Are you looking for dental implants to replace missing or broken teeth? Thinking of going to Thailand for your treatment? Think carefully before you do.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing or failing teeth, but they are of course known to be an expensive treatment. The temptation to look to places like Thailand for your cosmetic and restorative dental work is understandably great. Before you commit yourself to a dental holiday, however, you need to consider a number of factors.
Many dental implant treatments have become cheaper in recent years, and a growing number of health funds are contributing to their cost, providing the work is done in Australia. Although an offer of treatment overseas may look attractive, when air fares, accommodation and health fund contributions are factored in, it’s surprising how small the difference can be. Here at Duncraig Village Dental for instance, for our straightforward cases we use high quality, German made implants with all lab worked performed by a Perth based dental laboratory. Our single tooth implant replacements start at $3,800; little difference from the cost of comparable treatment in Thailand, but with all the reassurance and convenience of a local provider with a fine reputation.
Dental implant holiday packages in Thailand are premised on the treatment being completed in a matter of days. That is, the implants must be surgically placed, and at least a temporary bridge or crown fitted, before the implants have fully integrated into the bone. While modern implant dentistry does include procedures that allow for very early loading of implant-borne prosthetic teeth, they apply only to “ideal” cases where bone quality and topography, gum health and so on favour such an approach. The temptation to “stretch” the patient criteria is one which has led to many early failures of implant restorations. In good practice, many patients are better advised to accept a staged restoration in which the tooth is not restored, and no loads are applied to the implants until they have fully integrated into the surrounding bone.
Even where immediate loading is feasible, small adjustments may be required to the prosthetic hardware, for instance to correct bite. These are quickly and simply dealt with if your clinician is nearby – not so if he or she is thousands of miles distant.
Things can go wrong
No matter how good the clinician, no surgical procedure can ever be 100% risk free. Much of the training of Australian dentists is directed at dealing with unexpected developments in surgery, including emergencies. Many problems don’t manifest themselves until some time after the procedure. If you have a problem following treatment by a local clinician, he is at hand to take care of it. If a problem arises after you have returned from treatment overseas, who will repair it?
When you choose a clinician in Australia, you can be sure of their credentials and training, and that the procedure they are offering to perform is one for which they have the necessary training. This is not always the case overseas, where it can be difficult to determine the exact level of training and accreditation of a practitioner.
All materials used in Australia must meet the stringent traditions of the Therapeutic Goods Act, ensuring not just their strength, but biocompatibility. Standards are less stringent elsewhere, and many restorations fail to last as long as they should.
Infection control, both in Australian hospitals and Australian clinics, follows world best practice. As a consequence we have significantly lower rates of antibiotic-resistant infection than many of our neighbours.
So before you commit yourself to the risks of dental implant treatment in Thailand, give us a call at Duncraig Village Dental on 08 9246 9911 to discuss your case, or for more information on dental implants click here. Australian trained Dr Andrew Ziepe is at the forefront of restorative and cosmetic dentistry, and offers all the treatment modes made possible by dental implants.