Having dental treatment abroad

18 Jul 2017

Considering having dental implants abroad?

Known as “dental tourism” or “dental holidays” it sounds so simple: you pack your passport, hop on a plane and return a few days later with a topped-up tan and a fantastic new smile makeover that’s cost significantly less than if you’d had the dental surgery done in the UK.

Choosing your dental implant dentist – research carefully

Where you decide to have dental treatment – whether in the UK or overseas – is a very personal decision: you need to find a dentist you can trust to perform the procedure and also give you the necessary aftercare.

However, if you’re considering having dental treatment abroad, the NHS cautions that it’s vital to do your research beforehand and be aware of the potential risks.

This is particularly important if you’ll be having dental implants as they involve dental surgery and, as with all surgical procedures, there is potential for complications.

‘If you make the wrong decision you’ll remember it a lot longer than you’ll remember the money you saved,’ says Dr Michael Zybutz, Co-founder and Lead Surgeon at TDC Implant Centres.

While dental treatment abroad may often be less expensive than visiting a UK dentist and it is tempting to save money, there are frequently hidden costs you may not have considered, especially if something doesn’t go according to plan and you find yourself needing further treatment.

‘Dental implants – and more especially full-mouth dental implants – are an investment for the rest of your life,’ says Dr Michael.

‘It’s worth paying more for quality and peace of mind.

We’ve never had a patient complain about the cost after they’ve experienced life with their new teeth. Many patients say it’s the best money they’ve ever spent.’

10 reasons to choose TDC over dental treatments abroad

1. We are leaders in same day dental implants

‘We have been placing dental implants for over two decades,’ says Dr Zybutz, ‘We’re a leading UK provider of Smile in a Day dental implants with three award-winning dental clinics in Harley Street, Peterborough and Folkestone. It’s what we do.’

‘Not only our dentists, but all our highly trained clinical staff are registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), the organisation that regulates dental professionals in the UK and maintains standards for the benefit of patients. If you opt for dental treatment abroad that’s not the case.’

As the GDC cautions: ‘You may want to find out if you can expect the same standards of training from the dentist who will be carrying out your dental treatment abroad.’

TDC has an impeccable safety record and has never had a single case of septicaemia.

‘Through thoroughly screening patients, creating a sterile environment by using surgical drapes and other rigorous infection-control measures, our patients know that they’re in safe hands,’ says Dr Michael.

2. We’re UK-registered dental specialists

‘If the dentist claims to be a specialist, it’s also important to ask whether they can back this up,’ says the GDC, which holds lists of dentists in the UK entitled to use the title ‘specialist’.
‘Entry onto these lists is only granted if a dentist meets certain minimum standards of training.’

What this means is that if anything goes wrong you can lodge a complaint with the GDC, something you can’t do if you have dental treatments abroad.

According to Dr Michael, a periodontal specialist who’s both registered with the GDC and certified by the American Board of Periodontology, and who has lectured internationally on the Smile in a Day technique: ‘We’ve never had a single GDC complaint in the two decades I’ve been practising.’

3. We really care – and take your safety seriously

The TDC team knows that many patients find having dental work done very stressful so we spend lots of time explaining the procedure and discussing any concerns you may have.

• Safety processes

Assessment before dental treatment is vital. At TDC, every patient is assessed at an initial consultation with an experienced implant dentist so they can discuss their needs, dental history and options.

Patients assessed as being likely to be suitable for Smile in a Day treatment, and who wish to progress to the next stage, then have a CT scan.

CT scans take detailed x-ray images, enabling our clinical team to analyse below the surface of the gum and measure the amount, location and quality of bone in your jaw. These scans are also used in the pre-surgery planning and precise placement of your dental implants.

Patients are provided with a detail treatment plan so they can make an informed decision about their treatment.

Where we do not believe that Smile in a Day is a suitable treatment we are alway honest; we discuss alternative dental treatment options with the patient.

• Award-winning patient care

‘Our team is renowned for its gentle and empathetic approach,’ says Dr Zybutz.

‘And we are very proud that we consistently win industry awards for our patient care. From the moment you first contact us, through to your initial free consultation, your dental implant surgery and your aftercare, you will be well cared for.

In 2020, we won in the ‘Best Patient Care’ category at the Dentistry Awards, and in 2021 we won in the Private Dentistry Awards ‘Best Treatment of Nervous Patients‘ category.

‘All our surgical patients get our personal mobile phone numbers so that they can call us and know that they will get advice, reassurance or treatment at any time.’

4. We deliver consistently outstanding results

With advanced surgical techniques such as same day dental implants you want peace of mind when committing to dental implant surgery and to be confident that your new teeth and smile are exactly what you hope for.

