You may be on vacation, but good oral health never is!
Don’t let a dental emergency ruin your vacation; make sure your teeth are in great shape before leaving home. Scheduling a trip to our office to have any dental problems fixed before you leave can save you time, money, and discomfort when you’re supposed to be relaxing and having fun. Depending on your destination, safe and effective dental care may be hard to come by, so addressing potential dental issues prior to your departure is extremely important to avoid unnecessary risks.
Dentists trained in the United States graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. In addition, dentists must pass national examinations and meet state requirements before they earn a license to practice. Comparable levels of training may exist in your destination, but this may be difficult to find out depending on that country’s dental regulations.
Tend to decayed teeth, broken fillings, and other dental problems and inform your dentist of your travel plans.
If you are traveling by air, keep in mind that cabin pressure changes can cause pain in a tooth that has decay or is cracked.
All root canal treatment should be completed before travel to avoid potential infection.
Schedule a cleaning, especially if you have any type of periodontal disease, to prevent infection while you’re away.
When you’re on vacation, continue to brush and floss as you normally would. However if you are traveling to an area where the drinking water is unsafe, use bottled or boiled water when rinsing your mouth to avoid illness.
Seeking Safe Emergency Dental Care
No amount of prevention can guarantee that a dental emergency won’t occur. Here are a few tips if you experience a dental emergency when you’re out of the country:
Along with your passport or visa, carry travel information including names and phone numbers of organizations to contact in case of a dental or medical emergency. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers and the American Dental Society of Europe are recommended resources by the American Dental Association.
If staying in a hotel, the concierge may be able to suggest a dentist. The American Embassy or other American expatriates living in the area may also be good sources for a recommendation.
Emergency care in other countries may not be covered by your dental insurance plan. Contact them to find out what they cover and if they have resources at your destination.
When you get to the dental office, take a look around to make sure the staff and doctor are following infection control and safety standards by practicing in a sterile environment and wearing masks and gloves.
Be sure to pack an up to date detailed list of all medications and supplements you are using
Take the time to prepare for unexpected dental emergencies before you leave so you can enjoy your vacation worry-free.