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Going Abroad for Dental Implants?

Tooth implant
22 November 2014

A growing trend these days involves British people, some from Leeds,  travelling to developing countries in search of dental implants. This is because in countries like Mexico, Hungary, Turkey, Holland, South Africa and India among other nations, the cost of dental treatment is fairly low. But in most cases, clients do not receive the level of treatment they would get in Britain. The dental practice in these countries is not as regulated as it is in the UK, and many Britons have come back in far worse shape than they were before going. And then they have to pay more to a UK dentist to fix the botched work. We might be biased, but check out our guaranteed dental implants for peace of mind before you read on.

Another thing with dental tourism is that it involves the hassle of travelling. So you will only go if you have time. There is also the challenge of communication problems, long flight times and culture shock.

Given that dental implant patients take a considerably longer period to recuperate, the treatment is quite risky to have abroad. It is important to have routine re-care appointments with your surgeons. These appointments are usually separated by weeks or sometimes months. It becomes quite tricky to travel back and forth for such re-care appointments. You need to be sure that you can afford both the time and money involved in travelling several times before you board a plane to Budapest. In short, given the cost of travel and the inconveniences and risks that come with dental tourism, there is no big advantage of having teeth implants in a cheaper foreign country. Let’s look at some of the risks of dental tourism.

Cheap foreign dental treatments are fraught with risks

Complex dental treatment is, in most cases, expensive. This has made many Britons consider treatments overseas, as it seems a lot cheaper compared to local rates. Additionally, there is the prospect of a free holiday, which patients hope to save from. But is it safe?

Given that the dental standards in developing countries are nowhere near the standards you will find here in Britain, we would warn you early that it is not worth it. Many people have had their smiles wrecked by cheap dentists abroad. It then costs much more to correct the damage, and you can have months, if not years, of pain and distress.

Why seeking cheap dental treatment abroad is a bad idea

Cheap foreign dental services offered by countries like Mexico may appear cheap, but the truth is that the level of dental excellence in those countries cannot be compared to service levels in Britain. Also, these countries are not on par with Britain in terms of safety procedures and regulations. In short, you are risking a lot by going for cheap teeth implants abroad. Consider the following before you decide to go overseas for dental treatments :

Costs

There is no denying that it is indeed cheaper to obtain dental services in developing countries. But here is why. In most developing countries, a dentist requires no malpractice insurance. This fact alone reduces the doctor’s overheads compared to their British counterparts. In countries such as Mexico, there are no sterilization or monitoring standards and systems. But in Britain, a local dentist will have to contend with all these measures, which is why they may appear expensive.

Lack of legal recourse

In terms of recourse, you won’t have much with a foreign dentist. Countries like Mexico do not have malpractice insurance at all. There are therefore good chances that doctors there do not carry this insurance. Also, international laws have made it nearly impossible to sue across borders. In other words, if something should go wrong during your teeth implant treatment, you will be on your own. You are extremely unlikely to be able to obtain legal recourse.

Follow-up dental care is non-existent

You will not have any follow-up care unless you plan to go back to the country of original treatment. A good dental implant treatment may involve ten or twelve visits with the implantologist and dentist. Are you going to travel back and forward to a foreign country for continuity of care? Might be expensive!

Quality of Work

The quality of dental treatment you will receive abroad, in most cases, is poor. You risk destroying your teeth permanently by seeking cheap treatments abroad. Many people have come back with crowns that are badly treated as well as mismatched veneers that usually cost several thousand pounds to fix.

The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is so alarmed by the rise in numbers of people going abroad for dental treatments such as dental implants,  it issued an official warning to members of the public.

According to James Goolnik, who is an Academy board member, cases of seriously botched treatments in patients who come back to Britain have surged. He says “Given that foreign dental work tends to be cheaper and faster compared to how it is in Britain, many Britons find it very tempting”. But according to him, if you know the real risks of procedures like teeth implants, you would not choose to go abroad.

Materials used

The alloys used by British dentists, for instance, to reinforce the crown under the porcelain, are strictly regulated. In most developing countries and more specifically Mexico, these materials are not regulated. Many patients report complaints of bad taste and sickness, among other things, that come from alloys leeching into the saliva. So, while these materials are cheap, it is because they are inferior and could potentially be extremely dangerous. Sometimes in life, you get what you pay for, and where your health is concerned, why take the risk?

It is better to be treated at home

Going abroad appears to make sense, but in reality, you will be far better advised to have your treatment at home in Leeds rather than somewhere like Mexico or Poland. The level of standards set here in the UK is extremely high and guarantees you the best treatment. Even if something goes wrong, which is much less likely in the UK,  you can sue and be compensated, an option you will not have with foreign dentists.

It is undeniable that British dentists charge a lot compared to foreign dentists from developing countries. However,  your local dentist is not pocketing all the cash. The costs of operating a dental business in Britain are much higher than those in developing countries. For instance, Mexican dentists don’t require malpractice insurance, which considerably lowers their overheads. Also, the quality of materials used here is very high. These factors drive the cost of dentistry in the UK which is why you would seem to be paying over the top to have teeth implants locally. But to put it simply, you are paying for adherence to regulatory standards of excellence which means your safety is paramount, the outcome is virtually guaranteed to be successful, and where there are problems with treatment you have an assured road to recourse.

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