Dental tourism negatively impacts New Zealand’s health care system

DUNEDIN, New Zealand: Overseas travel for dental treatment is said to be the most prevalent form of medical tourism. Up until now, medical tourism has been largely researched from the perspective of the patient. However, a recent study at the University of Otago investigated the impacts of outbound dental tourism on New Zealand. It found an increasing need for New Zealand dentists to provide remedial treatment for patients who had travelled abroad to receive dental care.

The research was carried out by associate professor Dr Brent Lovelock from the Department of Tourism, senior research fellow Dr Kirsten Lovelock from the Department of Public Health and Head of the Department of Oral Rehabilitation Prof. Karl Lyons. The study collected information via an e-mail survey of 337 New Zealand dentists in 2016 and found that 96 per cent had encountered dental tourists at least once or twice a year, usually because they required remedial treatment. Researchers at the University of Otago have found that typically New Zealanders seek dental treatment abroad because it is cheaper in regions such as Asia. Thailand was the most commonly noted country of treatment, with nearly 90 per cent of dental patients having been treated there, followed by India and Indonesia. While for some patients the treatment is successful, for others the treatment fails and the tourists have to seek remedial work once back in New Zealand. The dentists surveyed found the most important issue arising from treatment abroad was a lack of follow-up maintenance and a lack of post-treatment availability. About half of the respondents identified lack of treatment planning and lack of treatment records as problems. While about half of the dentists acknowledged dental tourism provides access to affordable dental treatment, just 6 per cent felt it enhances dental health outcomes for their patients and only 1.9 per cent would recommend it to their patients. A considerable number of 21.8 per cent agreed that dental tourism should be discouraged owing to its negative impact upon New Zealand’s dental health care system. Finally, about 15 per cent of respondents considered that dental tourism would negatively affect their practice incomes, whereas 6 per cent felt it would actually enhance their practice incomes owing to the increased demand for remedial treatment. “Patients are unaware of the poor quality of the work they receive and the difference in standard of care compared to New Zealand dentistry. Patients are often over-treated and inappropriately treated with irreversible damage to their teeth and no apparent discussion or awareness of treatment options,” one surveyed dentist said. The study, titled “The impact of outbound medical (dental) tourism on the generating region: New Zealand dental professionals’ perspectives”, was published in the August 2018 issue of the Tourism Management journal.

Tags: dental, dental tourism, New Zealand

New tax on medical devices will hurt small businesses, says ADIA

CANBERRA, Australia: The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) has this week reported that small businesses will be hit particularly hard by a new tax proposed by the nation’s regulator of dental products and other medical devices, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Businesses would be required to pay the new tax to supply new and innovative products lawfully in the medical and dental industries. ADIA has asked that implementing the tax be delayed to allow public consultation.

In February, ADIA welcomed a change in legislation to the way the TGA regulates medicines and medical devices. At the time, ADIA CEO Troy Williams said the reforms would “cut the red tape associated with introducing into the Australian market new and innovative patient treatment and diagnostic options”. Commenting on the newly proposed tax, Williams said, “Small businesses across the dental industry are concerned about the proposed $530 medical devices tax that the TGA wants to charge businesses placing new products on the register of medical devices that can be lawfully supplied in Australia. For many of these businesses it will affect the commercial viability of making available new and innovative dental products.” The TGA initially suggested 12 months ago a new tax for placing low-risk (Class 1) medical devices on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. However, it has now been established that, at the same time as changes to legislation took place regarding the regulation of medicines and medical devices, the TGA formally documented that the tax would in fact go ahead. “The TGA’s commitment to engaging with industry on amendments to the quantum of funds it currently extracts from business has, and continues to be, first-rate; however, with respect to this new tax there has been no formal process of public consultation to assess the impact on small business,” said Williams. The proposal to introduce the new medical devices tax has been placed before the health minister for consideration. ADIA has formally asked the TGA to withdraw its recommendation so that an appropriate level of public consultation can take place.

Tags: medical devices, small businesses, tax, teeth

How to deal with biofilm – new approaches in periodontitis, mucositis and peri-implantitis

Non-surgical therapy remains the cornerstone of periodontal treatment. Patient compliance and proper selection and application of adjunctive antimicrobial agents for sustained biofilm control are important elements in achieving successful long-term results in the non-surgical periodontal therapy.

Non-surgical therapy remains the cornerstone of periodontal treatment. Attention to detail, patient compliance and proper selection and application of adjunctive antimicrobial agents for sustained biofilm control are important elements in achieving successful long-term results. Frequent re-evaluation and careful monitoring allows the practitioner the opportunity to intervene early in the disease state, to reverse or arrest the progression of periodontal and peri-implant diseases, with meticulous non-surgical anti-infective therapy. Various treatment modalities, including, antimicrobial therapy, gingival irrigations, and host modulation, may be used as adjunctive treatments in the non-surgical management of periodontal infections. The emerging topic to be addressed in this dental webinar will be peri-implantitis. The non-surgical treatment of this condition has proven quite successful in the case of mucositis. Vice versa, in the case of progressive and irreversible bone loss, the non-surgical solution is not predictable, however, it is recommended as a first therapeutic phase. In some well documented clinical cases, the non-surgical option may have very satisfactory long- term outcomes. In other cases, it can help to significantly prolonging the survival rate of severely compromised implants. The protocol, particularly composite and differentiated, associated with the use of PERISOLV, will be described with clinical images, drawings and videos. Disclaimer 2018 1st of March: Please observe that Dr. Roncati had wrong information. An application for a FDA approval for Perisolv is not filed. Consequently is Perisolv not available in USA yet.
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