Having dental implants abroad is quickly becoming very popular. This is due to the lower cost of procedures abroad versus in private clinics in the UK.
While prices can be lowered by choosing dental surgeries that focus specifically on dental implants alone, or allow you to access finance options, some still find the cost of implants too high in the UK. They are then encouraged to go abroad for treatment, as prices can be considerably lower.
But is it safe to go abroad for cosmetic dentistry?
If you are considering dental implants, it is important to read our full guide below and consider all the options open to you. This allows you to make an informed choice that you will be happy with later.
There are plenty of well-publicised risks associated with cosmetic dentistry outside of the UK and these risks tend to fall into the following three categories:
- Insurance and regulations
These risks, as explored below, can be the result of lower-priced surgeries abroad.
Dental surgeries in the UK, such as EvoDental, have over 20 years of experience solely working with dental implants.
With this experience, comes the increased ability to plan patient-led treatments and solve any problems that may occur before the procedure. This is because, in the UK, dental professionals will have increased opportunities for further scans or tests to ensure they can carry out procedures safely.
If any extra consultations or tests are needed, patients can visit and have them completed, ensuring conditions are optimal and align with the implant type you have chosen. At this point, the dentist will be able to adapt treatment plans if necessary to provide you with the implant you have chosen.
This will not be the case in clinics abroad because they are generally much further from where you live and therefore repeated visits before surgery cannot always be completed. This leaves dental professionals abroad on the back foot, as they may not have enough information to completely tailor your implant procedure to the conditions of your mouth.
In this instance, any problems that occur during your procedure would have to be treated at the time, with no advanced warning.
You will then have to hope that the dental surgeon you are using has enough experience in the field to alter original treatment plans without preparation time.
Using a clinic that has multiple locations across the UK, on the other hand, would give your surgery the best likelihood of success because your treatment can be tailored to you personally.
With every operation, proper aftercare is essential to ensure the surgery is a success and any wounds recover well.
In the UK, this aftercare is usually carried out in private suites or hotels associated with the surgery and the cost of this is generally included in the cost of the procedure. Likewise, return trips for essential aftercare are also generally included.
When you go for dental implants abroad, aftercare, including flights and accommodation, is also likely to be included. However, any extra aftercare is unlikely to be included and will result in you having to pay for extra return flights and accommodation.
The language barrier is also an important thing to consider when thinking about your treatment and aftercare.
If there are complications after your procedure, you may not be able to adequately explain the symptoms you are experiencing, and the treatment of these symptoms may be delayed.
This ease of communication is something that we take for granted in the UK, but when you are unwell or far from home, you appreciate how important this is.
Insurance and regulations
When receiving cosmetic surgery abroad, you will not be covered by standard travel insurance so will have to purchase alternative medical insurance to make sure you are safe.
This could cost in the region of £50-100 extra, per return trip, depending on the country you are visiting.
This is another expense to consider if looking at dental tourism.
More importantly, however, is legal protection.
In the UK, all dental surgeries must work in line with specific regulatory and registration standards. This includes registration with the General Dental Council and adherence to the standards of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This protects you as the patient, especially if something goes wrong, and ensures that all dental professionals follow the same ethical code of conduct.
If you seek dental implants abroad, you do not know which specific standards and regulations your dental surgery must comply with, as each country will have their own regulatory standards. As these standards are what offer you personal protection during and after your surgery, it is worth thoroughly researching the standard associated with the country you intend to visit to ensure it is comprehensive and fits your needs.
This will allow you to compare them to the standards in the UK.
Botched dental implants from abroad are seen routinely at clinics such as EVO Dental.
The cheaper procedures then must be corrected privately in the UK, at further expense to the patient.
As such, if you are interested in dental tourism and intend to get dental implants abroad, it is important that you carefully check the clinic and what is included in your package to ensure you are getting everything you need.
If not, you may find that the lower price you have paid sharply increases when you return home.