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Travelling Abroad for Dental Implants: 7 Things You Need to Know First

9th October 2023

When you google “dental implants”, you’ll probably be met with several sponsored ads offering cheap surgery overseas. In recent years, dental tourism has become very popular. But just because “Turkey Teeth” are in fashion, does it mean the treatment’s are safe? And are they the right option for you?

Clinics in countries like Turkey typically have lower overheads than those in the UK. Cheaper rents and lower salaries mean dentists abroad can undercut British practices. Add the ability to target UK patients online and a booming low-cost travel revolution into the mix, and suddenly travelling for dentistry is big business. 

But there’s a dark side to receiving treatment abroad. So often, patients return facing bigger problems than the initial loss of their teeth. The true cost of their new smile isn’t just financial.

Before you book your dental implant treatment abroad, here are seven things you need to know.

1. Not All Countries Meet the UK Standards

In the UK, every dental professional must register with the General Dental Council (GDC). The GDC is the dental regulator, but its reach only extends within the United Kingdom. While some other countries may have similar regulatory bodies, some might not, and those that do may not do as much to ensure patients get the best possible care. 

Patients can raise concerns about any UK dentists to the GDC, which could prompt an investigation. 

2. Dental Implant Placements Typically Involve Several Appointments

Dental implant placement is a complex surgery that’s usually performed in several stages. In many cases, the jaw bone needs to heal around the implant before the replacement teeth are placed. It can take several months for your jaw to recover between these steps. 

But before a dentist can begin treatment, they must assess your jaw first. This means taking scans or X-rays of the bone to check it’s dense enough to support the implant. Without this vital step, your implant could fail. 

If a dentist suggests they can assess you online via video call or photos, they won’t get a full picture of your oral health. 

3. Not All Dental Implants Are the Same Quality

While we often talk about dental implants in simplistic terms as being a “titanium post or screw”, there’s more to it than that, and not all implants are created equally. 

We use the highest-quality precision-engineered implants. Of course, quality comes at a higher price. While your treatment could come at lower cost, you may have inferior implants, which could easily become damaged or be rejected by your jaw. 

4. You May Encounter Language Difficulties

Language is often a problem when you get treatment abroad. You might manage to enjoy an overseas holiday when you don’t speak the local language, but receiving an expensive life-changing dental procedure isn’t the same as ordering food and drink. 

Simple misunderstandings could spell serious issues. You might not understand your dentist, and they may not be able to answer your questions fully. At the very least, it adds unnecessary stress and uncertainty to your treatment. 

5. There’s Often Very Little Aftercare

It takes months to recover fully after receiving dental implants. But if you’re only in the same country as your dentist for a week, how can you get the right level of post-treatment support?

Choosing a local dentist means you can return to the clinic for checkups and, most importantly, if you experience any problems during recovery. 

6. The Cost Of Treatment Isn’t All You Need to Factor

You may have looked at the cost of getting dental implants in the UK before noticing the lower-cost options overseas. But the cost of your treatment is only one financial consideration. In addition to paying for your dental implants, you will have additional costs that you wouldn’t need to factor in the UK, including:

  • Airfare 
  • Hotel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport parking
  • Airport transfers
  • Food and drink while overseas

Going overseas alone for surgery isn’t ideal. If you’re going with someone else, many of these expenses will be doubled. 

You may think that you can combine your surgery with a holiday. The reality is that you’re unlikely to enjoy your foreign break. 

7. You May Not Have the Right To Compensation

The UK media often reports horror stories about implant surgery that’s gone wrong. But UK dentists actually witness the results of these failed implants. Unfortunately, we’re not always able to fix the mistakes another dentist may have made. Some patients are left with life-changing damage. 

If anything goes wrong during your procedure or your recovery, you might not have the same legal protection. Every country has different laws. You may not be able to claim compensation or sue. Or, if you can, you may not receive a fair settlement. 

Dental Implants in Durham

If you’re considering dental implant treatment abroad, we recommend coming to see us first. At Durham Dental Implant Suite, we offer a range of treatments and can advise you on the best course of action before you make a decision

Call today to schedule your consultation.

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