Australian dentists to help coordinate Thailand dental holidays

21 August, 2014

An experienced Australian dentist has set up a dental tourism company to inject some necessary professionalism and expertise into this growing market trend.

Many Australians are travelling to Thailand for cut price dental treatment however this can come with some risks as this is currently largely unregulated.

As Australian dental authorities quite rightly advise against going to Asia for treatments, Dr Damian Ryan of Dentour has worked with the overseas dental clinics to alleviate the perceived risks and is assisting people to get their major dental procedures performed as long as they have been properly treatment planned and attend a pre-screened Thailand clinic.

His company Dentour ( reviews an individual's case and sends their dental and medical records to a pre-approved dental clinic in one of several locations in Thailand. This includes medical history, X-rays and photographs as well as the treatment plan.

Patient records are then returned and can be forwarded to local dentists for follow-up, as required.

It is important for potential patients to understand all the issues involved with having a major dental procedure and be prepared before they go.

The main risks are:

  • Over servicing
  • Low quality treatment standards
  • Non-compatible implant components
  • Poor sterilisation protocols
  • Inadequate time allowance for complete treatment

Dentour acts to prevent these issues by careful treatment planning and clinic inspections.

Whilst not guaranteeing the overseas dental work, Dentour acts to minimise the risks and maximise the savings and quality of care for the patient. Dentour works closely with high quality facilities and specialists in Thailand who warrantee their work.

The dentist to dentist communication enables continuity of care and completeness of the confidential dental and medical record.

"In my view, going to affiliated Thailand clinics to get major dental work done is preferable to not getting the work done at all. However for a number of reasons it needs to be managed correctly. Importantly we need to know what materials have been used for compatibility with Australian systems when adjustments are needed. Further we want to ensure a treatment plan is followed which maintains the integrity of the teeth," says Dr Damian Ryan, principal dentist of Dentour.

"I started to see patients coming to me to place a crown on an implant that had been inserted overseas. The patient was unable to tell me what type of implant was used and this is where the problem lies as we need compatibility.

"I also saw unnecessary dentistry performed including one man who had 13 implants inserted where there was a much better option available to him. In some instances it is more cost effective to get part of the work done here and part of it done overseas if that is the patient's preference.

"At the same time I reviewed more than 30 clinics in Asia and noted variability in quality. The high quality ones were impressive however.

Ongoing relationship with local dentist

"If patients are choosing to go overseas I also want to facilitate an ongoing relationship between the patient and their local dentist. It is very important to maintain the oral hygiene and teeth over the course of one's lifetime. Some patients may think that if they go overseas and get their teeth 'fixed' that that is it, however that is not the case as any dental treatment requires ongoing maintenance. 

"Some dentists may be justly reluctant to see patients that have dental work done overseas as they are unaware of what has been done, what materials have been used and in what type of clinic so this is an important issue to address."

Dentour is able to talk to patients before they go to Thailand so they understand the procedures they are having, how long they will need to be away as well as total costs and potential savings. Dentour has an experienced travel team to arrange the travel components and works with insurance professionals - Go Insurance- to provide specialised Dental Tourism Travel Insurance.

The travel team understand the importance of peace of mind when it comes to international travel and also that, after dental procedures you want to relax and recuperate in an adult environment. This lets you enjoy you time away and take it easy for a quick recovery.

Dr Ryan is happy to explain to potential 'dental tourists' how to get a great smile at a great price and have a great holiday to boot.