• November 17, 2011
  • Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

I wonder what effect the removal of ‘cost anxiety’ has on the people’s interest in the consent and planning process. Do people simply surrender themselves to the power of the cheapest veneers on the planet, or do they still take the time to understand what is proposed? And how much time?

If their holiday is one or two weeks and the treatment proposed takes two weeks to complete, I believe few people will take time to think about the implications of this treatment to their future health. They are more likely to put their teeth and health into the hands of a professional. In the previous articles you have seen why I think this is a very risky proposition! Let’s say you still went ahead and completed your treatment. It looks great. It feels great. As far as you know, everything that needed to be done was done and to the highest standard. As far as you know… Here are some problems and consequences of some overseas treatment we would either expect to see or have found from our own clients’ experiences in the past:

1. Not all the treatment required is proposed or completed 

Some overseas dentists, especially when their client is only in the country for a very limited time, may choose to prioritise treatment and treat the more visible areas of the mouth for greater cosmetic effect. This may be at the expense of other teeth which may be in worse condition, but not very visible. Clients are then unaware that not all their teeth were being addressed and can end up with additional, emergency work on their return home.

2. Not all the treatment clients are told was done was actually done 

Often, people find it difficult to track exactly which treatment was completed. Even if a thorough treatment proposal was completed and presented, you may not be getting all of this treatment and you may not be aware of this and even still pay for the treatment which was not done.

3. Even though the results look and feel great, this may not last

This is especially true in the case of veneers, crowns, bridges, implants and root canal treatment. These procedures require a lot of skill from the dentist. They also require a high level of infection control, a systematic approach and a lot of pre-planning. These types of treatments do not necessarily fail immediately but can do so slowly, over a few months or years. In the process, this deterioration can put your health at serious risk and can lead to tooth loss.  Veneers can fall off, teeth underneath poorly prepared crowns can fester until a serious infection forms, inadequate root canal treatment can continue to allow bacteria to thrive and implants can slowly exfoliate from the site where they were placed.

4. Correcting mistakes made ‘cheaply’ overseas can be very costly here 

Once your overseas treatment fails, it is likely that the underlying teeth and gums will be in a worse condition than before the initial treatment started. This will make re-treatment complex and far more costly than if the treatment was originally completed to an appropriate standard.

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh
About The Author

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Catherine-Anne is a New Zealand-qualified dentist. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Sydney University and she has a broad range of experiences from working in both the public and private sector.


Keep me updated with news and knowledge
from The Dentist At 70 Pitt Street