The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) says that “countries differ in their standards for infection control and safety. The use of fresh gloves, sterile instruments and safe water is not standard practice in all countries.” Yet some people practice dental tourism, where they go outside of the U.S. for cheaper dental treatments. However, due to differing guidelines and practices around the world, dental tourism can be very dangerous for your health.
Dentists have different—sometimes fewer— qualifications in training and experience around the world. A dentist from an undeveloped country may not have the correct knowledge to properly perform the treatments you ask for. Additionally, if the dentist doesn’t speak English you may miscommunicate what you need done.
The FDA regulates drugs, instruments, and dental materials that dentists in the U.S. use. But if the country where you travel to does not have similar regulations, you might be given cheap or damaged materials. These can break easily or hurt your health, costing you more in the long run.
Having a set of health and safety regulations is crucial for dental health. Often dental tourism procedures are compressed, giving too short of a recovery period between treatments. Additionally, the practice of basic dental hygiene and instrument sterilization isn’t done in some countries.