Considering Dental Implants Abroad?
Every year many Brits consider travelling abroad for dental treatment as well as medical treatment, thinking that it is cheaper than having it carried out in the UK. Does it cost less and is it safe to do so? The answer is NO on both points:
UK Dental Regulation
In the UK dentistry is regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC). Dental professionals working in the UK have to be registered with the GDC and hold appropriate indemnity insurance. If treatment is incorrectly carried out by a UK dentist then the GDC can reprimand the dentist and in severe cases restrict or remove their registration. The GDC has no power to do this outside the UK. If the treatment a patient receives in a foreign clinic goes wrong and the clinic refuses to put it right then the patient is left with very little legal recourse to recover the money paid and have the clinician reprimanded. The patient would then be left to have the treatment rectified at their own expense, with only the European Courts as possible recourse.
Dental implants abroad – facts and figures
Although the dental profession has no accurate facts and figures for dental treatment abroad, BAPRAS (The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons) surveys people from the UK travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery. They have found that this type of surgery abroad is poorly regulated and documented. There is a high rate of complications following surgery at around 17% and that nearly 10% of people treated abroad require further treatment when they return home. Patients find legal redress practically impossible in the event of serious problems.
Dental implants abroad – is it cheaper?
It often appears to be, but actually isn’t. Dental clinics abroad usually state that treatment can be completed in two visits. If everything goes to plan, then fantastic.
However, imagine if you have had the implants placed, return home and a problem arises. An infection for instance can cause an implant to fail if it goes untreated. If you cannot get a dentist in the UK to treat the infection (which most will not treat if they didn’t place the implant) then you will have to return to the foreign clinic that did the treatment; additional travel costs, time off work and accommodation then needs to be paid for.
If you are considering dental treatment abroad and have worked out all the costs based on the treatment fees, travel expenses, accommodation, restaurant / bar bills, holiday time off work, don’t forget to take into account the fact that you may have to return two to three times more than you are initially advised.
Going to Poland or Hungary for dental implant treatment is usually more expensive than you realise. Dental clinics in these countries that perform implant placement are simply no longer competitive.
Many Eastern European clinics charge more than DentalCarePlus clinics for implant treatment, bone restorations and CT Scans. DentalCarePlus are the UK pioneers in affordable dental implant treatment, without compromising the quality of patient care. We were the first dental group in the UK to offer complete dental implants for less than UK providers and still offer great value for money implant treatment today.
At least 3 visits abroad for dental implant treatment plan will be required. In complex treatment plans, some patients need to stay for up 3 weeks, since there is a waiting time required for the prosthetics to be made by the lab technicians. There is also the numerous travelling days to consider.
In addition to the dental treatment, also consider the following costs:
- Return Flights (of which there might be several)
- Fuel / train fares to / from UK airports
- UK airport parking charges
- Taxi fares to / from destination airport and hotel
- Taxi fares to / from hotel and clinic
- Destination car hire / fuel costs, if applicable
- Hotel accommodation (up to 3 weeks for complex implant treatment)
- Restaurant and bar bills
- Holiday time off work
- Loss of earnings – extra time off work
Other considerations with foreign dental implant treatment
- What about (essential) post treatment plan annual check-ups?
- What is the quality of the materials that the foreign dentist uses?
- UK dentists are strictly regulated. Is it the same abroad?
- UK dentists have a high level of insurance cover. Is it the same abroad?
- What happens is there is a serious problem and remedial work is required? Since most UK dentists will refuse to take over and assume responsibility, you will need to return to the foreign clinic.
- Will a foreign dentist rectify problems?