Dental implants are a revolutionary technology and the only way to replace missing teeth permanently. The treatment involves embedding a biocompatible metal rod into the jawbone, then placing an abutment and crown on top for an artificial tooth that looks and functions like a natural one.
The entire treatment can take from three to nine months to complete, depending on the health of your teeth, jaws, and gums. However, the time, high-quality materials, and expertise required make getting a dental implant one of the more expensive restorative dental treatments.
The cost of treatment is the primary reason why many people resort to dental implant tourism. Overseas destinations, typically southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia, offer dental implants at a fraction of the cost of getting dental implants in Australia. However, there are some serious risks involved with dental tourism that could end up costing you more than you bargained for.
What are the Risks of Dental Implant Tourism?
Dental tourism comes with several risks, and these are just a few of them.
Lack of Professional Oversight
In Australia, dentists and their practices are regulated by several federal and industry-based organisations, including the Dental Board of Australia, the Australian Dental Association, and the Therapeutic Goods Commission (TGC). These governing bodies ensure that Australian dentists are qualified and accredited to perform the services they advertise and that their practices are certified. The TGC also regulates the quality of the materials and dental products administered by dentists to ensure safety and efficacy.
Overseas dentists, particularly in underdeveloped nations, may lack professional oversight, allowing disreputable dental practitioners to offer services they are unqualified to provide.
Post-surgical complications are a serious risk when receiving a dental implant, and non-hygienic conditions can exacerbate these issues.
Engaging in dental implant tourism may mean you receive treatment in facilities without adequate sterilisation equipment and poor infection control procedures, increasing your risk of exposure to potentially life-threatening pathogens, such as hepatitis, staphylococcus, or HIV.
Many overseas dental tourism destinations have diseases and microorganisms not frequently encountered in Australia.
Following a surgery, such as dental implants, your immune system is more vulnerable to an attack.
Substandard Materials and Dental Work
The success and longevity of your dental implant treatment depend on the skills of the dentist and the quality of the materials they use for the post, abutment, and restoration.
Dentists partnering with dental tourism companies offer their dental implant treatments at a significantly lower cost, which could mean they are using substandard materials as a way to cut corners and make a profit.
At the Digital Dental Implant Institute, we use the latest in dental implant material technology, including biocompatible titanium posts, custom-fitted abutments, and digital crowns produced using CAD/CAM technology and milled on-site.
No Legal Recourse
Australian health insurance providers do not cover dental tourism treatments. This means that not only are you paying for your dental implants entirely out of pocket; you also have little to no avenue to pursue legal action against an overseas dentist for malpractice if your treatment results in severe health issues, post-surgical complications, or the treatment provided was not what you were lead to expect.
Choose Safe, High-Quality Dental Implants at DDII
Dental implants are an investment in your oral health and appearance. While they may have a higher upfront cost than other tooth-replacement treatments, implants are designed to last a lifetime, making them less expensive long term.
Dental implant tourism involves risks that could have lasting effects on your health and smile. For safe, long-lasting implants, call DDII on (02) 4058 2836 to book your consultation.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.