May 14, 2021

Asian Dental Tourism – low cost dentistry, cheap cheap, you buy, you buy

Dental surgery in Australia is expensive because of our First World quality, standards and technology constantly ensured to be certified amongst the best in the world.  Australians who have forked out, are no less pleased and proud of Australian dentistry standards.

Australian Dental Association

Excellent dentistry is expensive because it is the best in the world

Then there’s Third World dentistry:

Dental Tourism

Cheap bargain dentistry on the other hand has always been readily available offshore in Third World places like India, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Swaziland, Haiti, Congo, Liberia and Ethiopia. Reported savings can be up to 80% of First World Australia, and there are plenty of agencies advertising Dental Tourism to facilitate your new white smile with beach resort to boot.

These agencies promise to arrange your low-cost dentist, your return flight, cheap hotel room, a coupon for a day’s sightseeing replete with glitzy luxurious beach resort images (accessed by tuk-tuk).  The glossy brochures are misleadingly enticing and the dental staff in the photos look like they have professional experience with teeth:

Thailand Dental TourismYou funny, you rich Aussie, we practice cheap

 

And the dental surgery photo in the brochure looks really state-of-the-art:

Vietnamese Dental Clinic(Some promotional photo copied off the Internet)

 

Dental Cost Comparison:

  • Full Mouth Reconstruction:   Australia, $35,000; Philippines $8,000, so 80% discount – same same, no worries Aussies.
  • Crown:   Australia $2,000; Thailand $7,000  (Thais import crowns from Australia & pay General Prayuth Chan-ocha‘s corrupt military regime)
  • Three Unit Bridges:   Australia $4,500;  Vietnam $300-$800, so 80% discount – same same, no worries Aussies.

 

Dental Tourism agents in Australia and overseas offer Aussies “advice” on Third World hospitals regarding their success rates and complications for treatment, but then should dental surgery go wrong? …”So solly, no insurance mate!”  And all travel insurance providers do not cover dentistry, just travel – international flight only.

In Queensland, travel agency ‘My Body and Spirit’ run by Barbara Sherriff targets Australian dental clients and packs them off to Thailand for budget dental work, budget cosmetic surgery and budget laser eye surgery. Barb claims her business came about as a result of her husband’s dental woes. “He needed significant dental treatment and was quoted $25,000, which was just far too much.”

As a travel agent already familiar with Thailand, Barb looked into having the treatment there instead. She and her husband visited The Bangkok Hospital on the holiday island of Phuket and were impressed with the facilities, so claimed the trip on tax.  After receiving a quote they were even more impressed with the price – $5500, a huge saving on the original quote. As a result, the couple started a health travel service to Thailand.

Barb says they’ve sent more than 160 Aussie clients overseas in the last year, 75% of whom were for dental. When she asks her clients why they’re choosing overseas destinations for their dental care, the answer is always the same.

“It’s cost.”

Asian Dental TourismCrying after cheap Thai dentistry

We’ve seen people who’ve been quoted up to $60,000 for substantial work and simply cannot afford to have it done in Australia. We now receive up to 20 enquiries a week, and most of these are from people wanting dental work.”

In Thailand, Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok sees 11,000 overseas visitors for dental treatment alone.  Marketing Director Kenneth Mays estimates that 500 to 600 of these patients are Australian.  Patients are choosing to travel to Thailand, he explains, because of the lower cost for equivalent quality of care, combined with good treatment, service and value – and all in a desirable vacation location.

 

Fancy a Thailand beach holiday? How about some cut-price teeth whitening, dental crowns and a root canal – just don’t forget your toothbrush.

 

But Australian Dental Association president Dr Karin Alexander cautions Australians against bargain hunting for dental surgery in cheap Third World countries and knows of many horror stories. “We’ve had someone go off and have major crown work, when they came back a couple of teeth had abscesses,” she said. “These patients have gone through pain, a lot more expense to rehabilitate and, of course, there is embarrassment.”

Budget DentistryHey Stop!  That’s my good tooth!

Dentists estimate up to 10,000 Australians travel overseas to the Third World each year seeking cheaper treatment, so are warning Australians against travelling overseas just to save money, saying fixing shoddy work will end up costing more.  The Australian Dental Association fears people seeking cheap dental work in Asia are falling victim to under-qualified, unsafe practitioners.

The association’s Leonard Crocombe said while some of the work might look good in the short-term, patients were likely to have trouble in the future.

“It can be six months, 12 months after the treatment has been done, long after they’ve left the facilities and then things flare up on them,” he said.

Darwin woman Sarah Healy travelled to South East Asia in 2013 and for $2,400 had four crowns and root canal treatment.

Six months later, the problems started.

“I noticed a few months later I had discoloration around the top of my gums,” she said.  “There was a lot of infection under the teeth, in under the teeth, which kind of scared me.”

Worried about the infection, Ms Healy visited a specialist.  “He said that the teeth needed to come out, they were causing damage, so he referred me back to Dr Ong in Darwin,” she said.

Dr Ean Ong said the crowns were poorly made and the root canal was not filled properly.  “They basically tried to do complex dentistry in a very short period of time, which is really not possible,” he said  “We would normally do the root canal first.”

Ms Healy said the treatment had ended up costing thousands of dollars more.  “It would be closer to about $6,000 to $10,000 at the moment, but I haven’t got my new teeth on yet.”

Philippines Tooth ShedDentistry South East Asia – Shearing Shed Style

Mr Crocombe said her traumatic case is not isolated.  “It usually occurs when they have a large amount of treatment that need to be done, so we are talking about crowns, bridges, whole mouth reconstructions.  Many of the dentists bargain hunters are visiting would not make the cut in Australia, because to practise in Australia, dentists need to pass rigorous tests.

“At the moment about one-third of dentists from overseas countries pass those examinations,” he said.

Dentist Tourism

But Ms Healy is one patient who will not be seeking discount dentistry again.  “My advice has always been for the last year don’t go, because I did my research and look where I am now. I’m back in the dentist chair,” she said.

Malaysia Muslim DentistryWe do Halal Dentistry, Allah guaranteed!

CRITIQUE:

Australia is a First World nation and our dentists are the best qualified in the world and so deservedly they are well remunerated.  So look after your teeth because the cost of repairs can be considerable, or in the Third World inedible.

Neither the Labor Party nor Liberal Party wish to include essential dental care for Australian citizens in the national Medicare health budget. Instead both Labor and Liberal prefer to gift billions of Australian taxpayer wealth to the foreign needy, not to Australia’s needy.

Consider these facts for both Labor and Liberal and then consider voting for Australia First Party:

Australian Overseas Aid

 

Australia First Party pledges to end Foreign Aid.

Australia First Party pledges to include dentistry in Medicare only for legitimate Australian Citizens.

Australia First for Australians

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