Dental Departures Review, A Dentist’s Point of View

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Travelling overseas for affordable dental treatment

In this article I will be discussing dental tourism and a company that specializes in it, Dental Departures. In this Dental Departures review, I will be giving you my opinion (as a western dentist) on dental tourism and how Dental Departures can help keep you safe should you choose to go ahead with dental treatment overseas.

I am sure you have heard that you can save an incredible amount of money getting your dental treatment done overseas in countries like Mexico and Thailand. This is true.

You can pay as little as a fifth of what you would have to pay for dentistry in your own country if you are prepared to travel to countries like Mexico and Thailand.

save money

Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org

Most people don’t travel overseas for their dental treatment because they are scared that something will go wrong and they will end up having to spend even more money to get the botched dentistry fixed up. Another fear is that getting dental treatment overseas might be unhygienic and they will risk contracting a serious illness.

Before I discuss how Dental Departures can help you get the dental treatment you need at an affordable price without sacrificing quality, I want to give you a bit of background on my own experience with overseas dentistry and why I believe if you are in need of major dental work that you may benefit from getting it done overseas.

How I became interested in overseas dentistry

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Photo credit: Chris, https://www.flickr.com/photos/scuba_beer/33985195

When I was volunteering as a dentist in a free dental clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia I was introduced to the head dentist and owner of a local dental practice.  When I arrived at his clinic,  I was caught off guard by how large, modern, and professional his practice was!

The dentist has a Masters in Implantology and Oral Medicine from the University of Frankfurt, Germany and it was obvious this guy knew his stuff. His english was good and he had a pleasant and professional manner.

His practice is 10 stories high and has over 30 dental surgeries. The dental equipment and materials they use are of high quality and after inspecting their sterilization room, it was obvious they take patient safety very seriously. Honestly, this dental practice made the modern dental practices I had worked from in my own country look out of date!

dental lab technician

Photo credit: Dentaprime, https://www.flickr.com/photos/dentaprime/16261999210

The other thing that impressed me was the professional dental laboratory they have in the building . Back home, I have to wait two or three weeks for lab work to be returned from the overseas lab I use. Unlike my practice, their lab is on site. This means their lab work can be ready in just a day or two!

Before I saw this clinic, I expected that all Cambodian dental practices would be well below the standard of a country like the USA and certainly not a place I would recommend people get dental treatment from. How wrong I was!

humbled western dentist

I left feeling totally humbled. I had to seriously reconsider my belief that because I was a western dentist that I, without question, would be practicing superior dentistry than a dentist in a poor country like Cambodia.

I couldn’t shake the question I kept asking myself:

“How could I possibly be better at implant dentistry and making crowns than the dentists working in that Cambodian dental practice when I only place and restore a few implants a year while they do hundreds or maybe even thousands?!”

Are there other practices overseas like this?

There are many! Since coming back from Cambodia I have discovered quite a few of my patients have had their implant and crown work done in Thailand. The quality is as good, if not better, than that done by many western dentists. They have all been happy that they had the work done and have expressed no regret.

thailand

They rave about how they spent less money on a long holiday in Thailand and got all the dental treatment they needed for much less than the dental work alone would have cost at home.

Not all the dental work I have seen done in Thailand have been without problems, but that is true of dental work from ANY country. Often the dentists in Thailand guarantee the dental work they do like implants and crowns. Although, this will mean taking a plane back to Thailand at your expense, so you need to know that the dentist is reputable before travelling overseas.

Of course, if there is a problem you can always get it fixed by your dentist back at home if you would rather not travel overseas again.

I once had a patient break the tooth part of their implant off that they had placed in Japan. It wasn’t a problem fixing it. Even though the implant was placed in Japan, it was easy for me to order the parts because the companies that make implants use the same parts all over the world.

There are, of course, dental clinics overseas that you should avoid. This is where Dental Departures can help.scary dentist

Who are Dental Departures?

Visit Dental Departures and find the best global dentist. Book Now!

Dental Departures is an organization that extensively audits overseas dental practices to ensure they are practicing high quality dentistry.

They check that the dentists are licensed, that they guarantee their work, the sterilization methods are at least up to western standards, and that the dentist hasn’t any malpractice claims made against them or has any criminal history. They usually physically visit the practice too.

In the rare event that a problem arises with your treatment,  Dental Departures will advocate on your behalf and make sure the dentists make good on their warranties if need be.

They have extensive information on over 4000 dentists from over 30 different countries. You can view all the information you need about any of the dental practices you are interested in on the Dental Departures website. Information includes:

  • The costs of the different dental treatments
  • Photos of the dental clinic
  • Information on the dentists working there
  • Reviews on the clinic from Dental Departure clients that have already been there
  • Free quotes
  • Contact information for the clinic
  • and much more.

Their website is easy to use and has all the information you need on it, such as hotel booking close to the dental clinic, so that you are able to book the trip yourself. You can even apply for financing directly from the website.

If you still need help, the customer service representatives are easily accessible and will assist you with any question you have and can help with finding suitable accommodation and with your travel arrangements.

customer service

Another great thing is you can find testimonials about the dental practice from people who have actually had their dental treatment done there already. Dental Departures checks every review for authenticity and only accepts reviews from people who they know have actually been there by checking their details with their client database.

If it makes you more comfortable, Dental Departures can arrange for you to speak directly with the dentist who will be providing your treatment. You can also request that you be treated by a dentist who was trained in a western country such as the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

on the phone

Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil, http://www.publicdomainfiles.com/show_file.php?id=13950282022725

No payment from you is made directly to Dental Departures. The fee for your dental treatment is paid directly to the dental practice on the day you will be receiving the treatment. This means you can book your treatment now and pay later.

