The perils of getting a cheap dental implant abroad
At the Birmingham Periodontal and Implant Center we come across many patients who have traveled to get cheap dental implants abroad. As dedicated professionals we have a responsibility to warn all our patients who maybe contemplating such actions of the potential pitfalls of going for cheap dental implants. One of the main problems we see is the lack of long term treatment planning, as the patients have a short time abroad and the dentist provides too much too quickly.
foreign implant dentist may provide too much too quickly….
This results in the dentist cutting corners and in some cases ignoring the patient’s periodontal (gum) condition. It should be noted that an implant should never be placed in a patient with periodontal (gum disease), and this can be both costly to the patients financially and them paying a price for resulting deterioration in their overall dental health.
Proable Long term consequences
Unfortunately, the consequences of poor treatment planning are not always immediate and can surface several months or even years later. The patient is left with a less than satisfactory outcome and may find it difficult to return abroad to have the dental implant problems solved. The remedial work ends up costing a lot more than if it was carried out in the UK, since the failed implants would have to be removed before any remedial work can be carried out.
Cheap and outdated implants systems as well as unregulated dental practices can be found in some places like; India, Budapest, Hungary, Malta, Prague, Poland. Please research carefully.
General Dental Council (GDC) treatment abroad guide
The General Dental Council has acknowledged this problem and even produces a simple guide for patients regarding treatment abroad. This can be down loaded from the GDC website at http://www.gdc-uk.org under the advice section.
This simple guide asks some pertinent questions such as:
- Who will be providing my treatment and what are their qualifications?
- How many times have they carried out the procedure?
- What will happen if things do not go to plan, how much will it cost?
- How is the regulatory body abroad able to help?
We should also ask our patients who are contemplating going abroad the same questions as well. By posing these questions to our patients we are not trying to dissuade them but providing information on the potential risks involved. Being a referral practice we have also seen a significant amount of implant failures, such as nerve parasthesia, failed implants, peri-implantitis, fractured implants and failed implant retained crown/bridgework.
Cheap dental implant systems are often used abroad
Using a cheaper dental implant system can often result in a long term problem for the patient as the implant systems used in these countries are typically one of the smaller manufacturers with little or no research. While the research aspect may be considered academic as titanium implants all integrate with the bone, the real problem is that the instruments and components used for these systems may not be available in the UK.
On a number of occasions we have had to contact overseas practices to find out the system used and also where we can order the necessary components. At the Birmingham Periodontal & Implant Centre, we only use the major manufacturers such as AstraTech, ITI Straumann, Biomet 3i, Sybron Kerr, Nobel Biocare and Denstply Friadent.
Exposed root of failing implant
Cheap implant abroad after 2 months
BPI Dental only use the best dental implant systems
We make sure that the patient is getting the best product so that if they were to move practice or even abroad, they would not be disadvantaged in anyway. As we have no financial involvement in any of these manufacturers, the patient is the main beneficiary as he or she can travel with complete confidence knowing that only the best researched and most widely available products have been used. If you are a dentist and referring your patients for implants, we would suggest that you inform your patient of appropriate questions to ask regarding the implant manufacturer used and the availability of components.
One of the main disadvantages of treatment abroad is that the patient is not always able to necessarily return to the dentist to seek remedial treatment. Whereas, the advantage of having implant treatment locally is the convenience of being able to return to the dentist and be seen quickly if any problems develop. One of our main strengths is that we are based in Birmingham – Harborne and have been operating as a dedicated specialist practice for over 10 years. We are open 5 days a week, 8 till 6pm which enables us to see emergencies the same day. We are happy to receive any enquiries on patient treatment from the dentist either by email or telephone. Referrals are usually seen within one week and the reports are usually sent out within 48 hours of the patient been seen.