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Know before you go abroad for dental care
Updated: 3/3/2008 2:05:31 PM

The American Dental Association (ADA) has recommended that anyone considering going abroad for a combined vacation and dental procedure be aware of the possible disadvantages.

Also known as dental tourism, the practice of leaving the U.S. for dental treatment can often vary widely from country to country.

The ADA is reminding those who enjoy a certain level of treatment in the U.S. that practicing dentists in the U.S. must attend four years at an accredited dental school, usually in addition to their bachelor's degree. They must pass national and state dental board examinations before they receive a license to practice, with each state carrying specific requirements for dentists to follow.

Furthermore, organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give recommendations to dental offices so to improve the education of health-care personnel, prevention of transmission of blood borne pathogens, hand hygiene, sterilization and disinfection of patient-care items and environmental infection control.

Dentists must also follow guidelines for radiation safety, including X-ray equipment and its use, and for proper waste disposal.

The ADA has suggested that if travel and foreign treatment is still an option, people should check with their current dentists to see if he or she has contacts in dental fraternity groups such as the Academy of Dentistry International, the International College of Dentists or the Pierre Fauchard Academy.
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