The Potential Pitfalls Of Seeking Dental Treatment Abroad

Having cosmetic dentistry abroad is increasingly popular but it comes with some risks you need to understand

Dental repairsSome of you will have seen recent news articles about ‘Turkey teeth’. These focus on patients who have travelled abroad, often to Turkey, to have cosmetic dental procedures carried out that have resulted in some painful and expensive experiences.

Although the treatments sought are also available in the UK, they are often cheaper abroad and in some cases, dentists in the UK may refuse to carry out treatments that are purely cosmetic and which are deemed to be unnecessary and harmful to the patient’s teeth.

Of course, not all treatments go wrong and we are certainly not saying that all dentists in these countries offer a poor service or are without scruples, but the fact remains that some countries don’t have such an effective overseeing body like the General Dental Council in the UK and this does allow less scrupulous operators to take full advantage of the available business.

Why travel abroad for treatment?

The most obvious answer here is cost. There is no getting away from the fact that there are significant savings to be made with treatments like dental implant placement or the multiple fitting of tooth crowns. Some people may also consider combining this with a holiday, although recovering from treatments like these can take a little time and, in our opinion, could spoil the break.

If you receive cosmetic dentistry at the Cygnet Dental Practice or any UK dentist, you can be sure that the staff there are fully trained and in many cases, will also be experienced at carrying out the treatment. This can differ abroad where training and qualifications may be less strict. While this might matter less for simple treatments, it can cause problems where the procedure is more complex. This could lead to quite a lot of pain and may also not produce the results that you had hoped for. This can have a long term effect on your teeth and the decision to save some money this way might be one that you live to regret for many years to come.

How are costs cut?

As mentioned above, training and qualifications are often less stringent and therefore less costly, meaning that they can offer cheaper treatments than in the UK where training and qualifying to be a dentist can take many years. There is also the risk that cheaper materials will be used. For example, dental implants have to be made from certain materials otherwise they will not bond with the jawbone and will become loose and ultimately fail. At our Wickford practice you can be sure that we use high quality implants but the same cannot be guaranteed abroad. Cost cutting on materials could have disastrous results.

Choosing a dentist

If you are a regular patient of ours, you will know that our team has your best interests at heart and will advise you on the most appropriate treatment to have, whether this is a restorative one or a cosmetic dental procedure. There is no guarantee that the same will apply abroad, where they may simply be offering the most expensive treatment that they can. For example, we prefer to offer a teeth whitening procedure to dental veneers as the latter is an invasive treatment. Of course, sometimes veneers will be more appropriate and we will advise accordingly, but we will never try to ‘sell’ you veneers if we feel that a teeth whitening procedure would be equally suitable.

It can also be difficult choosing a dentist abroad unless friends or family have used a dentist there and can recommend them. Language can be a barrier too, especially if you are a nervous patient who needs reassurance during the treatment.

When things go wrong

Although many people do have these treatments without any significant problems, things do sometimes go wrong. A badly placed implant or poor quality crowns can mean that a while after you arrive back in the UK, you need further dental care. This can be problematic. First of all, if you want to go back to the original dentist then you will have a flight and hotel to pay for; that is if you even want to trust the dental practice where the treatment was carried out.

You may also find that some UK dentists are very reluctant to treat patients who have problems due to treatment abroad. All in all then, we strongly recommend that our Wickford patients don’t take this route and instead, have the treatment done here.

Isn’t cosmetic dentistry expensive in the UK?

In most cases, it will be more expensive than the cheaper offers abroad, but without the same risks. Many of our patients take comfort in the fact that we have the experience to carry out even complex procedures like teeth implant placements. Unlike having it done abroad, we can also monitor the treatment for a period of time after it has been carried out to make sure that things are going as they should.

As far as the cost of treatment is concerned; whilst it is more expensive in the UK, most practices, including ours, offer a selection of payment plans that allow you to spread the cost of your treatment over a period of time, making it more manageable for your budget.

If you are looking for ways to improve your smile, please don’t try to cut corners on your expenses by travelling abroad for treatment. In the first instance, please book a free non clinical consultation with one of our team who will be able to advise you of the best approach to take. You can do this by calling the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford on 01268 733078.