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Greek dentists warn of poor services in neighbouring countries

04 November 2014 / 19:11:44  GRReporter
2422 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

During the years of economic crisis, many Greeks, and especially the inhabitants of border regions in Northern Greece, often travel to neighbouring countries to use the services of local dentists. The reason is that the prices are far lower than those in Greece and are therefore affordable for those patients with reduced incomes.

It turns out, however, that the desire to save money that way sometimes does not produce the desired results. According to experts, orthodontists, in many cases patients who have used the services of dentists in Greece’s neighbouring countries have serious complications that drive them to turn to dentists in Greece. The problems often require long-term treatment, which costs them a lot more than what they would have originally paid.

Such is the case reported by website kozanilife.gr of the city of Kozani in northern Greece. According to the report, a 14-year-old girl had a massive haemorrhage after a surgery for removal of milk teeth in a neighbouring country.

The situation was so complicated that the girl was taken to the intensive care unit of Kozani hospital and after 3 days of treatment there, she was moved to "George Papanikolaou" hospital in Thessaloniki where she stayed until fully recovered.

"We decided to announce this case to warn patients to be careful when choosing who will treat their teeth", dentist Sofia Tzika from Kozani, a representative of the local association of dentists in the Hellenic Federation of Dentists, told GRReporter.

She stressed that such complications can occur after visiting any dentist in any country, but warned that many dentist offices in countries that are not members of the European Union are not certified to perform dental services. "This does not mean that all the offices in the European Union have the necessary certificates, but it is assumed that the European legislation and protocols for the treatment are applied there," added Tzika.

She said the main reason why Greeks seek the services of dentists abroad is the fact that the majority of the services are not covered by their health insurance and their pockets cannot bear that cost. "We understand that people are forced to look for cheaper solutions. Dentists in Greece cannot offer prices that are competitive with those of their colleagues from neighbouring countries, as taxation here is very high," she said.

GRReporter contacted orthodontist and assistant professor at the Faculty of Dentistry of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Stylianos Dalabiras, who treated the injured girl. His comment was that no expert is insured against making a mistake. "The only thing we can do is warn patients to carefully choose the dentist whom they will trust to treat them," he added.

Tags: SocietyDentistsServices of poor qualityEU non-member statesPatients
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