Put your money where your mouth is – Nik Sisodia Ten Dental

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  Posted by: The Probe      3rd December 2018

Patients are always seeking a bigger, better deal and getting value for money is essential in the current economic climate. As waiting lists and the costs of dental care in the UK continue to increase each year, it is no wonder many Britons prefer to go overseas for treatment within their budget. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that there has been a 198% rise in UK patients travelling abroad for medical and dental reasons.[i]These statistics indicate that dental tourism is continuing to grow in popularity, particularly as a result of celebrity endorsements and patients’ desire to enhance their appearance quickly and affordably.

The most highly sought after treatments include dental crowns, bridges, and veneers, but dental implants top the tables as the most popular overseas procedure, as they can provide long-lasting aesthetics and function.[ii]This deal is only sweetened by reduced fees – an online source shows that the cost to place and restore a single implant in the UK is approximately £2,000, but British patients can acquire similar quality treatment in at a much lower cost of £470.[iii]While this is evidently a substantial saving for the cash-strapped Briton, there are several issues surrounding the procurement of implants abroad.

For instance, there are many talented dentists worldwide, but it can be difficult to identify whether those offering cheaper implants have the essential training or experience to perform treatment safely and successfully. As such, it can be difficult to determine which practice to go to for implant treatment. European Union (EU) nations follow similar standards and dentists operating in Britain are strictly regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC), who require practitioners to have a minimum number of qualifications to ensure the provision of implant treatment is of consistently high quality. As a result of various other regulations, most dentists in the UK will only ever use implants manufactured to the highest standards by trusted companies who are well established in the field of implant dentistry.

However, countries outside of the EU may have standards that do not adhere to those that patients are accustomed to in the UK. As such, some practitioners operating abroad may resort to offering cheaper implant solutions as part of cost cutting exercises. These implants – while they may appear to be an initial success once placed – might not achieve the correct stability required for good long-term outcomes. As they are often produced from weaker materials, these implant systems are also more likely to fracture and result in treatment failure. Unless patients carry out comprehensive research, they are often unable to determine if they are receiving the best care from practitioners abroad, which can ultimately put their oral and general health at risk if something goes wrong.

Lured by the promise of a bargain, patients might not always consider that the price of rectifying any post-operative complications could outweigh the initial cost of procuring treatment in the first place. A patient who has sought dental implants abroad may have to pay additional fees in order to go back to the treating practitioner if there are any problems. Not only is this extremely costly and inconvenient, but the practitioner – rather than choose to treat the patient again – may advise that they return to the UK for further care. This puts the patient in a very difficult position, as the majority of UK dentists will be very wary of providing follow-up treatment out of fear of serious litigation if they assume responsibility of any post-operative complications. This is without consideration to the issue of finding out what obscure implant system the treating practitioner may have used abroad.

Evidently, practitioners in the UK cannot prevent patients from travelling overseas for implants, but the various risks involved with this process highlights the importance of reminding patients to exercise utmost caution. This is also the ideal opportunity to engage with patients on the benefits of professional implant treatment within the UK, which, as practitioners know, can be carried out to great effect and with little to no long-term complications.[iv]Practitioners should emphasise to patients that where oral and general health is concerned, it is in their best interest to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Although every practitioner wants to provide essential dental care, some do not have the facilities to offer implant treatment directly, which could prompt patients to seek implants overseas. Practices looking to retain or grow their existing patient base can extend their implant services by referring to a trusted team of clinicians such as those at Ten Dental Facial. Led by highly experienced implant surgeons Dr Nik Sisodia and Dr Martin Wanendeya, the award-winning team are well equipped with the extensive knowledge and skills required to effectively treat even the most complex implant cases, ensuring patients receive the highest quality care.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is in the case of dental implants. Going abroad may appear to make sense to patients looking for bargain treatment, but in reality, there are many risks involved. As such, patients should be reminded that the standards of care set in the UK are extremely high and can guarantee them the best treatment. Should there be any post-operative complications, dentists in the UK are also in the prime position to provide continuity of care, ensuring implant patients never suffer from prolonged pain or steep expenses.

 

For more information, visit www.tendental.comor call on 020 33932623

 

[i]Office for National Statistics. (2017) Travel trends: 2016. Link: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/articles/traveltrends/2016/. [Last accessed: 02.07.18].

[ii]Marincola, M., Lombardo, G., Pighi, J., Corrocher, G., Mascellaro, A., Lehrbger, J. and Nocini, P. F. (2015) The Immediate Aesthetic and Functional Restoration of Maxillary Incisors Compromised by Periodontitis Using Short Implants with Single Crown Restorations: A Minimally Invasive Approach and Five-Year Follow-Up. Case Reports in Dentistry. 716380. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662981/#B9. [Last accessed: 02.07.18].

[iii]Dentaly.org. (2017) Our guide on the pros and cons of going abroad to get dental treatment and implants. Link: https://www.dentaly.org/en/dental-implants-abroad/. [Last accessed: 02.07.18].

[iv]Setzer, F. C. and Kim, S. (2014) Comparison of Long-term Survival of Implants and Endodontically Treated Teeth. Journal of Dental Research. 93(1):19-26. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3872851//. [Last accessed: 02.07.18].


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