Your Dentistry Questions Answered
Welcome to the Smiles Centre dental hub, this is our dedicated page for sharing our news and answering all your questions. You can post questions to us by commenting on an existing post or by getting in touch by email, Facebook or by phone. We are always looking to answer as many questions as possible so please don't be shy, get involved and, if you find something you like then share it with your friends.
Is it Cheaper To Get Dental Treatment Abroad?
We have been asked many times whether it is cheaper to get dental treatment abroad, the short answer is yes, it can be. The longer answer is slightly more complicated.
One of the most common types of dental work that the public have done in other countries is implants, this is typically an expensive treatment and can save the patient a lot of money. However, this is not always the case and there are risks to having this work done overseas.
According to DentalDepartures.com, the top 10 international destinations for dental tourism are:
2. Indonesia (Bali)
6. The Philippines
8. Costa Rica
What Is The Cost Comparison?
Typical Cost of a Single Tooth Implant Excluding the Crown
That’s a serious difference in prices and you can certainly see the appeal of saving money and having a holiday at the same time, however, there are downsides to this and these points should be taken into account before making a decision.
What are the Downsides to Having Dental Treatment Abroad?
There are many factors to consider, the first point to consider is how many visits you’ll need to make to the dental practice. You’ll see many of these cheap offers stating that implants are placed in two stages, this is very misleading, this is the best possible scenario:
Stage 1 – Where necessary, removal of the existing tooth
Stage 2 – Implant inserted under the gum and stitched over to heal
Stage 3 – Stitches removed and observation appointments required
Stage 4 – A temporary tooth supplied to fill the space
Stage 4 – Typically, three to six months later, when the implants have fused with your bone, the gum must be cut back to expose the implant and then the final crown can be fitted.
Stage 5 – On-going check-ups and hygiene appointments
As you can see, it is not as simple as two stages, fitting implants is a complex matter and varies greatly patient to patient. At Smiles Centre, we are a private practice in Swindon that provides implant treatment and we ensure that every patient has more than enough appointments booked in during and after the treatment has been completed, every patient is different and that must be taken into account.
On reflection given all these appointments that are required, it should be taken into account, what travelling will be needed, just allowing for 2-3 appointments is extremely risky, there is also likely a cost to additional appointments, a typical UK cost will include these follow-up appointments, there are also other costs to allow for such as Xrays, OPG’s, check-ups and the implant itself.
If you are travelling overseas for dental treatment, it’s important to know the process if your procedure doesn’t go to plan, or if you require follow-up appointments. What level of aftercare is offered by the clinic you’re using? Is the work guaranteed for a set amount of time? Is there a complaints procedure if you are unhappy for any reason? What are the cost implications if further treatment is required?
Another factor to consider is that these dental practices may use systems and materials that are not readily available, in our practice we have witnessed many patients that have had some obscure implant system that we have been unable to identify and this has often prevented urgent treatment from taking place, it would be advisable to check that the surgeon is using a well-known brand like Bicon or Nobel Biocare.
What if Something Goes Wrong?
It is possible that an implant could fail, I believe our success rate is around 99% but in that instance where there is a rare instance of a failure, we would always look to be an alternative treatment or to reimburse where necessary. There are other risks with intrusive surgery like implants such as infection, this risk might be extremely low but should you experience anything like this, the best place to be is in your country where you can quickly get the treatment that is needed.
In the UK, all medical professionals must be registered, and, with dentists, the registration is with the General Dental Council and they adhere to their standards. If you are treated by a dentist abroad, there are no guarantees that the regulations, qualifications, standards or safeguards in place are of a similar level to those in the UK, or are even regulated at all.
If you are unfortunate enough to have received negligent treatment from a dental clinic abroad then making a compensation claim through a solicitor based in the UK may not be possible. If you do travel abroad for dental treatment, you do run the risk of not having the same legal protections that you do when undergoing the same procedures in the UK
Why is Dental Treatment more Expensive in the UK?
