Affordable Dental Implants? Take A Holiday!

thailand

Dental holiday!

Many people with missing teeth would prefer to get implant treatment to restore their teeth than get a denture. The cost of  implant treatment starts at around $5000 and can go much higher depending on how many implants are needed.  Because of this very high price most people simply can’t afford implant treatment and have to get a cheaper and much less desirable option like a denture. The option of going abroad to get affordable dental implants may make sense in this situation.

The question you have to ask yourself: is it better to get a denture at home or travel abroad and get implants?

Implants are the best thing that has happened in dentistry since the invention of anaesthetic!

When I was a dental student, I was lucky enough to shadow a dentist who places a lot of implants. It was absolutely fascinating to me watching these titanium implants being inserted into the bone and then very realistic teeth being made on top of them. It really is like getting your teeth back!

Seeing people who had very few or no teeth walk out of his practice with functioning, attractive teeth again was very satisfying. It is amazing to see, but I can only imagine just how much more improved someone’s life must be when they go from wearing dentures to having their own fully functioning teeth again. Teeth that look good and that they can eat normally with again.

Implants allow people to smile again without feeling self conscious and to be able to eat food that would have been nearly impossible to with dentures, like steak and apples.

eating steak

Implants will allow you to eat steak with ease again!

However, I couldn’t believe the cost of implant treatment. A pleasant lady in her 60s who had lost most of her teeth many years before was presented with a treatment plan to restore her smile with implants by the same periodontist. At the end of the appointment the periodontist casually said to her,

“We need to place 6 implants to replace your upper teeth and 6 implants to replace your lower teeth for a total of 12 implants. The implants can be placed in a three hour session, but we will have to wait a few months for the bone to heal around the implants before we can place your new teeth on them. This will cost $60,000”.

$60,000 for three hours work?  I knew implants were expensive but I didn’t realize they were that costly!

mercedes

Your dental implant bill goes towards the repayments for this car

I was expecting that poor woman to throw a fit about the price, but I guess she was rich and already had an idea of the likely cost from a friend or something, because she didn’t go berserk like I was expecting. I was a student living on about $200 a week, so $60,000 seemed like a particularly large amount of money to me. I had to stop myself from gasping out loud when I heard that figure.

What would Dr Branemark make of this I wonder?

Dr Branemark

Dr Branemark, the inventor of dental implants. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Branemark_headshot2.jpg

The man who invented modern implants is Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark. Branemark was  a Swedish physician and research professor who discovered accidentally, while researching something entirely unrelated to dentistry, that titanium screws fuse to bone. He was very intelligent and quickly realized the dental applications.

Branemark felt deep concern for people who had lost their teeth and he wanted implants to be freely accessible to these “dental cripples” as he referred to them. But that’s not what has happened of course.

Unfortunately Branemark passed away late last year, but I bet if he was standing in that dental practice with me that day, he would have been disappointed to see that only the wealthiest people can afford the astronomically high fees required to replace their lost teeth with the implants he developed.

If you aren’t rich and you need implants, what are your options?

Well, you can compromise your health and get your dentist to make you dentures

dentures

Dentures. Hard to believe we still make these for people in 2015! Photo credit: Kathy McCraw, https://www.flickr.com/photos/4blogs/6753651445

OR

you could travel abroad to get the ideal treatment – dental implants.

healthy smile

Dental implants are like your third set of teeth!
Photo credit: Liz20151222. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Healthy_Smiling_Teeth.png

The benefits of travelling abroad

The benefits of travelling abroad are pretty obvious really.

1.You can save an incredible amount of money. Earlier in this article I mentioned the lady who paid $60,000 to get implants to replace all her teeth. Well, if she went abroad she could have paid as little as $6000!

