Thinking About getting cheap veneers in Mexico, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, or anywhere else abroad? Dental tourism is a big business, but it's not always safe. Consider this article a public service announcement.
In 2020 alone, an estimated 290,000 Americans went to another country for dental and medical procedures, like teeth veneers, and that number is expected to continue to increase rapidly. It isn’t only Americans either. In fact, a simple search on TikTok shows over 130 million views for the term “Turkey Teeth,” highlighting the surge in popularity of British people traveling to Turkey for cheap dental care.
Veneer Horror Stories Abroad
One of the most popular procedures for people traveling abroad is cheap dental veneers in Mexico or Turkey, which requires shaving down your natural teeth and then capping them with an artificial veneer. However, going overseas or across the border for these dental treatments is often a mistake that you cannot take back.
Just ask TikTok user @aida_azizii who told a veneer horror story about not only getting haphazard, “piano-key” veneers, but also a marriage proposal from the dentist himself. Or talk to Natalie Guerrero who was persuaded into having unnecessary veneers that left her in agony, caused many sleepless nights, provoked exhausting anxiety, and ended up costing thousands of dollars.
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But you don’t even have to travel abroad to get this type of unlicensed or unprofessional dentistry that can cost you thousands of dollars and lots of financial and personal pain. Some people on a quest for cheap veneers choose “Basement Veneers” through so-called “dentists” that don’t even have a degree, license, or training, found right in the United States or Great Britain.
The result is often the same horrifying experience, prompting social media users like Redditor toothdoctor1991, to say things like, “Oh well gonna cost more to fix that mess then it would have to just start with a dentist.” They’re probably right.
While the reason for these mass pilgrimages is the reduced cost of dental treatment and it may be tempting to get some work done yourself, we urge you to think twice about that decision. That’s why we compiled a list of 11 huge dangers of cheap veneers in Turkey, Mexico, and other places abroad.
11 Huge Dangers of Cheap Veneers Abroad
1. Struggle To Effectively Communicate
Proper communication with a cosmetic dentist is essential for effective, pain-free, and successful treatment. You need to be able to tell your dental professional your wishes, concerns, and expectations. The dentist should also be able to tell you about the veneers, design, and the veneers procedure in detail and make you feel comforted and assured.
If you go to get dental veneer treatment in Turkey or Mexico, the dental professional you visit may be unable to speak English well enough to speak about all these factors. Miscommunication can contribute to disastrous outcomes, especially with irreversible procedures, like porcelain veneers.
If you plan on going to another country for veneers, make sure to do research to determine the language the professional speaks and any potential barriers to communication. Remember, you need someone to communicate with before and after the procedure if you want to walk out of there with a confident smile. You should also be able to ask the dentist questions before getting veneers that help you understand the entire process.
2. Risks of Unnecessary Procedures
Dental tourism and foreign cosmetic dentistry are often associated with unnecessary procedures like the British woman Natalie Guerrero discovered after her terrible experience with veneers that she never needed in the first place.
Some dental practices will not even hold proper consultations to determine the best path for your smile. They may recommend treatments and procedures that you don’t need now, or may not ever need. This can cause you pain to both yourself and your wallet that could have easily been avoided.
Dentists in the U.S. could lose their license for suggesting unnecessary treatments, so you can have faith that the recommendations are needed for the outcome that you desire. They can hold a consultation with you and outline the entire path toward your goals for a better smile so that you know what to expect and the types of costs and treatments you will undergo.
3. Unforeseen Increase In Costs
Another potential risk for dental tourists is an expensive treatment. You may be wondering how that could be when one of the main reasons for going to another country for veneers is to receive treatment at a lower cost.
The reason is that the original quote you receive may not be comprehensive and cover everything you need to get done, especially if there are surgical complications requiring follow-up treatments. Another potential risk is that the work is inadequate and needs repairs or surgical procedures to fix damage caused by poor dentistry.
When you compare a quote from a provider at home with dentists in other countries, keep in mind that the total price does not include the trip itself, flights, hotel accommodations, food, transportation, and other potential costs. This can significantly increase the total cost of those supposedly cheap veneers, making it a poor financial decision in the long run. Plus, some foreign dental practices don’t offer payment plans for veneers that can work with you, so you have to pay for the whole procedure upfront.
4. Low-Quality Materials
Dentists in other countries may not use the highest quality materials or the most up-to-date methods for your cheap veneers. With cheaper or lower-quality materials, your veneers may not last as long, look as natural, or be as functional as you would get with higher-quality domestic cosmetic dentistry.
For example, the composite resin may not form as well and fit the shape of your teeth and mouth. In some cases, people leave Turkey or Mexico with veneers and teeth that look more yellow, less attractive, or more noticeable than when they arrived. If you are unsatisfied, you may even opt to get your teeth redone, so that you end up paying for veneers and a confident smile twice.
