The president of the Quebec Order of Dentists is warning people that dental tourism can have hidden costs and lasting consequences.
Barry Dolman, says countries, such as Cuba, don’t meet the International Society of Dental Regulators’ standards. He says in Cuba, the requirements to become a dentist are not the same as in Canada and there is no accreditation system. If the sugery does not go well, there is no official recourse.
He says, “It’s the patient who will pay in the long-term.”
But the warnings may be falling on deaf ears. In 2014, over a quarter of a million Canadians, 284,600 of them, said “medical or health treatment” as one of their reasons for travel.
Patients Beyond Borders, researched the development and found Mexico is the most popular destination for Canadians seeking elective procedures such as dental work. Costa Rica, South America and India are also popular medical destinations.
Eric Leclerc, of Sherbrooke, Quebec, told CBC News reporter Kate McKenna, that he couldn’t afford the prices for dental implants in Canada.
He’d spent the last seven years without teeth, and was pleased to discover a clinic in Cuba near a resort. At $1,800 (Cdn) the vacation and the new teeth were less than the $2,200 cost of the teeth alone, in Quebec.
Leclerc, 50, had the procedure done in May in a clinic in Cuba set up for tourists. “I’d say 75 per cent of customers were Canadian. Most of them were French-speaking Quebecers”, he said.
He said he returned to the resort, and smiled for the first time since he lost his teeth.