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