All of us have heard the expression ‘You get what you’ve paid for’ at least once in our lifetime. The truth is, this is a cliché, but, it’s cliché because it’s usually true. In the case of oral care – this statement is as true as it gets.
It’s not a secret that oral care services in the US are really expensive, even for those who make more than the average person. That’s the main reason why many people go to such great lengths as to travel abroad to get some dental work done. It’s not uncommon for people to go on a vacation in Mexico, for instance, and while they’re there, they have some dental work done.
Should you do it?
Now, this may seem like it’s a smart thing to do – you travel, you have a good time and you get your teeth fixed for a fraction of the price, but it isn’t necessarily so. It’s either that or finding cheap dentists in the US, which is not an easy thing to do and may even be a worse decision than ‘dental tourism’.
The main problem with is the standard is not the same in the US and in the rest of the world. It’s not to say that a bad dental job cannot happen in the US, it’s just that the regulations and standards are usually higher. With all of this in mind, there is one question that needs to be asked, should you avoid getting cheap dental work? Well, let’s find out together.
1. You’re Not Seeing The Specialists
In most cases, cheaper dentists are ‘just’ general dentists – which could be troublesome. A lot of people are taking a risk when they decide not to visit a specialist, but instead, they decide to save some money by visiting a general dentist. However, sometimes you need specialized care. One thing to remember is – stomatology specialists such as endodontists, periodontists, orthodontists and oral surgeons have gone through years of additional schooling in order to become specialists that are able to perform accurate, error-free procedures.
It’s not uncommon for general dentists to make mistakes during specialized procedures, simply because they lack the knowledge and the experience regarding that problem. Eventually, you could end up with an infection or a botched job, that a specialist will have to take care off and you’ll end up spending way more money than you would in the first place.
2. Lack Of Regulation
If you want to practice oral medicine in the US, you have to follow various strict regulations put in place by the ADA. Choosing a stomatologist that is ADA-approved, means you’re getting a professional service held to the highest standards of safety, cleanliness and certification.
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All of the instruments and medications used must be FDA-approved as well. With all these regulations in place, you can be certain that you’ll get the best service and experience possible.
On the other hand, in other countries, the same rules and regulations don’t necessarily apply. What this means is – there’s no guarantee for your overall safety or quality of the instruments, materials or medication that is being used.
3. Uncommon Bacteria
If you do decide to go to a foreign country to get some dental work done, you have to keep one thing in mind – the environment is not the same. This means you’ll get in touch with all kinds of different bacteria that your body hasn’t had a chance to encounter earlier. CDC advises against any kind of medical tourism because of this. You could easily contract a new sort of bacteria or an antibiotic-resistant one and cause yourself some major health problems.
4. No Insurance
Yes, getting your teeth fixed or treated can cost an arm and a leg, but, insurance will cover some of the costs if you visit an ADA-certified specialist. Keep that in mind when you start comparing prices. On the other hand, out-of-country medical procedures aren’t covered by insurance unless it happens to be an emergency, which is highly unlikely when it comes to your oral cavity touch-ups. So, before you decide on skipping on an ADA-certified professional, check with your insurance carrier – they might cover the expenses partially or even in full extent.
Now, for some additional reasons you should avoid cheap dentists both in and out of the country
5. They Don’t Require Old Records
If the stomatologist you’re seeing or planning on seeing doesn’t require your old records – run. Seeing your old record is essential in tracking previous problems and procedures you may have encountered or underwent. Your records will also contain evidence of previous x-rays, which shouldn’t be done more than once a year to prevent excess radiation. None of these are possible to know without existing records.
6. They Could Use Outdated Equipment
Modern equipment is an integral part of the dental office and should not be overlooked. Inexpensive doctors more often than not aren’t equipped with the latest and greatest equipment out there, which could easily translate into bad service. This is especially important when it comes to modern x-ray machines which emit 18 times less radiation compared to the old ones.
7. They Usually Don’t Have Samples Of Their Work
Trusting someone that isn’t able to show you proof or a sample of their previous work is very hard, to say the least. And when it comes to things like oral health, risking it really should be the thing you do. If you don’t see the images of previous successful procedures, it isn’t worth the risk.
8. They Could Be Using Cheap Materials
One of the reasons the service might be cheaper is not because of the doctor’s incompetence, but rather because of lower-quality materials. If you need implants and stumble upon a price that is just too good to be true – that’s because it is. Lower quality materials could mean severe oral problems. Your gums could become infected, your healthy teeth could go bad and so much more. The price difference isn’t accidental, there’s a clear reason for it and more often than not it’s because of the low-quality, cheap materials.
As you can see, there aren’t a lot of benefits to skimping on a dental care service other than saving a few bucks. Do regular check-ups, brush your teeth and floss regularly and in case you need some help – don’t worry about money.