- 1 Why Are People Considering Implant/ Cosmetic Treatments Abroad?
- 2 Popular destinations for dental implants
- 3 Turkey and the EU
- 4 What to consider when looking for the best countries for dental tourism?
- 5 Non-transparent pricing
- 6 Unethical Treatment Information:
- 7 Consumer law discrepancies:
- 8 Bringing it all together
Why Are People Considering Implant/ Cosmetic Treatments Abroad?
Over the past decade, complex health and cosmetic procedures have become increasingly affordable abroad. That is among the top reasons why Brits choose to fly thousands of miles to have their new teeth done at a nice holiday destination. We are flooded on social media with more and more ads from Turkey clinics notoriously famous for nose, breast and hair implants.
But what about tooth implants?
This is often referred to as dental tourism. Among the most popular dental procedures are veneers, crowns, dental implants, teeth whitening and more.
Why consider treatment abroad? Generally, the prices for dental treatments cost a fortune in the UK. Similarly to other locations like Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, dental patients venture on a thousand-mile trip in search of the best bargain. One country, however, is distinguishingly more popular than the others and that is Turkey. Be it for the low travelling costs, historical places or turkish cuisine health tourism has generated more than $1B to Turkey’s profit in 2019 and is expected to reach the impressive $20B in 2022.
It is no secret that the average cost for full mouth dental implants varies between £14,000- £18,000. Аnd that is on the lower end of the spectrum. Still, we’re nowhere near the exuberant fixed teeth costs in the US, which start from $30,000 (according to Statista). Still, at Dentaprime UK affordable dental treatments are made available to the general public thanks to optimised restoration production & purchase processes. All-on-4/ All-on-6 treatments are made available at £6,990.
The logical question would be – what about the NHS? Unfortunately, for dental implants, the only option is going private. There may be occasions when you would be eligible for NHS treatment, but you’d have to wait for months until you are driven mad by the pain and helplessness just like the lady that pulled her teeth from Suffolk. And that waiting time has been made only worse by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Popular destinations for dental implants
Over the past decade, dental implant treatments abroad have become increasingly affordable which is why many Brits choose to have their teeth done in a country that offers reasonable pricing. Let’s have a look at the most popular places to go for dental tourism.
Budapest is one of the destinations that attract international patients that choose dental tourism for implants. The Hungarian capital (also known as the European dental capital) accounts for 40% of Europe’s dental patients.
Medieval locations like Krakow are considered to be cultural and architectural masterpieces of Poland. Urban treasures like Warsaw sit at the top of dental tourists from Germany, the UK, Austria and more. However, after a quick look at one of Poland’s most popular clinics, the price for dental implants is £1033.68 as opposed to £690 at Dentaprime UK in London, UK.
For more price comparisons between European dental implant clinics, you can check our article guide for All-on-4/ All-on-6 fixed teeth.
Destinations like Antalya, Istanbul host the top dental clinics in Turkey. The Turkish are well known for their exquisite all-inclusive resorts and remarkable hospitality. After all who wouldn’t want to combine a relaxing vacation and pampering while getting dental work done.
Turkey and the EU
According to Wikipedia negotiations about Turkey’s accession to the EU have continually taken place since 2016. Turkey is making progress towards their acceptance in the EU despite criticism that planned Turkish policies go against the Copenhagen criteria of human rights violations and deficits in rule of law. For the time being, the country is still not in the union and it is good to keep this in mind when you plan your trip.
What to consider when looking for the best countries for dental tourism?
It is exciting to combine vacation and dental implant work, especially now that most COVID restrictions are removed and it’s relatively safe to travel. However, you still need to know how reliable is the place that you choose to handle your dental health.
Fortunately, we live in an age when clear and reliable information is widely available on the internet. You can check how long the clinic has been operating. Trust review platforms that are unbiased such as Google or Trustpilot. Patient reviews there cannot be manipulated by the business owner. Alternatively, you can turn to patient community groups in the UK where genuine patients share their unbiased opinion and offer support and information to those who have just started their journey.
