Are you concerned about dental emergencies that may arrive while you are traveling? Here are some things you should know before you go.
Dental Care Overview
A checkup is especially important if you’ll be traveling in developing countries or in remote areas without access to good dental care.
Left to chance, emergency dental care may be uncomfortable, dangerous and expensive. And dental care providers in developing regions may not have the resources, equipment or supplies to take all of the recommended precautions for preventing disease transmission.
If you are thinking about going outside your hometown. for your dental care for your vacation (also known as “Dental Tourism”), here are some things to consider: Dentists practicing in the Ghana attend four years at an accredited dental school (usually in addition to their bachelor’s degree). They pass national and state dental board examinations before they receive a license to practice.
What You Should Know about Dental Care Before You Travel
What are the qualifications of the dentist who will be treating you? Some dentists may be trained in countries other than the one they’re practicing in.
What happens if something goes wrong during or after treatment? Is there a complaint process or a method for getting a refund if you are not satisfied? If you can’t get a refund, is there meaningful recourse for dental treatment that is unsatisfactory or harmful? Will you have a right to sue? If so, can you do so cost effectively? Will you need to retain a foreign lawyer? Or return to the country where you received care to testify or appear at trial? WIll you get a fair trial? All of these are important considerations before seeking care in other countries.
At the dental office, look for infection control procedures. The dentist should wear clean surgical gloves (that have not been used on other patients), a mask and protective eye-wear. Dental instruments should be properly sterilized and other infection control procedures should be followed.
You could also check to see if the country keeps records of complaints against health care professionals. If so, you could check with the country’s appropriate oversight agency, such as the Ministry of Health, if you know the name of the dentist who will provide treatment.
Here in the Ghana, people often ask their family and friends for referrals to health care providers. The same principle could apply when you must travel outside the country. If someone you know has received dental care in a foreign country and seemed satisfied, you could ask for a referral to that particular dentist.
Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies While Traveling
The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) has a Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care, which includes a checklist for safe dental treatment abroad.