We’ve had the pleasure of speaking with thousands of people considering dental tourism as an alternative to the high cost of dental care in Canada and the United States. Some of them had previously attempted dental tourism on their own and returned with good results, others returned with dental tourism horror stories.
Drawing on five years of experience, here are our top five mistakes dental tourists make:
Mistake 1: If the clinic looks similar to the clinics I’ve visited at home, it must be run in a way that meets North American standards.
Fact: The overwhelming majority of dental clinics in Mexico would not meet North American standards for such things as practitioner credentials, quality of materials, patient support and infection prevention and control. Dentists in Mexico specializing in dental tourism, know what you’re looking for. They will dress up their clinics in a way that creates the impression the clinic is run the way you’re expecting. Looks can be deceiving. When it comes to dental clinics in Mexico, they frequently are.
Mistake 2: I’ve seen a clinic listed on a website run by a referral business. It must be reputable.
Fact: Almost all dental referral businesses are little more than advertising portals willing to endorse and refer clients to virtually any clinic willing to pay referral fees. How do we know this? Our familiarity with specific clinics makes it clear those clinics were not subjected to anything more than a very superficial assessment. Most clinics represented on referral service websites could never meet North American standards of practice.
Mistake 3: I need to get the lowest price possible.
Fact: It’s easy to save 50 to 70% by visiting a dentist in Mexico. However a practitioner who has good credentials, and who runs his/her clinic in a professional way, will have costs that need to be covered. A clinic offering a complete dental implant course of treatment for $1,200 or a crown for $350 should be regarded as a red-flag. Be assured, below a certain price point, things are being compromised that you may not be aware of.
Mistake 4: My dental insurance will not cover dental care in Mexico.
Fact: Holiday Dental has arranged dental tourism solutions for patients covered by all the major dental insurance providers. Almost without exception, they will cover services provided at our pre-screened clinics at the same rates available had the services been provided at home. Of course this makes perfect sense. Those companies want the same things you do; quality, safe dental care at a reasonable cost. As a patient, your bonus is a holiday in a beautiful, warm locale.
Mistake 5: I'd like someone to make all my travel arrangements and introduce me to a great dental clinic.
Fact: Whether you opt to use a traditional bricks and mortar travel agent or an on-line booking service such as Expedia, when it comes to travel, you have many options and professionals available to assist you. Travel agency is a mature industry and it would be difficult for a legitimate dental referral service to add value when making your travel arrangements. Some companies will provide this service, however what they're really providing is a referral to a hotelier who's agreed to pay a referral fee. At Holiday Dental, we're leading professionals in assessment of foriegn dental clinics, and we stick to what we're good at. Other services we leave to professionals in that field.
We provide suggestions as to accommodations in the area of our affiliate clinics. Also, some of our affiliate clinics offer complimentary ground transfers, but we will not actively refer you to a hotel or resort.
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