5. Dental Infections
Dental infections can be painful and costly, but in some cases are more likely outside of your own country. When foreign dentists shave down your tooth, they may not follow best practices or regulations that offer protection in the U.S. This may allow bacteria and other germs to infiltrate, leading to infections or tooth abscesses.
A dental infection is a problematic issue that can contribute to more costly dental work. You may need extractions, root canals, or removal of the cheap veneers you got in the first place. The risk of infection is increased even more during COVID because sanitary regulations may not be met and you could get sick. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to research information on vaccines, health notices, and safe travel before embarking on a quest for affordable dental care abroad.
6. Could Get Crowns Instead Of Veneers
Some foreign dentists may attempt to increase their profits by using expensive crowns instead of traditional veneers. This could mean that you not only get unnecessary treatment at a higher price, but may also not offer the cosmetic advantage you want from porcelain veneers.
You may even discover that they use composite veneers instead of higher-quality porcelain. Porcelain veneers are stronger, more naturally translucent, and the preferred option for most people in the United States, but you may have to settle for composite resin if you get your procedure in another country.
7. Increased Risk of Root Canals and Tooth Extractions
In places like Turkey or Mexico, there is an increased risk of complications like necessary extractions or root canals. This is because they will typically shave down 60-70% of the tooth enamel, which is significantly more than domestic dentists will recommend.
When this much of the tooth is filed down, it weakens and stresses the tooth and root system. In some cases, it will also expose or damage the nerves. If a licensed dentist prepares your teeth for porcelain veneers, only about .5 millimeter is removed, which ensures a safe and effective result. It also means that unless there is significant decay already existing on or around the tooth enamel, you are unlikely to need a root canal or extraction before, during, or after the veneer procedure.
8. Can Often Look Fake and Unnatural
Natural-looking porcelain or even composite veneers can get expensive. When you go to another country to get the procedure, you are probably doing so to avoid paying exorbitant costs. However, that may also mean that you get cheaper veneer products that lack the translucency, color, shading, and texture of natural teeth.
A lot of people leave from getting Turkey teeth or veneers from Mexico that appear worse than before they got work done. They may stick out and look like ivory piano keys or have an appearance similar to plastic. In some cases, they may even interfere with your bite and ability to comfortably close your mouth.
9. Lower Regulatory Requirements and Standards
Fewer regulations mean that dentists in other countries may not follow guidelines that keep you safe and protected against malpractice. Countries like the United States have regulatory organizations like the ADA, Dental Boards, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that have requirements and guidelines in place to protect your health.
Without these regulations in place, you are trusting the dental practice to take your health and safety into account. In addition, there may not be any severe consequences to unnecessary treatments, ineffective materials, or even hazardous procedures. The things that will make an American or British dentist lose their license may not be protected at all in another region.
10. Dental Emergencies and Care After The Procedure
Treatment in your own country means you can follow up with dentists to receive support and care for complications. Follow-ups and aftercare also include things like bite adjustments, issues with the veneers, and tips to help you care for your teeth properly.
If you have to return to Mexico or Turkey to get follow-up work, that means you are paying for the travel again. Some foreign dentists may also charge additional fees for follow-up visits that are not included in the original price for the veneers. You should always ask your dentist what is included in the original price, whether they will refund you for failures, and what to do if you experience side effects like tooth sensitivity, prolonged numbness, or infections.
11. Could Cost More In The Long Run To Fix Mistakes
While the cost of the veneers themselves may be substantially lower than you would pay in your own country, if veneer mistakes are made or you don’t like the outcome, then you may actually end up spending more than you would have if you had gone to your own neighborhood cosmetic dental practice.
Poor-fitting veneers, exposed nerves, tooth sensitivity, infections, pain, and other issues can mean you need additional work done or even surgery to repair the shoddy work. The British Dental Association (BDA) surveyed 1000 dentists and found that 85% of them treated cases of complications caused by traveling abroad for cheap dental treatment.
What is more alarming is that two-thirds of dentists said it costs patients at least £500 to repair the damage and more than half said it cost more than £1000. Plus, those high costs don’t include the pain and stress of needing repairs and discovering problems caused by your dental tourism mistake.
Cheap veneers may seem like a good deal, but with the risks involved, it is simply not worth it. You may need to get more work done, spend more money, and undergo more pain than you would if you had originally visited a dentist in your own country. Some U.S. dentists even refuse to work on teeth that have been worked on abroad in places like Mexico.
If you are still thinking about going to another country to get cheap veneers or other dental work, we urge you to do sufficient research. Take all factors into account and keep our 11 huge dangers in mind.
Still, for the best outcomes, visit a qualified porcelain veneer dentist in the United States. If you are ready to learn more, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Catrise Austin today and transform your smile with top-quality porcelain veneers and professional expertise.
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