Is surgery really a holiday?!


It is common knowledge that many Australians travel offshore for major dental and cosmetic surgeries. With over 15,000 Aussies heading overseas each year and spending over $300 million annually on a ‘nip, tuck and a Pina colada’, just why are so many Australians doing this?

Without a doubt, these packages can save patients money, anywhere between 30-70%. But can you really put a price on quality healthcare? Asia, especially Thailand and Malaysia, seems to be the destination of choice for many, but what people fail to understand is that the legislations, quality of training, experience, equipment, and overall regulations are generally not to the standards accepted in Australia.

When it comes to dentistry, most of the cost cutting overseas comes from cheap imitation materials. For example, it has been known that patients who have had porcelain veneers abroad have needed replacements as little as 6 months after treatment due to chips, cracks and infection.

Dental surgery holidays and your health

Dental implants have a 96-97% success rate, but like anything we place into our bodies sometimes our bodies reject it. However, surgeon inexperience and poor case planning are the other main reasons as to why these 3-4% fail. In saying this, overseas treatments are often crammed into short stays and therefore often lack the thorough planning required to obtain best all round result. Imagine if this implant failure happened to you once you got back from your ‘Dental Holiday’, what would you do? Would you spend the money and go back overseas to fix the problem or go to an Australian specialist?

Some people argue that the high cost of dental procedures are pushing many Australians to travel overseas, with many of the opinion that “it is worth the risk if it saves me money!” Others may want the reassurance of having a dentist they trust as these extensive procedures are often complex and very intricate. Not forgetting the importance of aftercare. In the event of any complications, revisions or corrections, the patient not having access to the treating doctor means seeking help elsewhere, which can make a serious dent in your wallet!

Whatever the lure of the surgery holiday, patients must ask themselves do the two really go hand in hand?

Margaux Nisseron

Advanced Dental Artistry, West Perth

Dr Adrian discusses his thoughts on surgery abroad and dental holiday’s

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