There’s no hiding the fact that getting a dental implant is a costly and timely process. However, when you stop to consider what implants do, it makes complete sense that they are known as the best alternative to dentures or bridges to replace unhealthy or missing teeth.
Implants are virtually identical to a tooth in the way they engage with your jawbone once they are placed. A dental implant is the only tooth replacement treatment that can prompt the jawbone to start growing around it and, indeed, maintain its structure and the shape of your lower face.
Now that we’ve evaluated just how much responsibility an implant takes on when it is surgically placed in the jaw, it becomes clear why dental implant treatment is such an involved restorative process.
Worryingly, there have been many reports of people, both in Ireland and the U.K, travelling to countries where implant placement is offered at a lower cost and performed over a shorter time scale. Such countries include Turkey, Poland, Hungary and Greece, where regulations set by healthcare governing bodies are more relaxed than in more developed countries. This could potentially be bad news for the health of your mouth and your mental health in the long term.
Below, we explain why you should approach the idea of going abroad for dental implant treatment with caution.
Regulations are lax compared with Ireland and the U.K
The U.K and Ireland are two of the most regulated countries in the world when it comes to healthcare. This means patients are kept safe and protected because the dentists treating them must have undergone a certain standard of training, whilst clinics must adhere to strict hygiene standards.
Less developed countries such as Turkey, Poland, Hungary and Greece do not expect the same standards of treatment in dental clinics, allowing dentists to charge less for treatments such as dental implants.
Lower in-clinic standards and lower prices equate to lesser standards of care. With treatment such as dental implants (which requires a surgical procedure and conscientious professional aftercare), we advise against cutting corners where cost is concerned.
Post-treatment aftercare will be difficult to access
Dental implant success rates in Ireland and the U.K are close to 100% – most implant rejection cases in these countries occur due to tobacco use and other unhealthy lifestyle choices that affect the healing period. Abroad, this figure is much lower.
Should you require aftercare due to any post-surgery complications, you will need to be seen as soon as possible, which isn’t feasible if you’re back home after your surgery.
A further complication of seeking aftercare once you have arrived back home is that the Irish Dental Council will not have the appropriate insurance indemnity necessary to treat you. This means there could be very little possibility of you recovering any finances in the event of botched or failing treatment.
Here at Shields, we will ask to see you during the healing process to monitor your progress, and we can provide emergency dental care if any immediate problems occur. Choosing to have your implant surgery abroad means you will not have the peace of mind that treatment and care are available to you back home, should you need it.
Language barriers can pose difficulties
One of the most important aspects of proceeding with dental implants is understanding the different stages of treatment. Secondly, as you will be under local anaesthetic and possibly IV sedation, it’s crucial that your implant surgeon and their clinical team should have the capacity to understand if you are uncomfortable with something or experience discomfort during the surgery.
Clinicians working abroad may not have the command of English needed to understand you when you are asking a question or attempting to alert them to the fact you are in pain during a procedure. Not only is this potential physically unpleasant, but it can also leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable and afraid to come to the dentist in the future.
At Shields, you can expect complete transparency from when you come in for your consultation. We will go the extra mile to ensure you feel listened to and allow you to review and approve your personalised treatment plan before we go ahead and begin to plan your implant surgery.
You may not save money overall
If you are considering dental implants abroad with the intention of saving some money overall (and fitting in a holiday on the side), remember to factor in that if you do indeed need corrective treatment back home, this could mean paying all over again, as we may need to begin your treatment from scratch.
We recommend opting for well-regulated implant treatment from the start to reduce your risk of enduring a negative experience abroad.
Need some advice on getting treatment abroad? We’re here to help
Here at Shields, we have always been here for both current patients of the practice and inquisitive new patients who wish to ask us questions about a certain treatment before proceeding. If you are thinking about going abroad for dental treatment and you would like to speak to a dental professional at home before making a final decision, we’re more than happy to discuss the pros and cons with you. Simply give us a call.
Free implant consultations at Shields
Here at Shields, we offer free implant consultations to help you decide whether or not you wish to proceed with implant treatment. These are no-obligation appointments designed to give you transparency on what to expect and to have a tour of the dental practice. Book in to see our Treatment Coordinator by completing our online form here.