Dental Implants Abroad – A Potential Risk To Oral Health?
With international travel restrictions lifting, some might be tempted by cheaper teeth implant offers overseas
Whilst most people considering this will be doing so for a week or two in the sun, there are likely to be some who have been looking into having cosmetic dental treatments carried out abroad, with dental implants being the most popular of these.
One of the main reasons that people might choose this option is cost. Most of you will have seen advertisements offering teeth implants at a much cheaper rate than in the UK. There are a number of possible reasons for this and some of them come with risks attached. In today’s Blue Sky Dental blog, we will take a look at these along with how to spread the cost of implant treatment at our Chelmsford dental clinic.
First of all, we should state that these possible criticisms may not apply to all international dentists. There are many highly skilled dentists throughout the world, and indeed, many now practice in the UK. There may be small savings to be made internationally due to currency exchange rates and the cost of living in those countries. Once airfares and accommodation costs are taken into account though, it is less likely to be the bargain that you had hoped for.
One way that some dentists might reduce their costs is to use inferior quality materials. This will cut costs obviously, but the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ applies here. Implants have to be made from specific materials to allow the osseointegration process to occur (where the bone and implant fuse together). If cheaper materials are used, however skilled the dentist is, this process is unlikely to be as successful and could result in an unstable implant that will fail in the not so distant future.
Potentially less qualified dentists
As stated before, there are some excellent dentists internationally. In less regulated areas of the world though, there may well be some who are only partially qualified at best. We would definitely recommend that you avoid using dentists in parts of the less developed world, however cheap they appear to be. Even in more advanced countries, the regulations and qualifications to become a dentist can differ. This means that they may not match the standard of oral care that you are used to in the UK. As placing dental implants is complex, this should give cause for concern.
When you attend our Chelmsford dental practice for treatment. One thing that most patients appreciate is our friendly chair side manner and a willingness to explain what is about to happen during the procedure. We find that this puts most people at ease and, of course, we are always happy to answer questions at this time. This could be a problem abroad, depending on the language skills of the dentist involved. Whilst some might have excellent English language skills, this is not always the case. Being unable to explain something may well make you more anxious about your treatment and indeed, communication during the procedure is important too; something that is difficult if there are issues around language.
Although dental implant placements have a very high success rate in the UK, any surgical treatment can potentially have problems that require follow up care afterwards. Even without this, UK dentists will always monitor the treatment and be available if you have any concerns.
If there are any issues with your new implant, they are likely to occur a few days or weeks later when you are back in the UK. Whereas, if done locally, you could just get in your car or travel on the bus for an appointment, a follow up visit to a dentist abroad will most likely involve a flight and hotel accommodation. This obviously adds significantly to the overall cost of your treatment and makes it much less viable financially. In addition to that, if the problem is due to substandard treatment or materials, do you really want to go back to the dentist where it happened? You may not be able to have follow-up aftercare locally either. Many dentists are reluctant to deal with the aftermath of an inferior treatment that was done elsewhere.
Our advice then would be to recommend that you don’t go abroad for your dental implant treatment, however cheap and tempting it may be. Your oral health is important and not something to be gambled with. We do understand that for some people, cost is an issue and we can help our Chelmsford patients spread the cost of their treatment through our various finance plans.
If you have been thinking of having implants abroad, why not come and talk to us to see what we can offer and how we can help you to spread the cost of your treatment. To arrange a consultation with one of our implant dentists, please call Blue Sky Dental on 01245 211070.