You have been researching dental implant treatment for a while now. You know you need it, but you still don’t know where to go. What you do keep noticing, are attractive advertisements from dental clinics abroad promising attractive deals: ‘70% off’, ‘dental holiday’, ‘cheaper than the UK’ etc. With dental tourism becoming an attractive alternative to dentistry in the UK, our Senior Clinician Dr Rudi Mukherjee goes through all the factors you should consider before committing to your treatment abroad.
The complexity of Dental Implantology makes it a significant investment for any patient. The temptation to seek ‘cheaper’ options abroad is completely understandable, however there are certain pitfalls everyone should be aware of before doing so.
Many foreign dental surgeons offer a first-class treatment and aftercare. But you need to do your research first. If something ‘goes wrong’ with treatment – which can happen – it is important that the clinicians involved are regulated by a professional body such as the General Dental Council (GDC) in the UK. This is to protect patients.
The GDC states: “We can’t guarantee another organisation like us exists in other countries, or even that the standards will be the same as they are here.” It advises patients to do plenty of research before they agree to travel abroad for dental treatment.
The GDC advises patients to ask if the country they are thinking of travelling to has a professional regulatory body, and if it is compulsory for dental professionals to be registered with it.
The consultation should be a full assessment of your medical and dental health. If dental implants, particularly full jaw options, are being considered, a CBCT scan is critical to assess your jawbones in all 3 dimensions. An X-ray will not provide enough information. This is a minimum requirement to determine your suitability for treatment, and to plan surgery safely to avoid complications.
Treatment options should be crystal clear, and if the clinic is unable to offer you the treatments it claims to be able to do, you should question why. A common example of this is patients being told they do not have enough bone for implants, causing them to spend more time and money having additional surgical procedures such as bone grafts. EvoDental avoids bone grafting altogether and uses advanced techniques and technology to achieve this, ESPECIALLY for minimal bone volume cases.
Many complex procedures require steps that may not be included in the advertised pricing, and by the time the ‘hidden’ extras are added to the travel costs, travelling abroad for treatment may not be as cheap as expected. This can include travel costs, hotels, additional treatment costs, sedation, post-surgery appointments, and what about loss of earnings due to extra time off work? We have seen many patients who had to abandon long treatment plans midway because of the escalating costs.
Full Jaw Dental Implant treatment is complex and requires understanding of tooth positioning, surgery, prosthetic design, manufacturing processes and most importantly, how all these things are intimately linked together. Clinics that operate with separate ‘surgeons’ and ‘dentists’ may not have effective communication between these vital specialties. Add to this the laboratory that manufactures the final set of teeth may be operating via a postal service, and there is a potential for many problems that each department could attribute to each other – but whoever is to blame, the patient loses out.
Practice makes perfect – complex procedures should only be done by clinicians and technicians who know what they’re doing. At EvoDental we ONLY do Full jaw implant reconstruction. We did 600 jaws in 2019 alone and thousands of cases under our belt – and we are still learning – we see complications just like everyone else, maybe more because of how much of this work that we do – so this is where experience comes in. It’s no good being able to do complex work if you don’t have the capacity to fix things if they go wrong.
This is a fancy term for ‘everything being done in-house’, members of a multi-disciplinary team have complete understanding and respect for each other’s’ roles in delivering a dental implant solution. This means that clinicians that design the prosthetics, also place dental implants so they are placed correctly. They also co-design the prosthetics with the laboratory technicians and oversee the manufacturing process to ensure what is made is exactly what was designed.
Don’t forget that you will need ongoing care after the treatment. Ask how this will be provided and for how long. For example, will you need to stay in the clinic overnight, or will you need to book a local hotel for a period after the treatment to accommodate aftercare consultations? Will it be necessary for somebody to accompany you on the trip?
Remember that these costs can add up, potentially making ‘cheap’ dental implants less cost-effective than they might seem.
You will also need to work out what aftercare you might need when you get back to the UK, and who can provide it. Will the clinic provide documents in English for you to give to your dentist back in Britain? Are UK dentists familiar with implant systems used abroad, and are they willing to accept you for maintenance care?
If all that sounds like a lot of work or a risk you’re not prepared to take, EvoDental is a cost-effective solution, with two supercentres in the UK and numerous Local Access Partner Clinics nationwide, why would you go abroad for your smile in a day treatment? EvoDental runs two full jaw dental implant clinics in the UK, providing dental implant-based treatment for patients who require full jaw oral reconstructions.
Our dental surgeons are experts in the field, and our team has completed thousands of full arch reconstructions. Using the latest technology to create a bespoke full jaw set of teeth which is secured ontotitanium dental implants, our treatment really does change lives for the better.
What’s more, EvoDental’s same day smile treatment consists of three affordable solutions, suited for all terminally dentate and edentulous patients, with finance options available. Our pricing is transparent with no hidden costs. Our patient aftercare is second to none.
So, if you are thinking of going abroad for dental implants or a full jaw reconstruction, why not contact us for your no obligation, free clinical assessment and let us show you EvoDental, a state-of-the-art solution at an affordable price, right here in the UK.
By Dr Rudi Mukherjee, Lead Clinician at EvoDental London