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International Dental Care

Updated on February 25, 2010

Dental implants are one of the most effective long-term solutions for tooth replacement.  Although dental implants are arguably very reasonably priced for the effectiveness in both their esthetic appeal and durability, they are not free.  For this reason, there are times that patients will consider having dental implants placed in foreign countries in order to save money on the costs.  Although this may initially sound like a legitimate solution, there are many things that a patient must heed if he or she intends to go down this road.

Cost of Travel

The first item to consider is the expense of traveling abroad for dental care. Some specific items to consider include:

  1. Cost of the plane ticket
  2. Cost of travel and lodging while in country
  3. Frequency of trips that will be required for consultation, creating molds, surgery and follow-up care

Risk Factors

The United States is known for having high quality healthcare.  For this reason, the quality of treatment at a U.S. dental implant office is more reliable.  There are laws that must be abided by and healthcare best practices that are commonplace and enforced.  Risking surgery in a country without the same standards of healthcare could be dangerous.

Brands are Crucial to Healthy Implants in the Future

If you are buying a pair of jeans, the reality is that the brand is a perk, not always a necessity. However, when shopping for dental implants, the brand is absolutely crucial. Not all implants are the same and tools may not be available to lesser, inexpensive, off-brand implant parts once returning to the United States.  Dental implants require specific tools for placement and for any adjustments that need to be made. If a brand is not common or if it goes out of business, than the tools are difficult, if not impossible to come by. Implants placed from foreign doctors are often not name brands and if something goes wrong, it can become impossible for a doctor to fix whatever has gone wrong for lack of the tools being in existence.  This is a primary concern for choosing to use a foreign dentist to perform dental implant surgery, as it could lead to serious problems.

Primary Resource

A special thanks to Dr. Lee Fitzgerald for being the primary resource for this article on International Dental Implants. Dr. Fitzgerald practices dental implants and cosmetic dentistry in Plano, TX.

Extensive Care

Most people who travel abroad for treatment are going for extensive care. With more extensive care, no matter where it is done, come more risks.  After dental implants are placed problems can and do happen; however, if a patient has already returned to the US, complications can arise. The cost of returning to a foreign country immediately to correct a problem can be expensive and if infection exists, it can be life threatening, making travel impossible.

The risks versus the benefits must be weighed. Not all things should be solely about finances. Make sure your foreign dentist is well trained and that you stay long enough to avoid post-operative complications. If the dentist makes a mistake be aware that you may not have rights as a medical or dental tourist, nor protection under the laws that may exist. Know your options and weigh what is important to you before deciding.


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