Travelling abroad for a dental procedure is known as dental tourism and is usually motivated by trying to get the process carried out for a lower cost. However, inexpensive treatment can lead to a patient receiving a lower quality standard of care.
Each year many Australian residents travel abroad for dental work, including having dental implants overseas. The reality they find is often different than what they see online. In the long run, the costs incurred having dental implants overseas can be more than the price of having it carried out in Australia.
Dental Implants Abroad
Many easily accessible countries can offer Australians low-cost treatment. However, the mouth is a delicate area and benefits from having high-trained staff who are robustly regulated.
It is not as simple as booking a holiday in the sun and getting a cheap dental implant fitted while there. There are significant long-term health risks to take into account. A qualified dentist in Australia who is monitored by the Dental Board of Australia is duty-bound to work at a high-quality level and maintain hygiene standards.
Risks of Getting an Overseas Dental Implant
Every invasive surgery has risks, but these risks are especially heightened in dental tourism countries. Because dental implants involve drilling into the jawbone and follow-up appointments for abutments and dental crown placement, these risks increase. Some things to be concerned with when it comes to dental tourism include:
- Lack of training
The role of a regulator is to ensure dentists meet high standards continuously. In Australia, the Australian Dental Association oversees the training and professional development dentists and hygienists receive. If the regulating body in a foreign country does not enforce this level of care, the patient may be the one to suffer the consequences.
- Hygienic practises
Good hygiene is essential in a clinical setting. Regulators inspect Australian dental practices and only allow them to see patients if they meet the level required. When it comes to the oral cavity, if unhygienic practices are allowed to occur, then this can lead to serious illness for the patient.
Lack of oversight of sterilisation and disinfection practises can lead to a patient developing an infection. There is a real risk of contracting hepatitis, HIV, and waterborne pathogens in countries without strict regulating bodies. These viruses could cost you much more in care once you return home, and some may last for a lifetime.
- Substandard Materials
Because the titanium implant is going to be inserted into your jaw, the quality of materials is essential to successful osseointegration of the bone around the implant. Substandard materials cause dental implants to fail, which means you will spend more to fix the problem when you return to Australia.
Price should never be the only consideration when considering having an overseas dental implant procedure. The grim potential implications for health must be a more critical factor.
The Dental Board of Australia is responsible for regulating professionals in this country.
The regulator only allows those who are qualified to practice, and then regularly inspects the dentist to ensure they are maintaining that level of skill and care.
If a patient were to have a dental implant overseas, they would forego the protections that the regulator offers. Without accountability, skill levels may be low, quality of care could be reduced, and patient safety may be compromised.
A patient may see a cheaper procedure for getting a dental implant overseas as a bargain offer, but they could regret their choice if they become ill as a result.
Dental Implants at Available Dental Care
Before travelling to have dental implants overseas, it can help to talk about the options with a dentist in our practice. At Available Dental Care, we can advise you on how we perform the procedure, the available aftercare, and the health and safety standards we follow. A patient will often take much confidence from knowing exactly how their health is being protected.
Patients may find it appealing to get what they consider to be an inexpensive treatment. A dental implant overseas may look to be a lower price when on a computer, but the cost of corrective treatment and lower quality of health and safety standards may be the deciding factor.
At Available Dental Care, we have the experience and technology to complete your dental implants treatment safely right here in Australia. If you need bone grafting, sinus lifts, or ridge augmentation before your dental implants treatment, we can do it all in-house with care provided by our highly-skilled surgeons.
Call our practice today for your dental implant consultation on (02) 4062 8763.