Are you considering getting porcelain veneers in Thailand? If so you’re certainly not alone. According to the latest reports, over 15,000 Australians travelled abroad for medical and dental treatment in 2019. The reason for this is simple – to save money. So let’s talk cold hard cash…
The average cost of porcelain veneers here in Australia is around $1300 per tooth, whereas the equivalent dental veneers in Thailand are a little over $500. That’s a huge saving and is why the medical and dental tourism industry is booming.
So, for someone considering undergoing dental treatment in places like Bangkok – even when they take the cost of a flight and accommodation into consideration – that’s still a considerable saving, particularly if they are undergoing multiple dental treatments. Throw in a low cost of living, plenty of sunshine and some great food into the mix and, on paper at least, it’s a win/win situation – or so you’d think!
But, before you rush to your laptop to Google ‘cheapest prices for porcelain veneers in Thailand’ you need to know that dental tourism comes with risks – risks you wouldn’t necessarily encounter if you were to undergo the equivalent porcelain veneers treatment back here in Australia. Let’s take a closer look…
Lost in translation
While you could argue that many Thai people, particularly clinical professionals, have a good grasp of the English language, things can still become ‘lost in translation’, especially when your chosen dentist is trying to explain the intricacies of such a treatment.
It can be easy to misinterpret important facts like treatment timings, aftercare and healing and on the flip side of that, the language barrier can also make it difficult for you to ask key questions or to explain important personal information that may affect the way that the dentist carries out treatment – information such as feelings of dental anxiety, for example.
As a top tip, if you are strongly considering getting dental veneers overseas in countries like Thailand, you really do need to do your homework. Try and talk to the dentist in question and get a feel for how they communicate with you. Any decent dental clinic should be able to set up a virtual meet with prospective clients. This may involve a Zoom, Skype or Facetime call and is well worth doing.
Differing levels of care
While there is a good selection of quality dental clinics and dental hospitals in Thailand, it can be hard to tell whether they adhere to the same exceptional standards of patient care and infection control as they would here in Australia.
Back home, for instance, dentists have to adhere to very strict guidelines in regard to patient safety and well-being. They have a duty of care to each and every patient and therefore when you walk into a dental clinic for porcelain veneers treatment, you are pretty much guaranteed a certain standard of care.
On the contrary, while hygiene standards and levels of care may be good enough for Thai regulation, patients may still run the risk of cross-contamination or exposure to bacteria or airborne viruses. Particularly in the cheaper backstreet dental clinics.
Finally, if you are looking for the cheapest dental veneers – e.g. those found in backstreet clinics, then you may run the risk of being faced with low-grade materials, poor workmanship and infection.
Typically those who are planning to fly to Thailand for dental treatment don’t just come for the odd porcelain veneer. Most will want to maximise their savings by undergoing multiple treatments like a full smile makeover where porcelain veneers are only a small part of the treatment planned. The problem is that many patients flying in will have a limited time in the country. This may mean that some dental clinics will rush through certain cosmetic dental treatments just to fit in with the timeframes of their patients.
As a result, even relatively simple treatments like dental veneers can mean that teeth become compromised and therefore will represent a risk to the patient.
Even when patients decide to undergo cosmetic treatments like porcelain veneers when already holidaying in Thailand, it isn’t as easy as breezing in, getting veneers fitted and carrying on with your vacation.
On the contrary, dental veneers typically take a bit of getting used to and for the first few days or weeks, especially, patients may feel like they have inflamed or sore gums. In addition, patients can expect some degree of teeth sensitivity and discomfort. None of which is conducive to being ‘on vacation’.
Ideally, if you are thinking about undergoing porcelain veneers in Thailand then you should at least consider booking an open-ended ticket. This gives the dentist time to do what needs to be done without compromising on safety, or, if you are planning a vacation, it will give you the sufficient time you need to recover.
Perhaps the most complicated part of undergoing treatments like porcelain veneers abroad is the accountability factor. Unfortunately, no dental treatment is fail-proof and problems can occur weeks or even months down the line – long after a patient has returned from their trip. The question is…
What options do you have?
While dentists here in Australia are bound by a duty of care – e.g. they have to put right anything that is proven to be a treatment error, the same can’t always be said for dental clinics abroad. Even when foreign clinics do offer some form of recourse, the added cost of a return flight and accommodation is never too far away from your thoughts. That’s before we even talk about whether the clinic is actually willing to fix the problem free of charge.
The truth is, as a non-resident it’s almost impossible to hold the practitioner accountable for any problems that have occurred during your porcelain veneers treatment and inevitably, this leaves patients with no option but to seek alternative care from their dentist back home at even more cost.
The key takeaway
If you are strongly considering getting porcelain veneers in Thailand or other overseas destinations, then don’t just consider the cost. Look closely at the risks and do your homework to try and limit those risks where possible.
Alternatively, if after thinking about it, you feel that these are risks that you simply don’t want to take, then come and talk to the team at Beyond Infinity Dental. We’re highly trained and highly skilled in general and cosmetic dentistry including the fitting of porcelain veneers. We use the latest technology and techniques to ensure that treatment is carried out with the utmost, compassion, care and safety.
For a hassle-free experience, call us at (02) 8806 3799 today and book a no-obligation consultation today.