Your smile should last a lifetime, and with dental implant surgery it can. If your dentist has recommended dental implants to replace a missing tooth, you’re likely weighing up your options. Dental implants are considered the gold standard when it comes to missing tooth replacement, but they are an expensive solution in comparison to a removable partial denture or a fixed bridge.
Replacing missing teeth is important to your dental health and your overall wellness. When natural teeth are missing, you lose functionality of your bite, experience problems chewing and talking, and are more likely to avoid professional and social situations because you are embarrassed by your appearance.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a tiny biocompatible titanium screw that is gently placed into your jawbone under local anaesthesia. The implant mimics the missing tooth’s root and fuses with your jawbone over three to six months. Once the site has healed, your dentist places a crown that matches your natural teeth colour on top, restoring your smile and the function of your mouth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single or multiple missing teeth.
How much does a dental implant cost?
The cost of a dental implant can vary from $2,000-$7,000. The cost is based on your location, the position of your missing tooth, the experience of the dentist, the materials used to fabricate the implant, and the complexity of your unique situation.
Dental implants in Bangkok – The rise of dental tourism
Australians who require expensive dental work, consider traveling to Bangkok for cheaper treatment. The Australian Dental Association estimates that as many as 10,000 Australians travel overseas each year for dental treatment. Thailand attracts more than half a million medical tourists annually, and some Australian patients seek dental implants in Bangkok.
Why Bangkok dental work is a gamble
Initially, traveling to Bangkok may sound like a great way to get your dental implant surgery on the cheap, while taking in all the sights Bangkok has to offer. But what are you really buying into with dental tourism?
Dentistry in Bangkok may offer currency exchange advantages, but there are fewer barriers to becoming a dentist and less professional restrictions and regulations. Always consider the following areas very carefully before traveling overseas for dental work.
- Lack of regulation
Australian dentists are heavily regulated by the AHPRA and the Dental Board, and if you encounter an issue there is a protocol you can follow to get your problem resolved. All Australian dentists have professional indemnity insurance which protects patients against medical negligence. This isn’t the case if you have your dental work performed in Bangkok; you may have no redress mechanism if a procedure doesn’t go as planned.
- Procedure might be rushed
Complex procedures like dental implants shouldn’t be rushed. Your gums need time to heal before your crown can be fitted. If the procedure is hurried, you could experience a poorly fitting implant that may fall out or cause significant discomfort and infection, leading to complications.
Most single tooth dental implants require at least two appointments. One to place the implant, and one to fit the crown. There is also a risk of post-surgery complications. Minimising risk and dealing with problems as soon as they arise is important to your oral and overall health, but distance can make dealing with complications challenging.
Patients experiencing complications from dental work performed overseas, may seek help from a local dentist who often must redo the work.
- Language barriers
If you are a nervous patient and experience dental phobia, will you be able to communicate your aesthetic needs or discomfort during the procedure? Even if your dentist does speak English, he or she may be unable to pick up on cues such as your need to pause treatment, due to cultural differences.
- Experience of the surgeon
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) states that many patients seeking dental care overseas are falling victim to unsafe dental practices, because practitioners aren’t held to the same standards as Australian dentists.
Australian dentists must pass several rigorous tests and cannot call themselves a specialist in a specific field of dentistry such as endodontics unless they have studied to be an endodontist. This may not be the case with the surgeon placing your dental implants in Bangkok.
- Hygiene protocols
In Australia, dental practices must maintain strict infection control to prevent the spread of infection and diseases. In Bangkok, these rules are more relaxed.
- Low-quality materials
Some overseas dentists use cheap materials, so their business remains viable. These materials have not undergone the same rigorous testing and research required in Australia.
Most Australian dentists also use cutting-edge DIO Navi implant technology to ensure your dental implant is precisely placed, to reduce risk, shorten surgery time and speed recovery.
At Dentistry on Solent our professional, skilled and compassionate dental team is committed to helping you achieve your lifelong goal of optimum oral health and a beautiful and healthy smile.
Please contact us on (02) 9158 6137 for a consultation to discuss how we can make dental implant surgery an affordable missing tooth replacement option for you.