Dental Tourism; Hazardous To Your Health

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All too frequently patients seek out my help for problems after having had dental implants placed overseas in “dental tourism” destinations such as Thailand, China and Eastern Europe.

The most recent person to come to me was a patient who had been missing all her upper teeth and her lower back teeth for many years and wished to have them replaced with dental implants. After being quoted for the work here in Australia, she found an overseas dental tourism surgery run by an apparently reputable implant surgeon who said they could complete the work 30% cheaper.

So she headed overseas to the clinic and spent 2 weeks abroad having 8 dental implants and a bridge placed before returning to Australia.

Nine months after the completion of treatment overseas, she came to me at the Cosmetic and Laser Dentistry Centre complaining of pain around the lower implants.

Clinical and X-ray assessment revealed that

  • All of the implants were failing.
  • Multiple implant types had been used as well as inappropriate implant sizes relative to the teeth they were intended to restore.
  • The bridge that had been placed did not fit properly and
  • There were “chunks” of cement left around the implants from the placement of the bridge.

In summary, she had received inferior implants placed in incorrect positions and a poor quality bridge placed with poor technique.

All the above resulted with the following:

  • All of the implants must now be removed!
  • The lost bone regenerated and
  • New implants and the bridge replaced.
  • The total cost is higher now than the original price she was quoted in Australia.
  • Procedure will take longer to complete.

This case and the countless others like it, are precisely why patients need to be very cautious when thinking of having dental implant surgery overseas. Though it may appear to be a better deal, there are serious medical implications that you may not have considered.

For example, you are not comparing apples with apples.

Many overseas practitioners use

  • cheap dental implant systems that
  • are poorly backed by scientific research and
  • poor quality restorations placed by clinicians with insufficient expertise and training.

Here at the Cosmetic and Laser Dentistry Centre, I pride myself in

  • using high quality dental implants and
  • fantastic Melbourne-based dental laboratories

to provide our patients with predictable, long-term solutions for missing teeth. Don’t be seduced by the discounts promised by dental tourism clinics out there because the age old saying “you get what you pay for” always rings true. Enjoy your travels…but bring home memories and photos, not poor dental work and headaches!!