Although people are looking around the world for cheaper dentistry, there’s examples of it that are easy to see—and they aren’t pretty.
Post by Dr Jack Obaid, dentist
I think the cost of dentistry is a real issue for people today. Dentists are using overseas labs for crowns, for example, and the quality of the work that comes out of them is often very good. They pass all the standards set up here, and the cost you can get the crowns at is significantly cheaper. Also, the cost of running a practice in Sydney has increased. When you look at the costs going up, in some ways it’s obvious why the costs of dentistry are also going up—and why patients are starting to look overseas and I don’t blame them.
There’s been plenty of publicity about dental holidays over the years, and you can see why some people might find them attractive. But there are several really good reasons for keeping your healthcare here in Australia. Firstly, the levels of training the demands of registration for Australian dentists are much higher than in many other places—not only to get our initial degree, but we have to do mandatory continuing professional development every year to stay registered as a dentist. Infection control standards here are world’s best practice, and that’s not the case in other countries.
And of course, some treatments require multiple visits and ongoing care (like dental implants, for example), which isn’t practical if you’re fitting your treatment around an overseas holiday. And finally if in the worst case scenario something goes wrong, you might not be covered by travel insurance or by your health fund.
I think there was a lot of inefficiency in dentistry in the past, and a lot of practices were inefficient. Its just part of globalization. Now you have to compete with other countries. But the worry is how to keep up. And I saw the NHS when I worked over in the UK, and I saw the corners that were being cut just to make a living, and I hope that never happens here.