Are you considering travelling abroad for your dental treatment?
On a recent trip to Croatia I noticed multiple adverts for cosmetic dental treatment and dental implant treatment in what appeared to be state of the art clinics. These adverts all seemed to target patients from Western Europe, America and Canada. Having seen the adverts, I can understand the reasons why people would travel abroad to have their dental treatment. These include:
- The cost is cheaper than western countries, even taking flights and accommodation into account.
- The clinics from the photos appear to be just as impressive or, in certain cases, even more impressive than clinics in the western world.
- The before and after photos for patients treated at these clinics are very impressive.
- The clinics advertise as having English speaking staff.
- Most of the clinics advertise that you will be chauffer driven to and from the airport.
- You can coincide your dental treatment with a holiday!
Are there any negatives to travelling abroad for your dental treatment?
Having seen many patients who have had crowns, bridges, veneers or dental implants in countries such as Turkey, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Hungary (Budapest) or other areas of Eastern Europe, I advise patients seeking such treatment of the following:
- Ensure there a no difficulties in communication with the operating dentist – Many of the patients I have seen have said that the dentist did not speak English but that the receptionist or treatment co-ordinator acted as a translator. How can you be sure no information is lost in translation?
- Do your research on the dentist performing the treatment – There are many internationally recognised and extremely skilful dentists in these countries but their fees are similar to, if not greater than, the average fees quoted by UK dentists. How do you know the dentist you are seeing is experienced enough to do the treatment you are seeking?
- If the cost is a lot cheaper than you have been quoted in the UK you should be suspicious – I have often found that the materials used are inferior to what we use in the UK and, on the rare occasion, I have found the materials used to be detrimental to the underlying tooth/teeth.
- How do you know you are not buying into false marketing? - I have mentioned above that the photos on the websites and adverts draw you in, but how do you know that these are a true reflection of the clinic and the treatment carried out at the clinic?
- What is infection control like at these clinics? – Does the clinic you are visiting have to follow strict infection control guidelines like we have to in the UK? What does the clinic do to minimise the risk of cross infection?
- What will you do if you are experiencing problems with the dental treatment performed abroad when returning to the UK? – Unfortunately this is why many patients come to see me or are referred to me by various dentists across Leicestershire and Warwickshire. Some patients report that they cannot get hold of the clinic where they had their treatment performed because it has since closed, while others do not want the inconvenience of travelling thousands of miles to rectify the problem. I have also had many patients who will not fly back to places such as Turkey and Pakistan due to safety concerns. Fixing these problems is always difficult and sometimes impossible, particularly in patients who have had dental implant treatment abroad.
Would any of the patients I have seen travel abroad again for their dental treatment?
Of the many patients I have seen who have travelled abroad for their dental treatment, only two have said they would go back to the clinic where they had their cosmetic dental treatment or dental implant treatment. In both of these patients the treatment was of a standard that I would be happy with in my mouth, with both of these patients having been treated by a friend or relative!
If you have any further questions about dental treatment you have received abroad pleaes do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email.
We look forward to welcoming you and answering any questions or concerns you may have.
Ritesh and Devanshee Mody