According to the latest statistics, around 15,000 Australians travel abroad every year to undergo dental procedures such as extractions, root canals, bone grafts and of course dental implants. India, Bali, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines have become hotspots in recent years for dental tourism and with the cost of dental implants up to 75% less than back home in Australia, it’s perhaps no surprise that people are very attracted to the thought of jetting off to get their dental treatment done abroad.
Take India for example, the average cost of dental implants is between 25,000 and 45,000 Indian Rupees. That’s just $500 to $900 AUD. Even when you pay an additional 10,000 to 20,000 for the crown ($200 to $400), that’s still only $700 to $1300 AUD. When the cost of a dental implant here in Australia falls somewhere between $3000 and $7000, that’s a massive saving.
In fact, even when you throw in flights and accommodation, it still represents great value for money, especially when you consider that according to research;
- 3 in 10 Australians avoid the dentist altogether due to high costs
- 1 in 5 is unable to afford the treatment recommended by their dentist.
- And, 54% of the population don’t have any type of medical/dental cover
For these reasons, it’s no wonder that the lure of dental tourism is greatly appealing.
However, while the low cost of dental implants in places like India may be a huge draw, there are risks that you need to consider before you decide to book your flights and pack your bags. Let’s take a look at some of them…
Implant dentistry is never risk-free
It’s worth considering that whether you pay top dollar to visit a dentist back in Australia or travel abroad to undergo dental implants in places like India, dental treatments are never risk-free and things can and do go wrong. The fact is that most people travel abroad because they need complex dentistry. Naturally, the more complex the dentistry, the higher the risks.
More often than not, many dental problems (particular dental implants) won’t manifest themselves right away. On the contrary, it’s often 3, 6 or 12 months down the line when your dental vacation is all but a dim and distant memory. The problem then is who is going to put it right?
Of course, if this happens back here in Australia then it’s a simple case of hopping in your car and talking to your dentist. Not so when your dentist is a 24-hour journey (including a stop-over) away in Mumbai or Hyderabad! There’s the added cost of a return flight to consider plus the worry of having to fit in an unexpected trip into your schedule. Ultimately, it can exacerbate the problem, especially if you aren’t certain whether your dentist will fix the issue. At least here in Australia, you know that if you’re not happy with the work carried out, there are specific avenues you can go down to seek redress.
Standards of training
If you’re seeking dental implants here in Australia, you’ll know that your chosen dentist has been trained to a very high standard and that they regularly have to undergo further training with regards to infection control and current health and safety compliance. On the contrary, education, training, and practice philosophies may be different in countries like India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In fact, as we speak, dental education systems in places like India are facing huge challenges in terms of rapid privatisation, regulation, and quality, so Australian patients seeking to travel abroad to undergo dental implants in India should take this into consideration.
It’s worth pointing out that there are great dentists in places like India, Thailand, etc., just as there are poor dentists here in Australia, but generally speaking, those are the dentists who don’t charge the absolute lowest prices for the cost of dental implants.
So what should you do if you are considering undergoing dental implants in India? Here are some pointers:
Ensure you have enough time to think about your dental implant treatment first
It’s very easy to be swayed by the low cost of dental implants in India especially if you have a flight to catch and a tight deadline to adhere to. With this in mind, it’s all too easy to be pressured into committing to dental treatments before you’re ready. Remember vacations come and go, but the after effects on your tooth/teeth with regards to poor dental treatment will stick around a lot longer. With this in mind, carry out some thorough research on your chosen destination and if you can, try to visit the dental clinic beforehand. While this will cost more money, it just might be worth the peace of mind in the long-term.
Ensure good and open communication with your dental implant dentist
Do you have good lines of communication with your chosen implant clinic in India? Are you getting answers to all your questions and do those answers satisfy your needs? If the lines of communication aren’t as forthcoming as you’d like, then you may want to consider rethinking your strategy.
Consider what will happen if your dental implants don’t go to plan
Often in dentistry, treatments can be more complex than first thought. While it isn’t normally a problem to put things right, you should consider whether your dentist is likely to show a lack of accountability should any complications arise. For this reason, you might want to consider what will happen if things do go wrong and don’t be afraid to approach the subject with your chosen clinic before you commit.
The worst thing you can do if you are travelling abroad for treatment is to book inflexible airfares. Why? Because people tend to recover at different rates and therefore, when undergoing complex treatments like dental implants in India, it’s better to make sure that you’re recovered as much as possible and are happy, before you travel home. More often than not a two-week vacation isn’t long enough for dental work to be done and problems to manifest, so by making your visit as flexible as possible, you’ll stand a greater chance of getting dental treatment that you are happy with.
What about if you decide that undergoing dental implants in India, Thailand, Malaysia, or the Philippines is too much or a risk. Are there ways that you can seek out affordable dental implants treatment right here in Australia.
Check out your insurance policy
While many medical insurance policies won’t cover you for dental implants, there are some that will pay part of the cost. So you may want to check out the small print under ‘extras’ to see if you are indeed covered. If not, it might be worth changing your insurer to a company that does.
Check out online promotions
Many dentists regularly run promotions on a wide variety of treatments including dental implants. For this reason, you might want to consider shopping around to grab yourself a better deal.
Ask about payment plans
Many dentists offer flexible payment plans which allow you to spread the cost of treatment over a number of installments or months. This makes having the treatment you want more manageable, so don’t forget to ask around.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about dental implants in India and the risks involved in seeking the low cost of dental implants abroad.
If you feel that undergoing dental treatment in far-flung destinations like India, Thailand, and the Philippines is too much of a risk, then why not get the peace of mind you deserve by visiting Dental 266. We’re your local Burwood dentist and one of the leading centres in Sydney for dental implants. Call us today at (02) 9051 0600 to find out more.