A growing number of expatriate Bangladeshis have been coming back to the country for dental treatment.
30-year-old Rokhsana Begum, who lives in Qatar with her family, makes taking dental treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) a priority during her visits.
“Dental treatment is unlike any other treatment. You have to sit with your mouth open for a long time. It is extremely important to have clear lines of communication with the dentist, and it is difficult to do so with foreign dentists.
“For which we prefer coming to Bangladesh for treatment,” she said.
Another patient, 22-year-old Suraiya Mehzabeen said she comes to Bangladesh from Italy every year for dental treatment.
Many expatriates rely on Bangladeshi dentists for such treatment – and it is not just for the language.
Dental surgeons say that Bangladesh is almost on par with the quality of dental treatment available in developed countries, except in stem cell therapy and the material used in fillings.
Treasurer of BSMMU Professor Ali Asgar Morol said: “Another important factor is the proliferation of dental specialists in Bangladesh. In western countries, one can only see a specialist after being recommended for it by a general practitioner or dental consultant.”
Retired health official and surgeon at Nitol Dental Chamber Dr Md Anwarul Haque said: “The costs of dental procedures are considerably less in Bangladesh with comparison to the developed countries.
“Apart from the glaring difference in base cost, in most foreign countries these procedures are not covered by health insurance. The disparity is so great that even the added cost of airfare does not diminish its feasibility.”
As a result, even though people choose to go abroad for most kinds of medical treatments, the reverse is happening for dentistry with people from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, USA, UK, Canada, etc coming to Bangladesh for their oral treatments.
Professor Ali Asgar Morol also said: “I have been to several seminars and symposiums abroad. The only areas we are lacking behind from developed countries are stem cell therapy and dental filling materials, which only puts us at about a 10% disadvantage.
“Therefore, people who come to Bangladesh for treatment rarely have any complaints,”
“That being said, however, I urge all dental patients to try to avoid quacks, as their mistreatments might damage the overall opinion of the dental care available in the country,” he concluded.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com