We have identified the top 3 things to look out for when booking a dental treatment abroad:
- Non-transparent pricing
- Unethical treatment information
- Consumer law discrepancies
It’s a tale as old as time. Brian gets a £20,000 quote from Harley Street for fixed teeth and is immediately put off. He goes on the internet to search for cheap dental implants in Turkey because his friend said that his friend had them done there and was happy with it.
The thing with most dental clinics abroad is that the prices offered are for the dental implant only (the titanium post that fuses with your jawbone). What they rarely explain is that in order to be able to fit beautiful white fixed teeth over the implants you need an abutment (the integral part of the implant that connects it with the crown or denture) and the crown/ restoration.
Another approach may be charging extra for each injection and other medical materials needed to complete the procedure. In all fairness, it is not uncommon for clinics to charge for each of them separately as long as they offer patients a complete cost breakdown in advance. What is unacceptable is having to find out upon arrival. That way you are not forced to go ahead with the treatment because you already committed and spent time and money.
Pro Tip: When you are looking for the cost of All-on-4 dental implants be it in Turkey or anywhere else, ask the clinic for a detailed breakdown of the price of all components – implant, abutment and the teeth screwed over. It’s important to know the duration of your treatment, how many visits are involved over how many days. Be vigilant of extra costs and ask for a quote in writing.
Unethical Treatment Information:
Apart from dental implant bridges, patients choose Turkey for another treatment that is obscenely expensive in the UK – dental veneers. Seemingly, it’s a non-invasive treatment. That is why many decide to go for it despite having perfectly healthy teeth.
A dishonest dentist will not hesitate to file down your perfectly healthy teeth for the sake of the procedure, motivated by the high cost. Installing them is an irreversible process, however. Veneers are subject to wear and tear, can cause tooth sensitivity and have a much shorter life span, unlike crowns and bridges. Imagine having to fly each time an issue occurs only because you have a contract with a clinic abroad.
Any respectable practice will always suggest the safest and most appropriate treatment for you and explain thoroughly the risks involved in each dental treatment. They may even offer a different treatment or tell you that you do not need the treatment you are requesting at all.
Consumer law discrepancies:
One significant risk that you take when choosing dental tourism in Turkey and Europe is the lack of comprehensive regulation of dentistry. This creates an actual risk of inadequate care received outside the UK. The NHS may accommodate you for an emergency appointment and relieve acute pain, but as a result of dental tourism, the number of such cases is bound to increase.
What happens if something goes wrong with my dental treatment abroad?
A survey by the Irish Dental Association suggests that 75% of patients who had ventured abroad for dental surgery needed corrective work at home at a later stage. Furthermore, the NHS may have to continue the treatment and more complications arise when the exact treatment that was done abroad is unknown (not to mention the exhausting waiting time to get an actual appointment).
Despite having similarities to UK law, there are always plenty of differences in the negligence laws of other countries that may not be in your favour in case of a complication. This means that if it comes to a legal dispute because you received inadequate treatment, it would be a lot more difficult to get legal aid against a dental professional than it would be if the treatment were done in the UK.
The only sure way to have the security of access to the UK legal support for dental negligence is to have your treatment done in the UK or at least make sure that the dental treatment provider has an office that is registered in the UK.
Bringing it all together
Some advice if you decide to have full dental implants in Turkey. Get enough information not only about the treatment and materials included. This will help you establish how transparent are they with the cost of the full set of implants (if that is your desired treatment). Don’t forget to compare and look for local, trustworthy alternatives.
If you find a seemingly supreme dental clinic – do your research thoroughly. Look for reviews posted on reliable platforms such as Trustpilot / Google / Facebook. Look for communities and what they are talking about this clinic.
Ask about the whole journey from start to finish. Does anyone meet you at the airport? What does your accommodation include? Do they provide a contact in case of an emergency? Lastly, check whether the dentist and the other staff members speak your language fluently.
One can never be too cautious, which is why it’s vital to do thorough research before making a decision that will have a long-term impact on your life. If you want to learn more about your fixed teeth options at home, get in touch with us today.