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The attractions of travelling overseas for major reconstructive dentistry are easy to see. Many of the most agressively marketed dental tourism destinations are also great places to have a holiday, too, so the fees charged by local practitioners for treatments like crowns, veneers and, especially, dental implants, look even more affordable. And let me be clear – I have met fine clinicians from all over the world, including the typical dental tourism destinations.

But it’s hard, in these less-regulated environments, for the individual patient to be sure that they are choosing a superior clinician – and there are some very bad ones!

In any case, whatever anyone tells you, no clinical procedure is free of all risk. My patients receive a continuity of care which dental tourism simply can’t rival.

This article takes a sensitive look at the ethical challenges confronting Australian dentists asked to look after dental tourists who come back with shiny new smiles that may be hiding a multitude of sins.