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May 17, 2019

Medical Tourism—Are the rewards worth the risk?

It is estimated thousands of US residents travel abroad for medical care each year. Some travel for cheaper treatment. Some are immigrants returning to their home country for care. Still others may be seeking therapy not available in the US.

The U.S. has high standards for dental treatment and infection control. But in many parts of the world, gloves, sterile instruments, and safe water are not routine. Furthermore, standards for educating and licensing dental professionals vary widely.

Specific risks depend on the area being visited and procedures performed. They may include:

  • Communication—Receiving care where you do not speak the language fluently may cause misunderstandings.
  • Medication may be counterfeit or of poor quality.
  • Infection—Antibiotic resistance is a global problem, and resistant bacteria may be more common.
  • Flying after surgery can increase the risk for blood clots.
  • Treatment, which can be non- and substandard, may require costly correction or follow-up care in the US.

Care in choosing and investing in your health will pay for itself in the long run.

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