They cannot possibly vet the 1,000’s of dentists they feature. Properly vetting one doctor can often take weeks contacting and re-contacting local authorities and dental colleges. Dental associations like the National College of Oral Surgeons in Mexico do a good job of keeping the non-certified riff-raff out.
4. Be extra cautious in Mexican border towns where US insurance companies finance dental mills staffed by inexperienced dental school grads at minimal wages. The Mexican authorities have repeatedly shut-down small border town clinics run by unlicensed dentists from Central America, dental school drop-outs and dental techs posing as dentists.
5. Don’t let your dental implants go sideways! Avoid super low priced dental implants, dental makeovers etc. Most dental horror stories result from non-certified general dentists attempting complicated dentistry without proper training and/or using inexpensive low-quality materials (see #4 again).
6. For the most accurate and reliable dental estimates – email a certified dentist x-rays, dentist treatment plan or a recent panoramic x-ray for your dental implants or other oral surgery. Give all the details you can think of - number of crowns, dental implants, veneers etc. needed, your health, allergies, meds taken, age, smoker etc.
7. Stop shopping prices and start shopping quality when you cross the border. You are already saving up to 75% on your dentistry in Mexico so find a dentist certified for your procedures. If you shop price - you will get your price. And may have to have the work repeated and end up paying double.
8. What’s the difference between a certified and a board certified dentist in Mexico? The same as between a lawyer who passed the bar exam and one that didn’t.
9. Certified Doctors and Dentists Internationale’ gives free estimates, referrals, credentials checks and 2nd opinions. 2nd opinions for major work is a valuable service that helps the patient avoid overpaying or paying for unnecessary procedures.
10. The word 'Specialist" dentist in Mexico means little. Choosing a certified dentist or better yet a board certified dentist is what you want to take the worry out of planning a Mexican dental vacation and you can find them below.
Certified Doctors and Dentists Internationale’ (Board Certified Mexico Dental Assoc.) Find board certified doctors and dentists in Mexico, Asia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere, free estimates, referrals, 2nd opinions and credentials checks. Visit: Certified Dentists Internationale'
Asociación Dental Mexicana (in Spanish) www.adm.org.mx/ General dentists and Certified dentists are not separated out here - you will have to sort them out - in Spanish.
By: David de Los Angeles
Health Care Travel Writer -
For Dental Tourism News Today
Contact him at:
Article reprinted with permission from Dental Tourism News Today. Article may be reposted or published in full as long as all links remain intact.
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