2.You get to have an amazing holiday. When you travel abroad to get your dental work done, you get to experience amazing places like Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Philippines. Between appointments you can relax on beautiful sandy beaches and stay in nice hotels that cost far less than at home.

holiday

3.You help bring the cost of dentistry down in your own country by travelling abroad. This is because as dentists at home lose more and more work to overseas dentists, they will be forced to bring their fees down to compete on the global market.

4.You assist the local economy of some of the poorest countries. When you get dental treatment overseas you are bringing money into the local economy and creating jobs for the people living in these countries. This will help reduce the amount of absolute poverty in these countries.

poor children

Help fight poverty by getting dental treatment abroad.                                                                                                    Photo credit: www.fmsc.org https://www.flickr.com/photos/fmsc/10595417055

The dangers of travelling abroad

While it may seem a no-brainer to travel overseas if you need dental treatment there are risks involved that you need to be aware of.

1.If things go wrong, you will have to travel abroad again to get the problem fixed or pay a local dentist to fix it. Even if a dentist guarantees the work, if there is a problem with the implant they will not pay for your airfare and accommodation.

There are insurance providers who provide insurance options that will cover the costs, including air fares and accommodation, associated with having to travel back again to get the dental implants repaired.

If you book your dental treatment using Dental Departures, they can help you with arranging this insurance. You can read more about Dental Departures here.

2.You will have to travel to a different country. This can also be a good thing of course!

3.You will have to pay for airfares, accommodation, and take time off work. This will bite into your savings quite a bit. For example,  say you saved yourself $20,000 by getting your implants in Thailand. If the cost of travel was $2500, accommodation was $1000, and loss of earnings from being away from work was $1000, then you only saved $15,500. Actually, that’s still good isn’t it?

4.Implants sometimes have to be made in two appointments and may need to be scheduled months apart. This means you either have an extra long holiday or pay for two lots of airfares to go abroad again for the second appointment. Sometimes implants can be started and finished in one appointment. The dentist that is going to treat you will need to make the assessment if that is possible in your particular dental situation.

5.How do you know the dentist is good? In some countries regulations can be very relaxed and there can be dentists working with no licence to do so. How do you know where the dentist was trained and how long they have been practicing for? Will they honour any guarantees they made to you? Are they practicing with sterilized equipment? Do they have a criminal history or had any malpractice claims made against them? Can you see their work or reviews from satisfied patients that you can verify actually were treated by that dentist? Can they communicate to you in English?

disappointment

Choosing the wrong dentist can lead to big problems.

As you can see, the list for what can go wrong isn’t small and you do need to be careful to choose the right dentist and dental clinic overseas. Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s entirely possible to get good dental treatment overseas. There is just a LOT of research you need to do first.

But what if you don’t have the time to do all that research?

Fortunately, there is a company that has been around for a few years now that has done all the research for you and placed it in one easy to use website. They don’t even charge a fee for this.

Their name is Dental Departures and you can read more about them in the review I did on them in this earlier article.

smile

Photo credit: Rupert Taylor-Price, https://www.flickr.com/photos/rupertuk/4159721353

If you have read this whole article you should have a pretty good idea of the pros and cons of going overseas to get your dental work done. If you have any questions about getting dental treatment done overseas or would like to share your own personal experience getting dental work done abroad, please do so in the comments section.

David

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8 thoughts on “Affordable Dental Implants? Take A Holiday!

  1. Tim

    Hi David,

    Awesome article I’ve often wondered about overseas dental and if it’s really a good idea. Some of my friends have done this. I never needed anything like this done myself but I have had adult braces, which set me back around 10k with the added dental I needed doing.

    Do you recommend people go overseas for orthodontic work such as braces, given the regular check ups? My thoughts are there would be too many visits unless they have some unique way of doing it.

    I like the idea of Dental Departures and I know a few people that will definitely have a look at that site when I tell them, it is a really good idea and can potentially save a person a ton of research, and help them avoid the dodgy ones. Thanks for posting

    Reply
    1. David

      Hi Tim

      That is a really good point about orthodontic work. Unless the person getting orthodontic work can go abroad every month or two, it would be a mistake to get orthodontic braces placed by a dentist abroad.

