Dental Tourism

People often hear how it’s cheaper to travel abroad for cheaper dental treatments (often referred to as ‘dental tourism’), but is this always the case? When you take into account flights, additional charges and potential hidden charges – it is often less expensive to stay in Ireland..

More importantly when you are choosing long term healthcare choosing by cost alone is a sure way to create problems. If it appears too good to be true, it more than likely is, which is why we always recommend visiting a dentist you know and trust. One of the main issues with dental tourism is that people are so anxious to get what appears to be a bargain that they’re not carrying out thorough checks on the clinic beforehand. We’ve found patients suffering from pain as a result of being rushed through treatments. All too often we hear nightmare stories and people end up with teeth that don’t look the way they want because of procedures being rushed to fit into a holiday schedule.

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What Type of Implant Is Being Used?

It’s worth noting that many overseas clinics use poor quality dental implants, with far less research and inadequate materials. By doing so, this short term money saving solution can cause long term suffering in the patient. Reports have found people developing reactions from the use of weaker grades of titanium used in the dental implants. This may lead to the gum shrinking away from the implant over time and possibly cause bone to come off the implant. Early warning signs of such developments include sore gums and sensitivity. Another problem which can arise from cheap dental implants is potential difficulty in getting parts if further surgery is required. As designs change over time and every company is different, it may become impossible to get the right screwdriver for a system in the future. This would mean having to remove a healthy implant to adjust the tooth.

What’s Included In The Cost Of The Implant?

Many clinics overseas offer tempting, yet misleading, pricing in an attempt to lure Irish and UK customers to their clinics. At Seapoint, our prices include all parts of the implant – including the implant fixture, abutment and crown. Some prices don’t even include the placing of the implant, meaning they are merely quoting for handing you the implant as it is in its wrapper. Such disregard for patient well being is completely against our ethos of clear and concise upfront pricing. Our hope is by doing so, we can develop a long term and more importantly trusting relationship with our client.

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How Many Implants Are Being Placed?

At Seapoint Clinic, our team of highly trained dentists have placed thousands of implants and are able to deal with difficult cases which have often been passed over by other clinics. Many dentists who place implants in smaller clinics will have completed a short weekend course, but many have been found to have never placed any implants before. On other occasions, many will rarely place them as their clinics are far too small to require it. If you find someone isn’t placing them on a daily basis and doesn’t have the experience behind them, it means that it is impossible to maintain the high standards required to perform such treatments.

Is a CT Scan Being Performed?

It is essential that the patient undergo a CT scan prior to implants. Without it, a dentist cannot know for certain how the bone is before uncovering it. This means that you could potentially be faced with a series of unexpected complications and potential additional costs. At Seapoint Clinic, we have our own CT scanner onsite which means we are able to arrange one easily before receiving treatment. The benefits of undergoing a simple CT scan is that we can discover a nerve in an atypical place or sinus extending to where it normally wouldn’t go. These can cause serious injury to the patient and possibly bring on long term issues if not recognised early.

Are The Correct Materials Being Used?

Obviously, there is a massive difference between using expensive metals such as gold and palladium and cheap metals such as nickel. The risk of using these is that it can cause allergies to flare up, staining or even tattooing the gum as there may be a reaction between different metals. Some dentists abroad have been known to use plastic, which is porous and can cause bacteria to develop. At Seapoint, we only use precious metals or pure porcelains in our restorations.

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Are You Getting The Correct Treatment?

With overseas clinics offering low fees, it’s easy to be tempted to journey abroad for treatment. However, this also means they may have a tendency to over treat a patient. Essentially, this involves advising a patient on unnecessary and undesirable treatments in an attempt to increase the overall fee. At Seapoint, we offer you a treatment plan which lays out exactly what you are looking for as well as advising on the minimum required to achieve the results you are longing for. Our main goal is to protect your long term oral health, not merely getting you in and out of the country as quick as possible. What is often the case is that patients end up suffering from major problems as a result of undergoing unnecessary root canal and crown treatment.

What If Something Goes Wrong?

What we find is that if a treatment has gone awry overseas, you will receive no cover. However, at Seapoint we provide full support to all of our patients as well as being open 6 days a week, mornings and evenings. However, if you have a problem while attending a clinic overseas, you will have to book a potentially expensive last minute ticket along with taking more time off work, something few of us can afford to do.

"My only regret is that I didn't come here sooner. I found the whole team at Seapoint absolutely brilliant."

Mary, Westmeath

Dental Implants