Dental Tourism – The facts and figures
Well, 10,000 Australians seem to think so as they sought discount dentistry abroad in 2017. Add in the fact that more than 1 in 3 Australians (around 7 million) avoid much needed dental treatment because they simply can’t afford it, and it’s easy to see why people seek far-flung destinations such as Malaysia, Bali, and Thailand for extensive dental treatment.
In fact, if you’re seeking say, dental implants in Bangkok, then there are a multitude of companies offering Thailand dental holiday packages that will fly you there, sort out your dental treatment and accommodate you so you don’t have to worry.
Sounds too good to be true right? Well, yes and no!
For many people, the thought of receiving heavily discounted dental treatment in Bangkok, plus time spent in one of the most vibrant cities in the world may seem like a bit of a no-brainer. However, while the Australian Dental Association recognises that dental tourism is on the rise, they also want patients to be aware of some of the potential risks…
Dr Carmelo Bonanno a federal executive of the ADA and a Canberra dentist states that…
“The majority of people seeking Bangkok dental prices are looking to undergo fairly complex dental work. Yet, as is often the case, the more complex the treatment is, the higher the risks and the greater the likelihood that something may go wrong.
He goes on to say…
“While the same can, of course, happen here in Australia, you should at least know where the dentist in question has been trained, and if you’re not satisfied with the work done, there are definitive courses of action that you can take. However, when people choose to seek say, implants in Bangkok Thailand, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have that same level of recourse”
Conversely, Owner of Global Health Travel, Cassandra Italia suggests that…
“Client’s cases are carefully reviewed by the head of dental in some of the best hospitals in Bangkok and all details are meticulously put into place. This way, we ensure any risks are limited. In addition, by providing a full and complete estimate of the required treatment time, patients will know how long their treatment is likely to take, even before they’ve booked a flight”
Getting a Thailand dental Implant – Going it alone!
Despite obvious divided opinion with regards to those seeking implants cost in Thailand, both sides tend to agree on one thing…
Patients who do decide to opt for dental work in Thailand, are likely to be ‘going it alone’.
This means that they’re highly unlikely to get travel insurance, and in addition, there are no clear avenues for complaint, if and when a patient is unhappy with the work carried out. So, while the average cost of dental implants in Thailand is considerably cheaper initially, people should be aware that it is a high-risk strategy.
If you feel that undergoing dental implants in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand is a risk worth taking, then here’s what you can do to limit that risk…
Research, research, research
When searching for Thailand dental implant costs, don’t be swayed by the cheapest price. Instead look to find out as much as you can about a particular hospital. As a top tip…look for reviews left by expatriates already living in the country, or places recommended. A quick Google search should bring up expat forums where you can do a search for ‘recommended dental implant hospitals in Bangkok’ for example.
In addition, ensure the hospital in question provides background details of the dentists themselves, their experience, their qualifications, and where they’ve trained.
Finally, perhaps the best piece of research is to see first-hand and visit the dental practice/clinic or hospital yourself. Most clinics worth their salt will be more than happy to show you around and talk to you about how they may treat your case.
One of the main complaints about dental implant prices in Thailand is that it isn’t always clear whether the costs involved cover the whole treatment. In some cases, patients think they’re bagging themselves a real bargain and are somewhat taken aback at the end of their treatment when they’re presented with a bill for twice as much as they’d bargained for.
So, when you’re in contact with a particular clinic or hospital, ask the question about what that price includes. Is it simply for the implant itself, or does the price include the abutment and crown
• Who’s going to be carrying out the implant surgery?
• Will you give me a full treatment plan?
• What is the treatment/recovery time frame likely to be, based on my case?
Remember the more you know now, the lesser the surprises after any treatment is complete.
It’s all about timing!
When it comes to undergoing dental implants in Bangkok, the recovery phase is key. Remember, dentists can only give a rough time frame for treatment, including recovery, as patients often respond to treatment differently. Because of this, it’s always best to leave any travel arrangements as flexible and as open as possible.
Don’t book limited annual leave or inflexible flight tickets for instance, as you may need to stay for longer than expected. By giving yourself at least the recommended recovery time, it’s more likely that you’ll reduce the risk of any problems with your Bangkok dental treatment.
Risks don’t always pay off!
Finally, as a high-risk strategy, seeking cheap dentistry in Thailand isn’t always going to pay off. So, accept the fact that you may in some cases need to return for more work at some point. Also, accept the fact that you may lose any savings gained initially after you sought out cost price dental work in Thailand.
Keeping costs to a minimum at home
So, what about if you aren’t swayed by dental implants cost in Thailand? What should you do if you decide to stay at home for your dental treatment, and how can you keep costs to a minimum?
Here are some pointers:
Look after your teeth
While it may sound somewhat obvious, the fact is that good preventative care should help to avoid those costly dental issues in the first place. Using a combination of regular dental check-ups and at-home oral care, it’s more likely that your teeth will stay in better condition for longer. What’s more, even when problems do occur, it’s reasonable to expect that your dentist will spot them before they escalate into costly issues.
Take out extra insurance
Taking out private health insurance which covers either general or major dental treatment may help with the costs of pricey dental work. However, it won’t cover everything. Naturally, any dental work needed that is covered by insurance is going to work out cheaper than most dental treatment in Bangkok, so it’s likely that you’ll be making a saving.
Set up your own savings fund
If expanding the cover of your health insurance is too costly, how about putting money aside each month for any dental treatment that might arise. While it does take discipline, the alternative of being caught short and maxing out your credit cards, or borrowing money for treatment is naturally far worse.
While a cut-price dental implant cost in Thailand doesn’t necessarily mean cutting corners, it pays to carry out extensive research into the pros and cons of travelling abroad for dental treatment, especially if you want to avoid any of the pitfalls of doing so.
Alternatively, if you feel that it’s a risk too far, you may be better following the advice above and receiving the highest quality dental implant treatment you can here in Australia.
Have you or anyone you know received dental work in Thailand? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Leave your tips and comments below so that our readers can weigh up the pros and cons of undergoing dental implants in Bangkok Thailand and whether it really is worth the cost!