Although you are able to pay less, there is the cost of accommodation and travelling to take into account. Even so, there is still a saving to be made and why is that?
One very obvious reason that treatment has a higher price is the cost of living is higher here in the UK, business rates, rents and wages are the obvious contributing factors but there are other reasons such as insurances, indemnities, regulatory bodies and the sheer amount of compliance involved in running a practice which is not helped by new Corona guidelines. Equipment is another factor to consider, both purchasing and maintenance is very costly, a fully kitted out practice can cost £100,000 plus per surgery. In our practice, Smiles Centre in Swindon, we invest heavily in our staff, ensuring that they are well paid and not overworked with a focus on training and development.
Is it Cheaper To Get Dental Treatment Abroad?
It might appear that private dentistry is a gold mine but I can assure you that the running costs are equally high and that as a business, the profits are not as much as you might expect.
If you’d like to know more about implant treatment then visit our page here: Implants
If you’d like to know more about our general treatment available click here: General Dentistry
Is a Private Dentist Expensive?
This is a question that we get asked a lot, the answer might surprise you.
If your dental health is good and you don’t need anything other than routine appointments
Believe it, or not, in this instance, private dentistry can be more cost-effective than going to see an NHS dentist. The reason is that routine appointments can usually be paid by way of an on-going dental plan.
So… Is a private dentist expensive?
Comparison of a couple ( any two from the same household )
NHS cost of two six month check-ups per person – £45.40
NHS cost of two routine hygiene appointments per person – £124.20 ( this is a thorough clean on band 2 )
Total Year Cost of NHS Dental Treatment – £339.20
Smiles Centre Private Couples Smile Plan, this cover the four routine appointments for both members – £24.99 x 12 months = £299.88
Total Year Cost of Private Dental Treatment – £299.88
So, for a couple of people with no treatment requirements, it is £40 a year less to go private!
Here is the link to all the Smiles Centre monthly plans – https://smilescentre.co.uk/smile-plan
What are the benefits of going private?
Speaking as a private practice, we typically have a lot more time to spend with our patients, our emphasis is all centred around providing exceptional service to our patients. It is true to say that Coronavirus has thrown a spanner in the works to our usual level of service, however, there is still a relaxed and calm environment for us to provide a great level of care, for example, at present, our receptionist will come and greet you at your car with an umbrella if it is raining! There are many reasons to go private but here at a few bullet points
Benefits of Private Dental Treatment
- More Time Per Appointment
- Relaxed Atmosphere ( great for nervous patients )
- Latest Equipment
- Better Quality Materials Used
- Guarantees on Work Completed ( up to 5 years )
At Smiles Centre, our on-going mission is to provide such a fantastic service that our patients actually look forward to their future appointments. This is achieved more than you might think, often, those that first come to us with a severe level of dental phobia now actually enjoy their visits.
Here is a link to our dental practice reviews – Smiles Centre Google Reviews
What about the cost of treatment?
We already asked, is a private dentist expensive, but, let’s take a look at a typical patient who requires a filling and an extraction, this is assuming that the work is done at separate times and therefore charged individually ( I find the pricing structure confusing )
Cost of NHS Filing – £62.10
Cost of NHS Standard Extraction – £62.10
Total NHS Cost is £124.20
Smiles Centre Private Fees Cost
Cost of Smiles Private Filling – £65 to £147 ( one to three surfaces )
Cost of Smiles Private Standard Extraction – £159
If we take a middle option on the filling, that’s £115 ( two surfaces) and then we add the cost of extraction, the total cost of private is £274
Total Private Cost is £274
The good news is that you can get this down by 10% if you are on one of the plans as mentioned above, let’s take that as a given. Again, is a private dentist expensive? This means the private cost is actually:
Total Private Cost is £246
This is pretty much double the price, however, there are ways to spread the cost of treatment with interest-free payment plans and you’re getting the additional benefits as mentioned above, if you then put it as a package, the total cost comparison is as follows
Year Cost of NHS as a couple with treatment including routine – £587.60
Year Cost of Smiles private as a couple with treatment including routine – £791.88
On that comparison, it is £200 more per year or less than £9 per month per person to upgrade to private including on-going treatment.
