How to Prepare for Dental Emergencies While Traveling Abroad

January 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM Leave a comment

No matter how much attention you put into every detail of your vacation, there are some things you can’t plan for in advance. You can’t stop a sudden downpour ruining your day at the beach or giving the taxi driver the wrong hotel address because you were jet lagged. However, you can plan for these situations.

One such situation you should definitely prepare for is a dental emergency. Nothing can ruin your holiday faster than a painful toothache far from home and your regular dentists. From a Manitoba dentist, here is what you need to do to prepare for dental emergencies when traveling abroad.

  • Schedule an Appointment

If you know you have bad teeth or you recently felt some discomfort, it’s best to pay your dentist, a visit for a full checkup. Don’t leave this task to the last minute before your departure. If there’s something serious going on, such as tooth or gum abscess, your dentist won’t have enough time to treat it. Clean your teeth if you have gum disease. Any decayed or cracked teeth and root canal treatment should be completed before leaving. Otherwise, the pressure changes during flights could cause infections and pain.

If your destination is in a developing country, you should consider immunization against Hepatitis B since the doctors there may not be vaccinated. Keep in mind that vaccination for Hepatitis B and other viruses must be done six months before traveling to your destination. So, plan everything carefully to the last detail. It might feel like a hassle now, but you’ll thank yourself for doing it should a dental emergency happen.

  • Research the Dental Care Options Available at Your Destination

Standards and practices can vary dramatically from country to country. Things will go easier for you if you are familiarized with the hospital, medical facilities, reputable dentists and prices there. The Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care is an excellent place to start your research.

  • Get Dental Cover with Your International Insurance

Most people assume that their private, corporate, or trip insurance plan covers all their medical emergencies. More often than not it isn’t, so you’ll need additional insurance to get full coverage. Different providers offer various levels of coverage, so pay close attention to their policies before choosing one. Start your research well before you depart so that you understand your options and make sure you find the perfect plan for you.

Depending on the plan you select, you can seek treatment at hospitals and dentists of your choosing, and you can even get discounts.

  • Ask for Recommendations

There are different dental organizations you can contact in case of emergencies.

Ask your dentist as he or she may be part of any international association for dentists and if they can recommend a certain clinic or doctor to you.

The embassy or local consulate of the country you’re about to visit could provide you with relevant information as well since most countries have dental associations which can provide referrals.

Another great organization that can provide help in case of a dental emergency is The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), an NGO which connects health providers around the world. It offers help on various issues, including dental care. Anyone can be a member for free, although donations are encouraged.

Last but not least, ask your friends and family, read forum discussions and check review sites.

  • Put Together an Emergency Kit

Prepare an emergency kit and make sure to always carry with you. Dental problems tend to hit when you’re the farthest from any medical assistance, such as during your flight, a boat trip, or a hike through the mountains. Include some anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen along with your regular oral care products. They won’t do wonders, but they’ll alleviate the pain until you reach a dentist.

  • Use Common Sense

If you’re prone to dental issues, you can take some simple preventive measures. Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, foods, and snacks. Remember that your teeth are just for eating, not to act as tools as well. So don’t use them to cut tape or other materials.

All this preparation will come in handy if an emergency strikes when you’re abroad. However, keep in mind that the best precaution is solving your problems before departing.

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