Those looking to have private dental treatment for cosmetic purposes can’t have helped but notice the amount of advertising that is currently being aimed at having this done abroad.
The adverts are certainly tempting and seem to offer great value for money, but do these advertisements tell you all the facts that you need to know before deciding?
The biggest draw to going abroad for the treatments is the cost. Many overseas dentists not only offer cheaper prices but often throw in a hotel room and flights into the bargain.
It is a fact that there are many highly trained dentists overseas and this can be backed up by the amount that work in dental practices in our own country.
The problem arises when it is difficult to know who is good and who is not so good. Qualifications vary from country to country and having a stream of letters after the dentist’s name does not necessarily mean that they are as good as you might expect.
Another factor which also affects the cost is the quality of the equipment used.
This is especially concerning when dental implants are placed as only good quality titanium ones will work correctly. The use of a cheaper alternative is likely to mean a lot of problems for the patient and certainly not the longevity which would be expected from good quality ones.
Although not everyone likes to know all that there is about the procedure they are about to have, many do as it helps them to understand what the dentist is about to do.
Even those who have no interest though still like the dentist to be able to understand them when they need to indicate discomfort during a dental procedure. Whilst many dentists do speak good English of course, the level does vary and this can’t be ascertained from an advertisement.
Choosing The Dentist
How do you choose a dentist if you do decide to go abroad for treatment?
Most, at home, will use one that friends or relatives have recommended and whilst this is still a good policy for choosing a dentist abroad, you are likely to find that few have visited an individual dentist meaning that you are really going on the word of one person, which given that you may be undergoing an invasive procedure such as dental implants, you are taking something of a risk.
Whilst most dental practices abroad will have good levels of hygiene, there is little way of knowing this before you travel and an unhygeinic pracyice could lead to cross infection during the procedure and put your overall health at risk.
Presuming though that the practice is hygienic, and most will be, there are still risks involved with the procedure themselves.
These risks are still there in the UK of course but with the high standards demanded in our dental industry, they are minimised.
So, what happens when something does go wrong? Well, in the UK, it would simply be a call to the dentist who performed the procedure who would then fit you in as soon as possible and do what was needed to rectify the problem.
This however is a major problem when the dentist is thousands of miles away. They are unlikely to pay for your airfare/accommodation again, meaning that the cost of the procedure overall would be greatly increased.
It would also mean going back to the dentist who may have created the problem in the first place – is this someone that you would really trust?
Many UK dentists are extremely reluctant to work on procedures that have gone wrong elsewhere although it is certainly worth asking around.
Overall though, whilst the cost of going abroad for dental treatment makes some procedures certainly a lot more affordable, only you can weigh up whether the risk is worth it or not.
Sally McGinnis needed to have a tooth replaced following a horse riding accident and opted for dental implants. Knowing a friend of hers had experienced problems by going abroad she opted to have her dental implants done at the Darren Bywater Dental Practice in Derby where she lives with her family.