Dental implants are a natural and effective solution to replace missing teeth and restore the function of your smile as well as improve your confidence. Because dental implants are a permanent dental restoration, they can be more expensive than other tooth replacement options like a dental bridge or removable partial denture. For this reason, some patients consider dental tourism to cut the costs of dental implant surgery.
It is estimated that about 15,000 Australians venture to exotic destinations annually for dental procedures lured by low prices and recovery on a sandy beach.
Australian dental professionals and the Australian Dental Association urge caution when considering getting your dental implant overseas, because inexpensive and quick dental surgery abroad can be dangerous and expensive to correct if it goes wrong.
Risks of Dental Implants Overseas
Although getting a dental implant overseas can cost less than in Australia, there are risks involved.
Different Practice Standards
While overseas dentists may be highly trained and experienced, they may not have the same level of expertise and credentials as dentists in Australia. They may also not operate their dental practice to the same rigorous standards, leaving you exposed to pathogens from unhygienic dental instruments and surfaces.
Overseas dentists may use different procedures for surgically embedding dental implants that do not meet current Australian standards of patient care.
One of the biggest benefits of having a dental implant is that the materials used are biocompatible, which means that the body readily accepts the implant and, once healed, the implant becomes part of your body.
This creates a highly stable and comfortable foundation for attaching the artificial tooth.
Overseas dentists may not use the same materials as dental surgeons in Australia, and these substandard materials can reduce the likelihood of a successful implant.
This can potentially lead to your body rejecting the implant or cause extreme discomfort and infection.
No Regulating Body
The Dental Board of Australia and the Australian Dental Association strictly regulate how dental surgeries are performed and demand that Australian dentists undergo continual professional development to ensure they are knowledgeable and experienced with the latest technologies and dental techniques.
Depending on the country you choose to get your dental implants, they may not have a regulating body to dictate the standards of hygiene, practice, and dental techniques, which can mean the results of the surgery do not turn out as you expect.
Increased Risk of Infection
Getting overseas dental implants exposes you to bacteria and microorganisms that are not seen in Australia, putting you at an increased risk of infection. Different procedural standards and poor communication skills can also mean a higher risk of post-surgical complications and may result in you needing to have the implant removed.
Insufficient Recovery Time Between Procedures
Although dental implant surgery has a high success rate, complex dental procedures should never be rushed. But due to time constraints, you may not be given time to heal between treatments, which can place your oral and overall health in jeopardy.
Many advertised prices for overseas dental implants do not give an accurate indication of the total cost of the procedure. For example, patients who have poor jawbone structure may need a bone graft to strengthen the jaw and be unaware of the additional surgery until they are examined. This can add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of getting your dental implants.
Overseas dentists may not include the cost of an anaesthesiologist or recovery in the final price.
Not Covered by Insurance
Even if you have coverage for major dental in your policy, most private health insurance providers do not offer coverage for overseas dental surgeries, which means you pay for the cost of dental implant surgery out-of-pocket. This also means that you have no means of legal recourse should your dental implant surgery not turn out as you expected.
Affordable Dental Implants in Australia
Rather than risking a trip overseas for dental implants, get your dental implants in Australia using one of these affordable options.
Many private insurance providers offer coverage for major dental surgeries such as dental implants for a slightly higher premium. At Scott Street Dental, we are an authorised HICAPS provider.
If your insurance doesn’t cover major dental surgeries, we also offer Zip Money Financing because we believe everyone deserves a beautiful and healthy smile. Zip Money allows you to pay off the cost of your dental implants in affordable instalments.
The Final Word
The risks of overseas dental implants far outweigh the cost-saving benefits. Not only could getting dental implants overseas cost your more in the long run, but it could also have serious adverse effects on your health.
For affordable and professional dental implants that are made to last, call Scott Street Dental on (02) 9158 6393 to learn more about how dental implants can restore your smile and inquire about our financing options. We can help you determine a plan that works for your budget.