At TDC, our specialist surgical skills, 20 years+ experience in dental implant placement, use of high quality implants and components, commitment to crafting bespoke new teeth and the highest levels of patient care combine to deliver consistently outstanding results for our patients.

5. We speak English

If you have dental treatment abroad the team treating you may well not have English as their first language, and the NHS warns that you could find your expectations of how a dentist should communicate with a patient aren’t met:

‘You may also feel more vulnerable in an environment that’s unfamiliar, especially if you can’t easily ask questions.’

Dr Zybutz stresses that good communication is key to treatment at TDC: ‘Having your dental procedure in the UK rather than travelling to clinics abroad, means you are in familiar surroundings and being treated by people you can easily communicate with.’

6. We’re UK-based

Smile in a Day is an advanced and highly skilled technique that can replace loose and missing teeth – it is the closest solution to natural teeth. Most of our patients require full sets of new teeth in their upper jaw, lower jaw, or both; it is not a purely cosmetic procedure.

While Smile in a Day full mouth implants is a procedure where you have any remaining defective teeth removed and replaced with new fixed teeth in just one day, the treatment requires an average of seven visits.

On surgery day, a set of temporary teeth is securely placed on dental implants. They remain in place night and day during the healing phase (about three months) until they are exchanged for your final new teeth at a non-surgical appointment.

In addition, you need to have long-term maintenance appointments with a qualified team so that your new teeth can be properly cared for and any potential problems can be picked up quickly and corrected. If you’re considering having implants outside the UK you need to factor in the time and cost of multiple visits abroad.

TDC has centres in London’s Harley Street, Folkestone and Peterborough so your friendly dental team is always close by ‒ not a flight away ‒ should you need us.

7. Our costs are clear

Having an open and honest approach is really important to us, and this also applies to our costs, which are all-inclusive and transparent. If you travel abroad for treatment the originally quoted costs may well rise, especially if there are complications.

‘We want as many people as possible to benefit from the confidence that comes from having secure, functioning teeth and beautiful smile,’ says Dr Zybutz.

‘That’s why we offer a range of finance options to help make treatment more affordable.’

8. We offer quality aftercare

The NHS website warns that UK residents going abroad for implants may experience problems if they need remedial work after surgery:

‘When people seek follow-up care in the UK, sometimes several years after the surgery was carried out, it can be very difficult for dentists over here to treat them if they don’t have full documentation about the way procedures were carried out.’

Placing dental implants is a skilled surgical procedure and, as all surgery carries an element of risk, it’s important that you know what will happen if the implant isn’t successful.

It’s also important to remember that if anything goes wrong with implants where you’ve had treatment abroad, you’ll have the hassle and cost (flights and accommodation) of going back even if your dental work has been guaranteed.

‘It’s not unusual to end up spending more money on remedial work than you’ve saved,’ says Dr Michael.

At TDC we offer a comprehensive after-care programme and know each patient personally so we have a detailed record of the procedure you’ve had.

We also enter patients into our Maintenance Programme whereby you’ll come back to see us to ensure your dental implants stay in great condition.

‘This typifies our commitment to excellence and to forging a long-term relationship with our patients as individuals,’ says Dr Zybutz.

9. We use tried-and-trusted high quality dental implants

When considering dental implants abroad it’s important to find out what type of implants will be used and how long the dentists have been using them.

‘At TDC we use pure titanium because we’ve found this gives the best results and is just one of the reasons we have such a high success rate,’ says Dr Zybutz. ‘The jawbone integrates with the titanium more reliably than with alloys (alloys are more low cost dental implants), and we have had long-lasting results with them.

And because we do so many of these procedures, we keep a full stock in different sizes on our premises so that we can use the implant that’s most appropriate for every patient.

Dental clinics abroad may not ordinarily stock such a large range.’

10. We get glowing independent reviews

By travelling abroad for treatment you won’t necessarily have access to reviews you can trust. ‘For the ultimate peace of mind of our patients we subscribe to two independent online review sites: Trustpilot and Feefo,’ says Dr Zybutz.

‘That way, prospective patients can read unbiased feedback on the work we do. I find it very gratifying that we get such fantastic reviews.’

‘To read that our staff are “brilliant, professional and caring” and have our patients saying that Smile in a Day is “the best thing I’ve ever done” makes it all worthwhile.’

Take your time – find the right solution for you

Every patient has their own specific needs, so remember to take time to research your options carefully and to find a dental team that you feel comfortable with and trust with your dental care.

Talk to your own dentist, or talk to us at TDC.

For more information, download the General Dental Council’s free pdf: ‘Going abroad for your dental care?


Sidebar – Intro text

We aim to provide you with information that helps you make the best treatment decisions. In this section, we provide useful articles to answer the questions we are often asked, and tell you more about the award-winning TDC team.