Is it worth having dental treatment abroad?

Dental Treatment Abroad

The rise in popularity of dental treatment abroad

It’s no secret that since cosmetic dentistry exploded onto the scene, promising perfectly formed teeth and revolutionary smile transformations, the popularity of seeking dental treatment abroad has increased in parallel.

Dental tourism is most certainly a booming business. In fact, if it wasn’t for the travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic, it’s likely that it would have reached its height within the last 2 years. A combination of problems accessing NHS dental services, a desire for cut-price cosmetic procedures and the attraction of combining dental treatment with a holiday are huge draws for the overseas dental business.

There is no doubt that on face value, having dental treatment abroad seems a hugely attractive option. Aggressive social media advertising, endorsed by high profile influencers sipping on cocktails in the sun whilst awaiting their next appointment appears delightful compared to most dental visits. However, when things seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Here are the things you really need to consider if you are considering having your dental treatment abroad.

What are the risks of having dental treatment abroad?

Whilst there are some fantastic dentists and dental clinics across the world, there are some important factors to weigh-up when embarking on any kind of medical treatment away from home.

Pre-treatment consultation and assessment

One of the benefits of having your treatment at home is that your dentist will have your complete medical and dental history records to refer to. You will also benefit from having a full consultation which will include scans and a complete dental health assessment to determine your suitability for treatment.

This ensures that you can enter into a treatment plan with complete confidence that it will work for your particular case, before making any commitment. Not all treatments are suitable for all patients, but it’s a bit late to change your mind when you have already booked, paid and flown to another country without any initial consultation.

When arriving for dental treatment abroad, your dentist will be seeing your teeth for the very first time and will be tied in to turn around treatment within a particular time frame before your scheduled departure. Even if at this stage they consider the treatment to be unsuitable, they need to proceed with their commitment, which means there could be complications further down the line or you may experience unnecessary pain and discomfort due to unknown underlying oral health conditions.

It’s not uncommon to find in overseas dental treatment, that dentists have had to resort to unnecessary invasive procedures to work around unforeseen complications, purely to speed up treatment time. This may result in perfectly healthy teeth being damaged or teeth being removed where Invisalign could have easily solved a problem.

You cannot underestimate the importance of a face-to-face pre-treatment consultation with the dental practitioner that will carry out the work, which when having dental treatment abroad is near on impossible to achieve.

Hygiene Standards

UK and EU hygiene standards are governed by their respective medical organisations, which definitively outline and certificate the methods in which hygiene standards must be practiced. Outside of these institutions there is no guarantee of the levels of hygiene that are practiced in an overseas dental clinic. They may well comply with local standards, but these standards may be very different to what we are used to.

One of the most common complications with dental procedures is risk of infection, which is almost certainly influenced by the levels of hygiene standards that are practiced within the clinic. You wouldn’t eat in a restaurant that fell short in their basic hygiene methods, so why would you spend thousands on complex surgical procedures that simply might fail on such a critical safety factor.

The benefit of being treated at home in the UK is knowing that the protocols for hygiene and risk management are part of the legal framework of operation and therefore have to be complied with. You will also have the opportunity to visit the clinic in person to satisfy your own curiosity and pacify any concerns you may have. This is the best possible route to guarantee the success of your treatment.

Language barrier

A very simple, yet important point is the matter of language and communication. With something as intricate as dental treatment on something as precious as your teeth, it’s important you fully understand all the facts and what to expect without any language barrier.

We have had cases reported where patients have had to make use of a translator to be able to communicate effectively with their dentist, which is far from ideal when you commit to hours in the dental chair. In other situations, patients have thought they were undergoing a smile makeover with veneers only to discover later they were in fact given oversized crowns, but the details were lost in translation.

You need a dentist you understand and that understands you and this is not something you can guarantee when having dental treatment abroad.

Quality of treatment

Many of you probably wonder why dental treatment in Turkey, Hungary or Thailand for example can offer what seems to be the equivalent results for up to 70% of the price. There is usually a very simple explanation. Quality of treatment.

In the UK, all dental practitioners and procedures are regulated by the standards imposed by the General Dental Council (GDC.) This ensures the qualifications, standards and safeguards found in UK clinics comply with an uncompromising framework.

There’s a reason why the phrase ‘Turkey Teeth’ exists and it’s to describe the obvious cut price, fast turnaround, mass produced and inexperienced fitting of a new smile. Beautifully designed, crafted and finished teeth are the works a quality treatment protocol lead by highly experienced dental practitioners.

From the materials that are deemed safe and effective to use, to the expertise and experience of the dentists to the types of procedures that are practiced, you can be sure that the UK quality of dental care is among the very best in the world.

Aftercare

Whilst you may be delighted with the initial results of your dental treatment abroad, there is no knowing what you might be faced in the following days, weeks and months after returning home. Sadly, unless you are planning to spend an indefinite amount of time in the country of your overseas dentist, once you have stepped onto the plane it’s unlikely that you will access to any aftercare support.

Post treatment revisions are an essential part of the overall treatment plan. Your dentist needs to see how your mouth is healing and whether your teeth match your initial expectations. Especially in the case of dental implants, a period of check-ups and follow up scans are essential to ensure the acceptance and success of the implant placements.


The reality is, if you are faced with any complications, it’s likely that you will need the seek the assistance of a UK based dentist, which really defeats the objective of having dental treatment abroad in the first place.

Additionally, if you find yourself disappointed with the results or feel like you were subject to some kind of dental negligence, there is very recourse to resolve the problem- physically or financially.

Affordable private treatment with Banning Dental Group

We totally understand why many people are tempted by the sun-soaked, glossy ads of overseas dental care. First and foremost you are desperate to improve the look of your teeth and if you can save money in the process and have a holiday- the surely it’s a win win no?

The reality is, having dental treatment abroad really is a false economy. As the old saying goes ‘pay cheap, pay twice.’ The cost of dealing with complications, infections, aftercare or even reversing wholly unsuitable procedures, let alone the discomfort and inconvenience they can cause really begs the question: is it really worth it.

That’s why, at Banning Dental Group we are committed to offering affordable private dental care through the expertise of our leading dental practitioners. We aim to offer you the best possible results, in the fastest possible time for the very best price you’ll find in the UK.

There’s really no reason to go elsewhere.

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