Dental accreditation abroad is something you should know about if you’re planning on becoming a dental tourist and getting your dental care overseas.
Dental tourism continues to increase in popularity. It’s not wonder, when you compare the prices for dental work overseas to costs back home. Often, you can pay for your entire trip and tourism expenses and your dental costs for the same price you’d pay for just your dental work in the US or Europe.
However, just as you would anywhere, you want to be sure your dentist is properly qualified and accredited.
Is there such a thing as quality dental accreditation abroad?
Fortunately the answer is a resounding “yes.” As far as quality is concerned, many dental tourists report that once they’re in the dentist’s chair, they can’t even tell they’re in a foreign country. The offices are modern, impeccably clean, and equipped with the latest dental equipment. In fact, the same dental products that are popular in the United States or Europe are usually available in any dentist’s office, regardless of the country.
Language is not generally a barrier either, because dentists in other countries are quite accustomed to dental patients from the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and other English-speaking countries. Often, they’ve actually studied in one of these countries themselves.
The first thing to look for in dental accreditation abroad is to make sure any dentist you choose is properly licensed and accredited in their own country.
In some countries, it is quite common for dental work to be performed in a hospital environment instead of a dentist’s office. If this is the case for your dental procedure, you can look for accreditation through The Joint Commission. Prior to 2007, this entity was known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO). In 1997, the Joint Commission International (JCI) was established as a division of Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (JCR). International hospitals in over 60 countries can receive this accreditation. The JCI currently accredits hospitals in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. This accreditation can be considered your quality “seal of approval” for hospitals abroad.
There are other dental accreditation bodies abroad, as there is in the United States, for example. Some states are accredited by the JCI, but not all. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their quality isn’t as high, so bear that in mind when researching dental accreditation abroad.
In the United States, you would look for a dentist’s licensure by the state’s board of dental examiners, with the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) managing the accreditation of dental education. Of course, you won’t find these exact same accreditation and licensure boards in other countries, but other countries have similar boards and processes.
In Mexico, for example, the National Ministry of Education grants a person licensure to practice dentistry. Dentists in Mexico are even required to complete a year of social service after they complete their studies before they can be licen. CONAEDO, the National Commission on Dental Education in Mexico handles the accreditation process. The American Dental Association’s CODA, as well as the Canadian Commission on Dental Accreditation, actually assisted in Mexico’s accreditation process.
In Europe, all members of the European Union adhere to the same processes. Dental professionals in the EU are licensed when they graduate from dental school and are then free to practice in any EU country.
Just as is the case with all professional studies, a government agency under the Ministry of Education provides the accreditations, at least in most countries of the European Union.
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