Well, the average price of dental implants complete with crowns here in Australia falls somewhere between $3000 and $7000. This is dependent upon a number of factors including; type of implant used, where the dentist is located, and other treatment needed.
Conversely, at a top international dental centre in Bangkok, or a dental hospital you can get an implant-based restoration using top grade implants for a little over $2000 AUD. That’s at the very top end!
Moreover, if you were on a seriously tight budget and opted for a lesser-known dental centre utilising cheaper implants, then you could probably knock another 50% off the price. That’s the type of saving you can make!
Even when you throw in a return flight, accommodation and food for the duration, there are still significant savings to be had. Add on some sun, sand, and sightseeing, and it’s no wonder that around 15000 Australians make the annual pilgrimage to far-flung destinations to undergo dental work.
The fact is that ‘dental tourism’ as it’s known is big business, and there are special companies who are dedicated to fixing you up with a dental implant clinic abroad in places like Bangkok. In fact, some clinics even have their own off-site accommodation specifically for dental tourists to stay and recover in during and after treatment.
That said, this post is about getting dental implants in Bangkok, so we’ll focus our attention on Thailand, but in reality, everything mentioned from here on in pertains to pretty much any other destination. But before we dive into those risks, let’s take a look at the reasons behind why dental implants appear to be cheaper abroad
The cost of a dental implant in Bangkok – Why so cheap?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the main reason dental implants abroad are so cheap is because they don’t have the high standards of care we do here in Australia. On the contrary, you don’t have to look far to find a top clinic in places like Bangkok Thailand, that are kitted out with the latest state-of-the-art technology, employ top dental surgeons and in some cases, have dental spa facilities too.
Instead, the main reason why dental implants can cost a fraction of the price has more to do with the cost of living.
As an example, Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world with wages and overheads to match. Therefore the cost of a dental visit is going to reflect this.
On the flip side, to put this into perspective, the average wage of a dentist in Thailand is around 31,000 Baht. That’s a little over $1300 AUD. Office rental can be purchased for as little as 650 baht per square metre (a little over $28 AUD) and the average wage is between $300 and $500 AUD per month. It’s easy to see therefore how dentists in destinations like Bangkok open up their clinics to overseas patients for less, yet still turn a good profit.
Dental Implant Bangkok : The risks explained
As mentioned earlier, there are risks involved in seeking out dental implants abroad, that you simply wouldn’t have if you were to undergo dental implant treatment back home. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
While it’s fair to say that English is widely spoken in popular destinations such as Bangkok, it may be a different story when trying to get the idiosyncrasies of your treatment across. Important points can easily become ‘lost in translation’, especially when English isn’t your chosen dentist’s first language. In addition, should any complications arise, the last thing you as a patient need at this point is communication problems.
Remember also that communication issues can run deeper than simply the language barrier. In addition, when you undergo complex procedures like dental implants You’ll want your dentist to:
- Tell you in detail want you can expect during and after treatment
- Explain any common side effects you’ll be likely to experience – swelling, bruising, etc.
- Show you how to best care for your dental implants
Unfortunately, there are many stories and situations where the dentist hasn’t communicated these messages across and the ‘in /out’ approach does little to put the patient at ease.
Speaking of the ‘in/out’ approach to dental tourism, it’s easy to see how this model doesn’t fit well with complex dental treatment like dental implants. Let’s explain…
On the whole, the majority of people seeking dental treatment in places like Bangkok are seeking multiple treatments to keep costs down. In an ideal world, these treatments would be carried out over a period of time to allow for maximum healing and therefore lessen the risk. However, many people opting to undergo dental implants abroad, do so by utilising their two-week vacation or annual leave. Naturally, this doesn’t give the Bangkok dentist much time (if any at all) to give the patient a thorough assessment including clinical questionnaires and x-rays, perform multiple treatments, and help with advice during the early recovery stages. Inevitably, and in some cases, dentists may cram multiple treatments in to ensure that they fit in with the patients’ timescale, even though it may be more prudent to wait.
Alternatively, when you visit an implant dentist back here in Australia, it’s far easier to spread treatments across a period of time when your chosen dentist isn’t an 8-9 hour flight away.
Dental implant Bangkok : Dealing with complications
Dental implants may be the gold standard of missing teeth replacement but by their very nature, they aren’t without risks or complications. While of course, complications can occur just as easily when dealing with a local dentist, it’s far easier to call the dentist, hop in your car and visit the clinic when they’re based nearby. Not so, when the said dentist is a 16 to 18-hour round trip away!
You then have to consider the costs involved in paying for flights, accommodation, living expenses, etc, but in addition, you have no guarantee that anything will be done until you arrive. That in itself can be hugely stressful.
There are many cases where a patient has sought dental implants treatment abroad, developed complications, found out that the dentist couldn’t, or refused to help, and the patient has then sought treatment from a local dentist back here in Australia.
This often places the dentist in a predicament because chances are they’ll have to work blind. They mightn’t immediately know for example the type of dental implants used or the exact treatment performed and may have to call the dental clinic abroad in order to ascertain the finer details. All the while, this can take time. This is the time that may be crucial when dealing with dental implant complications.
Finally, something that not many people really consider is the insurance aspect. Most travel insurance policies will only cover you if you need emergency medical treatment or dental care. They don’t generally cover what’s known as ‘elective treatment’ (treatment you choose to undergo) With this in mind, if something does go wrong with your travel arrangement to Bangkok or you have to postpone or cancel flights, it’s likely that you’ll end up heavily out of pocket.
So there you have it, some of the risks involved when considering tooth implants or cosmetic dentistry abroad.
If you are considering a dental implant in Bangkok Thailand, India, the Philippines or Indonesia, then our advice would be, don’t just think about the price. Instead, think about all aspects carefully and weigh up the pros and cons.
Alternatively, if you feel that seeking dental implants Bangkok is just too much of a risk, then why not come and talk to the team at the Digital Dental Implants Institute in Sydney? As well as offering the latest in digital implant technology, we’re currently offering promotions on free dental implant consultations and CBCT X-rays, so why not pay us a visit? Call today on 02 8294 8656 to see how we can help.