Research has revealed that 96 percent of dentists have dealt with a “dental tourist” at least once a year.
A 2016 survey of 337 dentists in New Zealand showed that most had treated 1-2 patients who’d had dentistry work done overseas.
Expensive procedures such as crowns, implants and bridges were revealed to be the most popular overseas procedures.
NZ Dental Association chief executive Dr David Crum told RadioLIVE that he has personally seen “appalling” dentistry done from overseas.
The dentist wants to warn Kiwis about the perils of dental tourism and the amount of clean-up work being done by Kiwi dentists on botched repair work done overseas.
Kiwis who typically head overseas are seeking advanced and expensive dental care, explained Dr Crum.
“And then they come back here, and months down the track New Zealand dentists are seeing them and finding the work that’s been done is extremely poor quality
“And that’s a really hard conversation to have with the patient,” Dr Crum said.
Thailand was the top country for overseas dental work, with 90 percent of dental tourists heading to the Southeast Asian nation.
The survey found that 21.8 percent of dentists believed that dental tourism should be discouraged because of its negative impact upon New Zealand's dental healthcare system.
“What we’re seeing here is really appalling dentistry,” he said.
Listen to the full interview with Dr David Crum above.
The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.