Less than £9 per month more per person for private dentistry
There are exceptions
NHS charges will depend on your situation, age, employment status and being pregnant are all factors and in many cases, will mean free treatment.
What About Cosmetic Dental Treatment?
This is kind of irrelevant as cosmetic work isn’t typically an option for NHS patients, Smiles Centre offer an extensive range of cosmetic work such as composite build-ups, teeth whitening, implants and very detailed, natural and great fitting dentures. For more information about our cosmetic work, please see this link > Smiles Centre Cosmetic Dental Treatment <
It is worth noting that you don’t have to be a regular patient to have cosmetic treatment, some of our patients choose to see an NHS dentist but just make appointments with us for their cosmetic work as and when they require it.
What do you think? Is a private dentist expensive?
At Smiles centre, we are working really hard to enable us to open up our dental practice as soon as we possibly can. That said, we understand that some of our patients will not want to be visiting the dentist just yet, that is absolutely understandable, we will be ready to serve you as soon as feel confident that it is safe to do so.
Swindon Dentist to Reopen After Covid Facing Unprecedented Costs
We also have our own complications to overcome in the reopening, we will not be able to operate as much clinical time as our appointment times need to spread out with gaps in between appointments, we also have to factor in the cost of additional PPE. At present, we need to order over £8,000 and expect an ongoing cost of £4,000 to £5,000 per month.
As we continue to make plans, we would really appreciate your input, if you could answer the following two questions, it would help us enormously
If Smiles Centre reopened 1st June 2020, would you be confident attending an appointment? Live
No, It is too soon15% 99 / 654
Yes, but only if I need an emergency treatment25% 168 / 654
Yes, but only if additional PPE is being used and precautions have been implemented59% 389 / 654
To Help Us Overcome the Financial Burden, We Are Considering Applying a £15 PPE charge to Some Appointments
To ensure the safety of all our staff and patients, would you be prepared to pay an additional fee per appointment? Live
No38% 228 / 597
Yes20% 120 / 597
Yes but £15 is too much42% 253 / 597
Thank you for taking part in our survey, it will help us form our plan to reopen our dental practice in Swindon.
If you would like more information about how the coronavirus is affecting dental appointments you can check out the latest NHS info guidance at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
If you have any questions, you can request a callback and one of the team will be in touch, there is a form on our contact page here. Alternatively, you can call our main reception number 01793 722266 and leave a voicemail with your details.
Ok so heres a better picture of Kirsten Dunst and her celebrities smile, a bit younger here but she still has the same teeth.
See the lateral here that sticks out, just like mine. She's not beautiful because of her crooked teeth, my crooked teeth certainly don't make me beautiful, so what is it that makes us all feel bad about our teeth? Well its a natural instinc to find teeth and eyes attractive. Bright alert eyes, healthy gums and white teeth convey good health and therefore a long term mate. Straight teeth do not enter this equation though, and sometimes crooked teeth can be an attractive feature also.
Lets look at another celebrities smile. Here's an image of Scarlett Johansson when she was younger, here teeth are not straight but she still looks great!
But what about the other things that affect the way our teeth look, like colour, shape and size etc?
Heres another celebrities smile. Will Smith, when i think i Will Smith i remember him in fresh prince of bel air. A young cocky lad full of confidence.
How confident do you think he would have been if he had a tooth missing?
Do you think he would have gotten the part if he auditioned with a tooth missing? Do you think he would have had that confidence to smile with a missing tooth. Any one of his teeth could be a crown or bridge and we would never know.
What about Britney Spears celebrities smile.
