Many people go overseas to have treatments like implants and veneers done and have satisfactory results. It’s true that the cost of living in Australia is higher and price of dental treatment reflects that—Australian dentists have to source materials, pay employees, maintain their offices, and fund education and training at Australian prices. This is the cost of providing a high quality service with the unparalleled standard of care in Australia. So if you do your research and find a reputable clinic overseas where the cost of living is lower, odds are, you’ll be able to get your treatment and a vacation for a similar price as having it done here.

But what if things go wrong?

Even if you choose the best clinic in the world overseas, the human body is a complicated thing. Also, the standard of care and medical education is not universal in all in all countries. Dr Helen has seen  patients who have had surgical incisions open on their flights home, implants reject, veneers crack, and root canal treatments get re-infected once they’ve returned home. These things can happen even with the best dentists in the world, overseas or not. However, when complications arise and you can’t revisit the treating physician because they’re thousands of kilometres away, things can get costly and complicated, fast. Sourcing the same materials to replace an implant, for instance, can be difficult if the materials were sourced in Thailand. Another example is that when an implant or a crown breaks unexpectedly, the sourcing  lab often repairs it for free. If the part wasn’t sourced here, the laboratory charges. The continuation of care means better service at a minimal cost.

A great dentist will often work with you to treat complications that arose after they treated you, but treating complications from a procedure they didn’t perform is far more complicated and therefore, more expensive.

Going overseas is a calculated risk—everything may go well and you may save yourself money. But if it doesn’t, you’re looking at huge expense and danger to your health.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr Helen Voronina

Dr Helen Voronina is the principal dentist at "Dr Helen's Dental & Implant Studio". Having graduated from the University of Melbourne and later from the Brener Implant Institute, in her practice she places emphases on the implant, aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry. She is a member of the Australian Dental Association, The International Congress of Implantology and The Australian Society of Implant Dentistry (ASID). She is a former chairperson for the National Dental Foundation and an official dentist for the Melbourne Hearts Football Club.