From holiday clearance sales to group discounts, everyone likes a good deal – especially in times of high inflation. But sometimes, those so-called deals can turn out to be bad news. That great price on a used car can turn into a long list of needed repairs, and that discount haircut can take months to grow out. Still, we do what we have to do to get by.
But while some discounts are necessary, there’s one particular type of savings that isn’t necessary and isn’t much of a deal in the end.
Cosmetic dentistry is one particular investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While you may see practices offering “discount” cosmetic dentistry, buyers should definitely beware. This is especially true when it comes to foreign cosmetic dentistry clinics that market a big discount amidst beautiful scenery. Sounds idyllic, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to foreign cosmetic dentistry, perception isn’t always reality. Here’s why you should think twice about undergoing a cosmetic dentistry procedure outside of the United States.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Board Certification
Here in the United States, we have something called board certification. In order to offer any type of dental services, the practitioner must be licensed by the state and board certified to work on patients.
Board certification ensures that your practitioner has completed the necessary training and carries the necessary insurance to provide care to patients. It is a form of protection for both the practitioner and the patient. If you are unsure if your practitioner has board certification, inquire when you schedule your appointment; your provider’s staff should be happy to tell you.
On the other hand, many foreign countries do not have an equivalent to board certification, so anyone could be performing your cosmetic dentistry procedure, whether licensed or not. Sometimes, the practitioner has the education but has been suspended from practicing for undisclosed reasons and thus must operate under the radar. Either way, it’s a dangerous situation and one you definitely don’t want to be in when it comes to the importance of the health of your teeth!
Cosmetic Dentistry: Local Care
One of the main benefits of having domestic cosmetic dentistry is that Dr. Mingus is local to you, so if anything should go wrong, his office is just a phone call away. While most procedures go very well and bring no cause for concern, occasionally things go wrong, such as a veneer that falls off or an infection of the teeth and gums. While these things are fairly easy to correct, they might not be if you’re already home from your foreign procedure and can’t afford to go back for medication or to have something corrected.
In that case, you’d likely need to find a local dental practitioner to correct the work of the foreign practitioner, and that will end up costing you more money in the long run. If your goal was to save, you’re probably going to break even at that point.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Scenic Views
Many foreign cosmetic dentists try to lure tourists to their location, promising amazing scenery and cultural experiences. However, many patients aren’t in the mood to enjoy sandy beaches and ancient ruins after oral surgery, let alone fly home on a commercial flight. Unless you plan your fun trip before your procedure, all those perks are kind of pointless.
That being said, a tropical vacation does sound nice, but why not save your money for a real vacation that doesn’t need to feel rushed before your cosmetic dentistry procedure?
Cosmetic Dentistry: Before And After
Another reason cosmetic dentistry in a foreign country can be dangerous is that you have no way to verify whether the practitioner’s before and after photos are truly theirs. Many of these illegal or unethical operations steal photos from other dentists around the world and claim them as their own. This, of course, is very misleading to patients, especially when they are unfamiliar with the dentist.
While some places here in America also use stolen photos, it is much easier to find out and take recourse against deceptive practices in the States because of board certification and personal references from other patients. America also has the benefit of many review sites such as Google and Yelp to help guide your decision.
Cosmetic Dentistry: The Bottom Line
Remember, while here in the United States, cosmetic dentistry can be somewhat costly, consider what you’re paying for: the reassurance of board certification, the closeness of a local practitioner, the affordability of recovering at your own home, and the verification of before and after photos from real local people who are happy to share their experience with you.
To schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Kelley Mingus, please contact the office today.