The global healthcare and dental tourism markets have seen massive growth in the last decade. Estimated figures have the dental tourism market hitting $6 billion by 2025. Australians spend around $3oo million annually, with some 15,000 Australians travelling abroad for treatment, usually to countries such as India or Thailand. While the cost of treatment abroad with the added bonus of beaches and tourist sites may seem attractive at first, may saving on costs also mean compromising on quality?
Affordability is the primary reason many Australians get their dental implants overseas. That affordability can vary according to the country you choose to have the treatment in, and the strength of the Australian dollar at the time of your trip. Even with the cost of flights, accommodation, and food, the total cost of seeking treatment abroad could be far less than the same treatment at your local dental clinic.
If you base a decision to get your dental implant overseas on purely financial differences, then it may initially look like a desirable option. The average cost of a dental implant in Australia can be anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000, depending on where you live and if any extra treatments are required. In Thailand, that range can vary from about $1,800 to $7,500. In India, that same range drops to $500 to $1,500.
Other countries, such as Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Bali, and Costa Rica also offer competitive dental tourism pricing, but there may be long-term consequences to a low price in countries without heavy regulatory oversight.
There is not a great deal of difference between prices in Australia and Thailand, but many Australians choose to get dental implants overseas in Thailand. This is mostly due to the tourism part of the phrase, ‘dental tourism’. With a flight time starting from 7 hours from Australia, it is a relatively short distance if you plan to combine dental treatment with a holiday.
The second reason for overseas dental visits to Thailand is the standards and regulations. While perhaps not on par with the Australian dental industry, The Dental Council of Thailand has brought in far stricter regulations in recent years. However, there are still many dental clinics in Thailand that do not conform to the high standards expected by The Dental Council of Thailand, and you will sometimes find these same clinics being offered as part of a dental tourism package deal.
India also offers the opportunity to combine a holiday with dental treatment, which is why many people might think it is a good option. Unlike Thailand, India’s standards for dentistry are still far behind Australia’s standards. The Dental Council of India updated their regulations in 2014, but these still fall far short of the regulations and laws governing dental practices in Australia.
The Real Cost
The real cost of choosing to get your dental implant overseas is not a financial one. The biggest problem of dental tourism is that you are opting for affordability over quality. The total cost if something goes wrong, may well outweigh the costs of getting your dental implants in Australia.
There are numerous case studies where choosing cost over quality led to severe complications later due to poor workmanship, poor materials, and unhygienic conditions. Some of these complications can lead to complex health issues beyond your dental health, including blood clots, serious infections, or transmission of infectious diseases.
Why Choose Australia?
In Australia, you are guaranteed that everything to do with your dental implants will be performed with higher standards than the countries who provide dental tourism services.
In Australia, we have national laws dating back to 1887 which are constantly and consistently being improved upon and updated. There are very good reasons why Australia is ranked in the top five countries in the world for smiles. Australia also has three of the Top 40 dental schools globally, which shows how much investment we put into training our dentists to the highest of standards.
With every part of the industry under strict regulations and oversight, from how we train our dentists to how we sterilise equipment, overseas dental implants may be cheap in the short-term but may lead to long-term repercussions and expenses.
If you are having second thoughts about overseas dental implant treatment, consider Serenity Smiles Dental in Epping NSW. We accept National Dental Plan, Medicare, HICAPS, dental insurance, and NSW hospital vouchers. These options may let you spread the cost of your dental implants.
Call us today on (02) 9158 6753 to set up a consultation for your dental implants.