Very common in young women, we see this when as a child are given too many sweets, sugary drinks and fruit juices. Look at the difference it makes to her though. This is not something she would have to live with though, we could easily get her looking amazing again.
Look at this celebrities smile.
Here we have Brad Pitt with his cheeky chipmunk grin.
Here's what he would look like with stained teeth
This is so common with people who are over the age of 30. Over time our teeth naturally darken. Teeth whitening toothpaste is not going to help this guy, it's just not. Turmeric, charcoal, all these things are good at removing extrinsic staining, that is the staining on the tooth surface, but it's never going to whiten the teeth the same way that a dentist can whiten your teeth, even oral hygiene with a great hygienist cannot get rid of intrinsic staining, that is, the staining within the body of the tooth, its just not possible. The only way to do that without damaging the tooth is with a dentists prescription whitening gel. It's easy and within a couple of weeks you can have your teeth whitened and the difference this one treatment can make is amazing and you don't need to be a millionaire to afford it either.
Ok, it wouldn't be fair to photoshop Brad without having a go at Jenny celebrities smile.
Worn teeth! Look at this, look at how worn teeth can change your appearance!
Here's the original. I've not changed anything on this image except the length of her teeth.
This is common in people that grind their teeth, usually at night while they sleep. We can help prevent this from getting worse, which is the first course of action (preventative dentistry) and then look at ways to rehabilitate and fix the problem (restorative dentistry). It can be a bit more work and costly than some of the others we have looked at but it's still something we can put right and it would give massive benefits to the person having this treatment.
We see this a lot with denture wearers, acrylic teeth on dentures can wear down much quicker than the enamel of our teeth but the fix is a lot quicker too. And there are things we can do to prevent this from happening so rapidly in the future.
And last but not least we have Tom Cruises celebrities smile.. This is what he would look like with a mouth of bad crowns.
Don't worry tom, we can help you out.
Again, you don't need to be a millionaire. Yes dental treatment can be expensive but the benefits can be life changing. It really is life changing. And we have different payment option available including interest free which we can discuss with you. We treat lots of nervous patients here too, if you are a bit worried you can book one of our very popular meet and greet appointments, that's where you get to meet a dentist and just have a chat, it's free and we do it so you can get to meet the dentist that will be treating you if you decide to join our practice. I have a fantastic team of dental care professionals here at the smiles centre and we would love to meet you.
Come and see us, tell us about your story and we’ll help you get to where you want to be. We may not be able to get you looking like jennifer anderston or brad pit but we can give you some of their confindence!
Smiles Centre Swindon has just had a dental OPG machine installed
What is an OPG machine?
A dental OPG is a panoramic wide view x-ray of the mouth which displays all the teeth on a single image. Part of the machine then rotates around your head as the images are being taken. During a cephalogram procedure, you will be asked to stand or sit in front of the x-ray machine and small pegs will be placed in your ears to help align your head. The scan typically takes less than 30 seconds to complete.
The practice can use the image to evaluate and diagnose treatments, they are often taken prior to oral surgery such as implants or complicated extractions.
Smiles Centre charges £75 to patients of the practice for an OPG but this is reduced for those patients that are currently on a Smiles Centre payment plan. You can find out more about our Smile Plans here.
What are the radiation risks?
What are the benefits vs. risks?
- No radiation remains in a patient’s body after an x-ray examination.
- X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam.
- Panoramic x-rays can be used for very young children since the film does not have to be placed inside the mouth.
- Women should always inform their dentist or oral surgeon if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
What are the limitations of dental opg Panoramic X-ray?
A panoramic x-ray does not provide precise and detailed information about each individual tooth or soft tissues, such as the muscles. It is generally used as an initial evaluation of the bones and teeth. Because your mouth is curved, the panoramic x-ray can sometimes create a slightly blurry image where accurate measurements of your teeth and jaw are not possible. If your dentist or surgeon needs more information, a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered. This may include Dental Cone Beam CT, an imaging exam developed specifically for this part of the body.