Why dental tourism is a bad idea

At Dental Implant Experts in San Diego, we know how tempting it may be to rush abroad to take advantage of the lower priced dental work.  But we’ve seen far too many patients who regret having tried “dental tourism” to ever recommend it. The way we see it, there are some things in life worth paying for, and dental work is one of them.

Not that we’re suggesting higher prices always mean higher quality work because that’s certainly not always true. But what we are saying is that cost should not be the only factor when choosing where to have dental work done.  

Here are a handful of reasons why dental tourism is not a good idea, no matter how low the cost of a procedure:

No mandatory malpractice insurance

When you’re getting a “bargain” on something, there’s usually a reason, and you should know what it is. At an outlet mall, for example, you might be getting a slightly lesser quality product. And maybe that’s fine with you. Oftentimes, however, lower priced dental work across the border is the result of dentists not having to pay for things like malpractice insurance. Is it fine with you to get a bargain on dental care when it means you have little recourse if something goes wrong?

Different standards

In the United States, we have very clear treatment standards related to dentistry and patient safety that you may not find when you cross the border. These include sterilization standards and infection control procedures. Here at home, dental patients can take their personal safety as a given, but the same can’t be said when you’re getting dental work done in a country that doesn’t regulate or monitor sterilization and infection control systems.  It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

Limited access to follow-up care

When you travel to have dental work done, you’re limiting your access to follow-up care.  If you’re only in town for a week or two, will you just assume all is well after that? What happens if complications develop? Follow-up care is an important part of most dental procedures. Sure, you could always see a local dentist if problems arise, but then you’re lacking consistency of care, and communication across borders between dentists might prove difficult.

Unreliable work quality

There are, of course, brilliant and talented dentists all across the world who provide excellent, high quality work. There are also dentists with questionable practices all over the world, including right here at home. The difference is that here at home, in your neighborhood, your city, among your friends, you have more access to the information you need to differentiate between the excellent dentists and the not-so-great ones. But with dental tourism, you don’t have as much to go by, and you could end up with shoddy work quality. Trust us. We’ve done our share of fixing shoddy work done elsewhere.  

Another kind of dental tourism

If you love the idea of being on vacation while you have important dental work done, it really doesn’t get any better than a relaxing staycation in San Diego. Whether you’re local or coming from elsewhere nearby in Southern California or the southwest, we can recommend beautiful hotels with gorgeous views where you can rest up and heal from your procedure. Check in a few days early and take advantage of San Diego’s amazing restaurants, world-class golf, excellent shopping, and glorious beaches. We’ll even arrange for our limousine to pick you up for your procedure and bring you back to your hotel when it’s done.

At Dental Implant Experts, we have the experience, skill, and state-of-the-art equipment that allows us to do your dental work safely, efficiently, and beautifully.


We also offer sedation dentistry, so you remain comfortable while we restore your radiant smile.  Give us a call to schedule an appointment or a consultation today.