With the high prices charged by US and UK dentists for Dental Implants and similar routine dentistry procedures, it is worth having a look at the cheaper costs in other countries around the world, to see how much it is possible to save getting dentistry abroad.
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If you have less attractive teeth, you probably smile less, talk less, or maybe talk with your mouth partially closed.
In the most extreme cases, where teeth are missing, or are so beyond repair that they must be removed, most people find the experience very upsetting.
Dental Implants are a very popular, successful solution to the problem of missing or damaged teeth, providing a much more natural appearance than dentures. However, they are unfortunately too expensive for many people on a low or modest income to afford.
Because of the difficulty so many of us face in trying to find affordable dental care in our own country, many dentists overseas are now marketing their services to wealthier countries like the US and the UK.
As a result, many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and South and Central America are becoming increasingly popular for both routine and cosmetic dentistry, with many people flocking abroad to take advantage of lower prices, while getting a level of treatment that would not be affordable in their own country.
Of the dental treatments offered to medical tourists, one of the most popular is Dental Implant surgery. Prices can remarkably be as little as one tenth of the price!
Most people are familiar with dentistry terms, but are often unsure what they actually mean. Dental Implants are no exception…
A Dental Implant is often confused with the actual replacement tooth itself. However, this is incorrect. The implant is actually a replacement for the root portion of your tooth. Typically, it is constructed from Titanium, which is very hard-wearing, and well-tolerated by the bone and surrounding tissue, meaning that any rejection is unlikely.
The Dental Implant takes the form of a cylindrical screw or rod, which is anchored into the boney areas of your upper or lower jaw. After the Dental Implant has fused with the surrounding bone, a process known in dentist terminology as osseointegration, it is then used by the dentist to support the tooth replacement, the permanent dentures which are known as “restorations“.
It has to be mentioned that the process is not an overnight one. Once the implants are fitted, the patient will generally wait for between three and six months, for healing to be complete. Once the patient is fully healed, the dentist will open up the area to again expose the implant. During this second stage, an attachment called an abutment is fitted, which is what will hold the replacement tooth.
One of the most obvious benefits of Dental Implants is a more attractive smile, and the increased self-confidence that will accompany it. And of cause, since the teeth are primarily for eating, you will find yourself enjoying food more, as you will not be worried about hurting your gums. However, these are by no means the only benefits for the patient.
The teeth also help provide structure to the lower portion of the face, so having a full set of teeth helps to make the lower face and jaw appear fuller and more youthful.
By getting Dental Implants, you are also helping to prevent any damage to neighbouring teeth, which can be more vulnerable to breakage and excessive wear when there are gaps.
After tooth loss, there is a tendency towards shrinkage of the jaw bone, because the bone does not need to support anything. By replacing the tooth and its root, Dental Implants prevent this problem in a way that bridges and removable dentures cannot.
And because Dental Implants make permanent dentures possible, another benefit is that you can again have teeth that you can take care of in the way you did with your original teeth. No special treatments are necessary, just the normal brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist.
The most common Dental Implant options are Endosseous Implants (also known as Root Form Implants), Plate Form Implants, and Subperiosteal Implants.
Endosseous Implants are most common and, in most instances, the best option. These are the cylinder or screw-type of implant. Their advantages are that they are simpler for the dentist, have a very high success-rate, and can hold a single tooth or several teeth.
Plate Form and Subperiosteal Implants are most commonly used when the jaw bone is too narrow to facilitate Endosseous Implants.
Plate Form Implants are just as they sound, a narrow metal plate that is inserted into the jaw bone. Subperiosteal Implants are performed by creating an anatomical framework between the gum tissue and the jaw bone, but they have a much lower success-rate, and are considerably more expensive, so consequently they are not popular amongst dentists.
All countries have some excellent, highly skilled dentists, so choosing which country would be most appropriate for you is really just a matter of where you live.
US citizens tend to travel to Mexico, Argentina, Brazil or the Dominican Republic, while Europeans will usually go to countries more local to them, like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Belgium or Turkey.
Many people also opt to go to Asia for affordable cosmetic dentistry, with India, Thailand and Singapore all being very popular, while China, South Korea and Vietnam are also increasingly getting a name for high quality dental treatment.
Interestingly, while India has a reputation for having some of the best medical and dental professionals in the world, costs for dental treatment in India are almost impossible to beat.
So much for the myth that cheap dental implants abroad are of a lesser quality than those in the US!
Although American dentists would like you to believe that they are more expensive because they provide a better level of treatment, this does appear to be wishful thinking on their part.
While you may have heard that other countries are not as well-regulated, in actual fact regulations are just as tight, if not more so, in countries like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
(This is quite easy to check for yourself!)
The lower prices that you can expect are, in fact, a result of lower costs of living in those cheaper countries.
Take Bangkok: Dentists’ salaries and other staff costs are much lower, as are rent, business rates, and other infrastructure costs. Often, the materials are cheaper as well.
A lot of these savings are passed onto you, the medical tourist. But to an overseas dentist, they can get more patients by targeting those wealthier countries, providing procedures that, even at lower prices, are still outside of the budget for those people living and working in that country.
So this Bangkok clinic is a winner, getting more patients (and possibly charging slightly more than they probably would for a domestic patient), and you are a winner, because you are getting the same level of care that you would get at home, for a fraction of the cost!
There are, of cause, risks to getting treatment abroad, as there are with getting treatment anywhere. Around 5% of Dental Implants are not successful, and require revision work.
It is obviously not as convenient to go back to your dentist is they are based overseas. You will then need to pay for flights, and accommodation, and take time off work.
To reduce the chances of problems like this, getting treatment from the best clinic you can afford is highly recommended.
Don’t think in terms of trying to find the dental clinic that will give you the cheapest Dental Implants, it is far better to travel abroad to make your money go further.
Instead of getting dental treatment in your own country with a mediocre clinic, why not have a look and see if for the same price you can get treatment with an excellent reputable clinic in another country.
You will be pleasantly surprised by how much further your money goes.
Given a choice between the dodgiest dental clinic in Delaware, and a top clinic in Tijuana, it is clear where you will be at most risk of getting unsatisfactory results!
In fact, hundreds of people travel abroad for treatment every year, with no problems or complications of any kind, and are delighted with the results.
Even with travel costs factored into the equation, it’s easy to see that getting treatment overseas is much more affordable.
While in the US, the cost of Dental Implants is likely to be around $5,000, a more typical cost in India will be closer to $600, and similar savings are available in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Canada, also, is an option for some modest savings for US citizens.
In the UK, although still a little cheaper than in the US, prices can be greatly improved upon in Hungary, with many British dental patients each year choosing to visit Budapest for treatment.