I have a friend who went to Costa Rica to have her crowns done. She was having twelve crowns replaced. It was much less expensive for her to have it done down there. I did not think they were as beautiful as her other ones, but her previous dentist was an expensive cosmetic dentist so I guess it is normal that it would not look as good as what he provided for her. However, her jaw has been hurting her ever since she returned and she winces sometimes when she eats. I want her to go back to the original dentist to see what is wrong but she is embarrassed to admit to him she went somewhere else. She said she doesn’t want a lecture. I am worried though. Is there anything you can tell me that will help her?
I can tell you are a good friend. I haven’t examined your friend and don’t have many details. What I can do is tell you some of the things that can go wrong when someone does dental tourism.
Rethink Dental Tourism
While she may not have wanted to go to her expensive cosmetic dentist, going to the cheapest option, especially out of the country, is a bad idea. The best dentists are invested in your case. They care about their professional reputation and want to make sure you get the best results possible. This is not the case when you go overseas. While I am certain there are dentists there with honesty and integrity, the laws just aren’t the same. We’ll go over that in a moment. First, let me give you just the first handful of things that can go wrong when you leave the country for your dental work.
- The appearance could be fake looking and pasty. I think your friend experienced some of this.
- The dentist could over-drill and a tooth could become sensitive.
- You could end up needing root canals.
- When you get home, the crowns could fall off. This happens a lot.
- The crowns could throw your bite off and you could end up with TMJ disorder.
- The crowns could be so poorly placed they affect your speech.
- The crowns could be seated too high leading to pain when you chew.
Those just came to mind immediately, there are many more and the patient will have no recourse. A colleague told me about a patient that went to Costa Rica for her dental care and ended up with $35,000 of damage that needed to be repaired. He called the work criminal negligence. Yet, when this poor woman tried to get this rectified with the dentist who did the work, she ended up in legal trouble because of the corrupt way their current legal system works.
My advice to your friend would be to suck up her pride and show her dentist the work. There could be something serious wrong that will destroy her quality of life if she doesn’t get it fixed. Hopefully, her dentist will be gracious about it.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.