Kiwi dentists fixing substandard overseas surgery is widespread – report

Almost all New Zealand dentists have had to help patients who have received sub-standard care, according to a new report.

The survey revealed the popularity - and risk - of 'dental tourism', which doctors here say can be much more expensive in the long-run.

The study, by the University of Otago, found 96 per cent of Kiwi dentists have had to correct botched procedures from overseas.

The University of Otago's Professor Karl Lyons says while getting dental work done overseas may be tempting, it isn't worth the risk.

"I absolutely understand why people would go overseas for dental treatment, but what they're not aware of is that while the upfront costs might be less than those in New Zealand, the ongoing maintenance could be an issue," he says.

Rohit Bedi, of Garden City Dentistry, says 'dental tourism' may cause irreversible damage.

"People overseas will sometimes treat it as an adventure sport and try to do as much as they can in a single session," he says.

"That might be okay for a few months but down the line, that's permanent, irreversible damage," he says.

The New Zealand Dental Association says the main problem is that some of the most complicated procedures are being performed overseas.

While some patients think they're saving thousands, issues can go unnoticed for months.

Doctors in NZ are warning the lure of cheap dental work overseas is a risk that can cost more in the long run. Source: 1 NEWS