I work outside of the U.S. 3 or 4 times a year. Last week I found out that my next assignment will be over a year. I plan on getting my teeth cleaned before I leave. I usually don’t have any problems with my teeth but this assignment has me a little worried. I plan on keeping up my brushing and flossing routine, but anything could go wrong. I have some info for good medical doctors, some of whom are U.S. trained, but nothing for a dentist. What if I need emergency dental care? What kind of things should I look for to figure out if a dentist is any good? Thanks. Ryan
Ryan – You’re wise to get an examination and cleaning before you leave the country. Let your dentist know about your extended assignment. Early detection can help avoid future problems, so have your examination at least three weeks before you leave. This gives your dentist time to correct any potential issues with your teeth and help prevent the need for an emergency dentist.
There are some other things you can do in advance.
- Look online for respected dental associations in the country where you will be on assignment. If an association credentials dentists, look for fellow, master, or diplomate status. These achievements indicate experience and skill. Achieving such status usually requires dentists to be tested and to present actual patient cases to prove their skill. If you have a dental emergency, a credentialed dentist will be well qualified to care for your needs.
- Do you have any way of contacting associates who live in the country where you will be working? If so, you can ask for recommendations on a dentist. If you can get the recommendations in advance, it will give you a chance to check the dentists’ credentials and look for patient reviews. It’s best to have a list of names of dentists before you arrive in the country.
- Speak with your own dentist for suggestions on finding a dental provider abroad. Your dentist may have contacts in that country or know colleagues who can provide you with resources for finding a reliable dentist.
We hope you don’t need an emergency dentist while you’re away, but if you do, upfront research and planning will help ensure your teeth are in qualified hands.
This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.