Dental tourism is on the rise, with most travelling to Turkey for their cosmetic dental procedures. Unfortunately, as a result, emergency dental treatments in the UK are also on the rise. The reoccurring problem is that patients are unaware of the risks that come along with the ‘perfect smile’. Writes Hannah Goodman, Paralegal in the Clinical Negligence Team.
Some cosmetic dentistry clinics in Turkey are carrying out procedures without the client having the knowledge they need to give their consent. Some patients believe they are being fitted with veneers, but they actually being fitted with crowns, which requires most of the tooth to be shaved off. The most commonly misunderstood aspect of cosmetic dentistry is the risk of infection, abscesses and nerve damage, which can leave patient’s in agony without any kind of remedy from the dental practice.
Regulations in the UK ensure that patient’s are protected against negligent dental care, as it is mandatory for UK dental practises to adhere to these regulations, but unfortunately not all countries adhere to such regulations, so your best option it is to have any dental treatment carried out in the UK.
If you really are adamant on traveling abroad for your cosmetic dental procedure, there are some options available to protect yourself if something goes wrong.
Medical Travel Insurance
Standard travel insurance is not enough to cover you if something goes wrong concerning your dental procedure, so you will need to take out medical travel insurance too. This will cover any medical expenses due to complications which are life-threatening, costs to remain in destination if your recovery takes longer than expected, and an additional return trip if it is deemed medically necessary.
However, the cost of any corrective treatment that may be required is not covered. It is likely you will spend more on the corrective treatment than you would have spent if you had the procedure done in the UK in the first place!
Dental Negligence Claims
Medical travel insurance does not protect you from medical negligence.
Ultimately, if you undergo dental treatment abroad and something goes wrong, it is likely that jurisdictional issues arise, and you may need to contact solicitors working in that jurisdiction. In some cases, however, solicitors in the UK can help you.