If you’re planning to go travelling or on holiday abroad then you will no doubt have a long list of things to take care of and prepare for before you depart. Unfortunately, many people do not consider the scenario of experiencing a dental emergency while away from home and are left unprepared and unaware of how to access the right treatment, should they need it.
Visiting a foreign dentist can be unnerving and costly, at Vitality we recommend a number of actions that you can take to take to ease your mind, and avoid any unpleasant situations. Many dental issues that patients experience are preventable; letting your dentist know that you plan to go away is the best way to make sure that your travels aren’t overshadowed by a costly dental emergency.
Book your pre-holiday examination
Before you pack your bags, you should book in with your dentist for a preventative dental check-up to ensure that your mouth and teeth are in good health. Giving yourself plenty of time before departure will allow your dentist time to treat any pre-existing conditions that might cause you bother while travelling.
Access to the right care and products in a dental emergency can be challenging when in a foreign country, so your dentist will be able to provide you with everything you need before you leave the UK. Your appointment should be booked at least a month in advance of your departure, as varying treatment plans can take a few weeks to resolve any existing issues.
Seek preventative dental treatment
A pre-departure examination will also highlight any small issues that can be treated at the early stage, such as decay, which may in time require a filling if left untreated. If you already suffer with toothache or have decay then it is advisable to visit your dentist for a filling as soon as possible, to protect the health of the tooth. Spotting decay at an early stage will ensure that you do not encounter this scenario whilst abroad.
Adjust your treatment plan
If you have braces and are planning to go travelling, then it is advisable to let your dentist know and book in for an appointment before you go. Your dentist will be able to check the fit of your braces and make any adjustments needed before you go to keep you on track. Your next check-up can also be scheduled to coincide with when you are back in the UK.
If you wear dentures
and have done for some time, now may be the right time to have them replaced. This will ensure that it continues to stay comfortable in your mouth and fit for purpose with you on your travels.
If you suffer an emergency with your braces or dentures, then you may need to arrange to see a local dentist. Emergency or out of hours fees can be costly, so we advise all patients to have a full check-up with their regular dentist before departure.
Get covered with dental insurance
Medical insurance is widely taken out by travellers, who are aware of the issues that may arrive if emergency treatment is needed overseas. However, even the most expensive medical policies may only attribute a small portion of their cover to dental incidents. We recommend taking out quality dental insurance, which will provide all the cover you need. That’s why here at Vitality … we offer a Worldwide Dental Emergency assistance scheme to our patients to keep them protected.
The Worldwide Dental Emergency assistance scheme provides cover to ensure that you can be seen quickly and easily by a local dentist. This covers fees and compensation for emergency dental pain relief, dental trauma, hospitalisation as a result of trauma, and oral cancer diagnosis.
After paying the required fees from the local practice or institution, you will be reimbursed by Vitality … on presentation of an invoice. For more information about our dental insurance membership schemes, visit our Vitality Plan page or contact us today to discuss the options in more detail.
Stock Up on the Essentials
It can be hard to find the right supplies when you’re in a foreign country, so making sure that you pack enough to keep you going is a must. Your checklist should include a good quality toothbrush, a hygienic container to store it in and keep it clean, toothpaste, sugar free gum, mouthwash and floss. If you have braces, travelling with a supply of orthodontic wax can help ease any discomfort experienced.
When you are away from home and outside of your day-to-day routine, it is important to remember to eat a balanced diet and choose foods that are kind to your teeth. Too many sweet treats or acidic foods can take their toll on your teeth, and while enjoying yourself you may forget that the health of your teeth is at risk.
While chewing sugar free gum is a good option for keeping teeth healthy in between brushing, moderating your intake of sugary food and drink, as well as careful brushing, will help ensure that your enjoyment isn’t ruined by an emergency visit to the dentist.
Above all, we recommend that you contact your dentist to let them know that you will be travelling overseas, and they can advise you on any specific preventative dental treatment that they can provide to help you enjoy your time abroad.
For the unexpected emergencies, dental insurance provides the peace of mind that costs are covered under your plan. For more information about this, or to arrange a pre-travel appointment, contact our team today to discuss your requirements.