      Actually, I had a friend who, in spite of my telling her not to, went ahead and had braces placed on her son in the Philippines by a dentist they didn’t properly research first.

      Well, first thing that happened is the brackets holding the orthodontic wire weren’t cemented on properly and they started coming off a week after they returned. She ended up getting me to take them off!

      Fortunately, it only cost them about $500, so they didn’t waste too much money.

      Two lessons here: 1) don’t get braces overseas unless you can go back regularly and 2)do your research on the dentist properly.

      If they had listened to me or contacted Dental Departures first, they’d have saved themselves the unnecessary dramas.

      David

      Reply
  2. Deanna

    I have older relatives that use dentures, on my mother’s side of the family. I don’t know how much they’re paying for their dental insurance, if they have it, or how much they’re paying for dental care. Not only does your site give advice on finding quality dental implants for folks with a budget, but you go into the history of the product. That’s awesome!

    Reply
    1. David

      Thanks Deanna. Glad you found the article interesting. Make sure you show it to your folks. Sounds like they may find it very useful.

      David

      Reply
  3. Santiago

    Hi!

    Very interesting post!
    I live in Uruguay, and our dentists have excelent level, and I have heard from friends in that field that a lot of people are coming from USA and Europe just to get their mouths fixed!
    I was surprised to learn the differences in costs!

    Best regards!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Santiago.
      That’s great you live in a country where dentistry is affordable and where the dentists are excellent. I notice there is a clinic in Uruguay that is recommended on the Dental Departures website too. Their prices are very low, but are still more expensive than what you could expect to pay in Mexico or Thailand for example. I suggest going on the website and seeing for yourself.
      David

      Reply
  4. Margarita

    Hello,

    What a coincidence! Today I went to a dentist to let him look at my huge cavity between the two teeth. He said that the nerve is dead and there are only two options – either a root canal with core? and crowns or an implant. He also said that the tooth is hollow inside and what I see outside is just enamel that is left. It was like a hit on a head as I didn’t expect it.

    The first time I saw this cavity was about 4 months ago.
    I am a raw foodist and this time decided to heal the cavity according to Ramiel Nagel’s recommendations.

    Meaning that these months I have been using fermented cod liver/butter oil blend. What I was trying to do is reverse the cavity. The blend eliminated all pain and infection! However, I don’t think the cavity got smaller and food (seeds mostly) gets there very easily. I also make sure to get enough magnesium (from food sources) and I eat raw egg yolks (B12).

    I also take French green clay (organic calcium) and borax (boron helps with calcium retention)

    Like I said, the cavity is very large and I avoid eating on that side as much as possible.

    What are your thoughts about this? I don’t want to deal with conventional dentists. Besides my budget is limited.
    Going to a biological dentist?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Margarita. It sounds like you live a very healthy lifestyle and are very unlucky to have such bad decay in the tooth. I assume you avoid sugar? Teeth can repair/remineralize early decay with a healthy oral environment, but not once there is an actual hole in the tooth.

      From what you’ve described I think you need to have a root canal or have the tooth extracted.

      If you don’t do either of those options you risk getting a dental abscess which could spread to other parts of your body and make you unwell. People used to die from dental infections, including Hugo Boss!

      However, I have also seen many people with dental abscesses that seem completely healthy due to the infection not spreading out of the mouth. The infection won’t make you unwell if the pus can drain from your gum into your mouth. Quite a disgusting thought…

      Now that the tooth is dead there is no blood supply to the tooth and therefore no way for your body to fight the bacteria that are living inside the dead tooth no matter how healthy your lifestyle.

      I think a biological dentist would agree with a conventional dentist on this matter. Let me know what the biological dentist says.

      I hope you get this attended to and stay healthy!

      David

      Reply

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