Why you shouldn’t go abroad for your dental implant treatment
Dental implants offer a permanent solution for missing teeth. Rather than relying on a full or partial denture, you can have a replacement that looks and feels like your natural teeth.
Dental implants use your jawbone as a solid anchor, replicating the function of a tooth root. The result is a long-lasting and functional replacement that can last a lifetime with the correct care.
This innovative treatment can be pricey, but you might be tempted by offers to have the treatment completed overseas. In this guide, we’ll explain why this can be the more costly option in the long term, and how you can get a great deal on dental implants in the UK.
How much do dental implants cost?
A single dental implant can cost around £2,000 to £2,500. For a bridge, you can expect to pay around £3,000 and to restore both arches, treatment could cost around £10,000 to £25,000. This certainly isn’t a cheap option, but the lifetime benefits of restoring your teeth are certainly worth the price.
Overseas offers can be as low as £8,000 for a full mouth restoration. Aggressive marketing for these overseas dental clinics paints a picture of being able to enjoy a quick dental procedure, followed by a short holiday. Tempting as this might be, the risks of overseas dental implants should be enough to make you think twice. Here are just some of the reasons you shouldn’t consider going overseas for treatment.
You won’t be protected
All dentists in the UK have to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). This means you can be assured they know what they are doing and have the appropriate qualifications. This is your first level of protection.
If anything goes wrong with your treatment in the UK, your dentist is duty-bound to fix it. And if they refuse, you’ll have the legal recourse to force them to put it right or pay you compensation. This is your second level of protection.
With overseas treatment, you won’t have the same reassurance that your dentist is qualified and experienced. You may meet with a qualified dentist during your consultation, but this is not a guarantee that they will be completing your treatment.
And if anything goes wrong, you’ll have the navigate the local legal system – in the native language – to be able to hold them to account. Many of these systems will require you to be a resident of the country in order to access their legal system.
There will be a language barrier
Dental implant treatment is very complex and things might change on the day you need to understand in order to give consent. If you have treatment overseas, you’ll need a translator with you to ensure you know what is happening. There is no guarantee that one will be provided.
It can be a scary experience to not understand what is happening and not be able to ask for help or explain if something doesn’t feel right. This is why we recommend staying closer to home for treatment.
Follow-ups will be more complex
When you choose to go overseas for treatment, you won’t have access to follow-up care. You might be able to visit your usual dentist and ask for advice, but they won’t be familiar with the treatment plan or how the procedure went.
Having access to follow-up care, advice and support will help to put you at ease during the healing process. It can also help to ensure that small issues don’t become much bigger issues.
You shouldn’t travel after surgery
It’s not advisable to travel so close to surgery as the change in air pressure could lead to complications. Advice in the UK is that you should wait 2 weeks after surgery before flying, but many of these companies selling overseas dental implants will assure you that it’s safe after 2-3 days. This is why they often market this as a combination of a holiday and surgery.
While many people might do this every year, this doesn’t mean that it is safe. You also run the risk of not feeling confident flying after your surgery, but having no choice because your trip is over. This can be incredibly distressing for patients.
In the UK, you can guarantee that the materials used in your implant procedure will be of the highest quality. There is no guarantee of quality when you go overseas. You may be sold one type of implant, only to have an inferior one placed in your jaw. This can increase the risk of rejection.
You also run the risk of receiving poor-quality care. Your dental surgeon may not be as experienced as they advertise, or you may only be supervised by an experienced surgeon while a student carries out the actual procedure.
Some dentists in the UK will refuse to correct poor-quality work carried out overseas. They may only give the option to remove the implant, allow the site to heal, and attempt the procedure again. This would mean you are paying twice for your procedure.
The NHS is also hesitant to treat patients that have had poor-quality procedures done overseas. They may only offer to remove the implant and not provide a replacement.
What is the alternative?
There are ways you can make dental implant treatment more accessible and affordable. The best option is to choose a dental practice that offers interest-free credit payment plans. This will enable you to spread the cost of your treatment over a fixed period.
Many dental practices will also run special promotions on dental implants as an incentive to get individuals to book. Look out for dental implant open days where you can get a free consultation and a special price on implants if you decide to go ahead with treatment.
While you might not want to travel overseas, it’s not uncommon for individuals to travel within the UK to find a cheaper deal on dental implants. Broaden your search area to find cheap dental implant deals in the UK.