By doing your research on the Dental Departures website you can reassure yourself that the practice is reputable before making your booking on the website. If you decide to cancel or change your booking later, Dental Departures will not charge you a fee for that.

Of course, you could try to do all this research yourself. However, this will take you a long time and how confident are you that all the information you get is accurate? Also, are you prepared to interview all the different dental practices?

If you are interested in using Dental Departures you can find their website by clicking on the banner below.

David

Visit Dental Departures and Save up to 70% on your dental care. Book Now!

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10 thoughts on “Dental Departures Review, A Dentist’s Point of View

  1. ido

    Wow, I honestly had no idea that dental tourism is so acceptable.

    I personally feel that I rather have my dentist close to home, and prefer to have a long history with my doctor, so he would get to know me, but I can completely understand people who need extensive procedures and rather fly to Thailand and also have a great vacation on the same time.

    Reply
    1. David

      Hi Ido. You make a great point. I agree it is definitely best to have a dentist that you can easily access at home. However, many (most?) people actually end up compromising big time on their care just because they can’t afford the ideal treatment with their usual dentist. For example many of my patients opt for an uncomfortable, unattractive denture that contributes to poor health just because they can’t afford to pay the tens of thousands of dollars for the appropriate treatment with implants. In my opinion it is better to get the proper treatment overseas than compromised dentistry at home.
      David

      Reply
  2. Christian

    This sounds like an interesting service. When I lived in San Diego a coworker of mine went across the boarder into Mexico for all of his dental procedures. He paid $5 for his visits back in ’94. What was interesting is we had great dental benefits that our company paid for but the copay was $25. He once required a filling and they charged him an additional $5 for the local anesthesia for a total of $10 for that visit. I can’t remember what he would have paid out of pocket on our plan but I recall it being far more than that.

    I never went down to check out the practice but he assured me that it was every bit as clean and professional as the practices were in the states.

    One question about Dental Departures: Do they have a service for emergency dental procedures for if you are on a vacation out of the country and have a sudden need to have something done before you return home?

    Reply
    1. David

      Hi Christian. Yes, even if you have dental insurance because dental treatment overseas is so cheap, it is generally far cheaper to get the work overseas.Dental Departures don’t seem to have a specific service for emergency situations. However, they do have advice on the website for that situation. They recommend you get a recommendation for a local dentist from your concierge if you are staying in a hotel. They also recommend you get hold of your local embassy for a list of the local dentists. Once you have a list of dentists, you can check the Dental Departures website for information and reviews on the different clinics.
      David

      Reply
  3. Hindy Pearson

    Hi David, fascinating article! You have to admire people that see an opportunity and seize it. I have of course heard of people going overseas for dental work, but not of a company that audits these practices. Great idea though, otherwise how could you possibly know what you’re getting into, other than word of mouth and I certainly don’t know anyone that has done that. I would never have considered being a dental tourist, but being less than thrilled with the choices where I live, after reading your review about Dental Departures, I’m not as close minded as I was a few minutes ago. However, if I was back home with my wonderful dentist, I would stay with him, even though he costs a fortune.

    Reply
    1. David

      Hi Hindy. Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed the article and can see the benefit of using overseas dental clinic auditors like Dental Departures. That’s great you have a local dentist that you have a good relationship with and that you can afford to pay for the ideal treatment with him.
      David

      Reply
  4. Peter Mantu

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for this post. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I am actually in the process of getting my teeth fixed since I lost one right in the front. Don’t get me wrong though, this hasn’t stopped me from smiling but I am obviously not as comfortable about it as I used to. This will certainly help and I will definitely check out Dental Departures.

    All the best to you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Peter.
      Glad you found the post’s information useful and timely. I felt bad for you when I read that you lost a front tooth, but then I read that it hasn’t stopped you from smiling and the mental image made me laugh! If you are looking at getting an implant to replace that tooth, I think you will be amazed how much less expensive it is to get it done over the border. Just make sure you do your research first on the Dental Departures website.
      David

      Reply
  5. PJ

    Hi David,

    Wonderful article about dental tourism. I will bookmark this site. Thank you.

    Could you give me the name of that Cambodian dentist? We spend most of our time in Asia and we plan to visit Angkor Wat in January, so he’s not far from us!

    My wife is Mexican but we lived in Florida for a few years. She said her Mexican dentist was far better than the ones she tried in Florida. So this idea that everything is better in the US is simply marketing!
    That’s why we now live in Asia and our standard of living is much higher than it was in the states.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi PJ

      The dental clinic is Roomchang in Phnom Penh. It is easy to find it on the Dental Departures website. The dentist who owns the place is called Tith. Can’t remember his surname sorry, but you will see all the details on the Dental Departures website. I think you will be impressed!

      If you use the promo code EZDENTAL5OFF you will save a further 5% on the cost of your treatment. If you are wondering, yes, I will receive a commission if you use it!

      You are totally correct about the idea of everything being better in the US as being marketing. I have seen good and bad dentistry from all countries.

      I went to Angkor Wat and it was amazing. Definitely pays to go there on a clear day and very early in the morning to appreciate the sunrise.

      I was seriously considering moving to Cambodia and working as a dentist, but my fiance isn’t so happy to do that. She likes the western lifestyle.

      Let me know how you get on.

      David

      Reply

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