A dental implant is an innovation for replacing decayed and lost tooth without the use of fixed bridges, crowns or dentures. The procedure was quite unpopular as it was not only expensive but quite painful. Today, dental implants are routine. The procedure has become more affordable and less painful. Patients are opting for dental implants instead of the standard options for replacing lost teeth. Even more patients are choosing dental implants abroad not only because the procedure is less expensive, but also because of the availability of highly qualified and skilled implantologists.
Dental Implant Explained
The crown is the part of the tooth above the gumline. The root is the part of the tooth that is hidden below the gumline. In the event of replacing a missing tooth, the implant serves as the root, and the crown is replaced by prosthetic. The artificial root is made of titanium. It is placed in the patient’s jawbone for it to serve as an anchor and support for the prosthetic crown. An implant can also support a fixed bridge.
A standard dental implant is a two-step process. The initial step is the surgery to drill the titanium implant into the jawbone. The next step is the restoration of the implant, a process wherein a prosthetic crown is built on the titanium implant. The healing process of the initial surgery usually takes from three to six months. It is only after this period that the fitting of the abutment and placement of the permanent crown is done.
In some cases, instant implants or steps one and two are done in just one visit. A denture or temporary bridge is screwed to each implant. After six to nine months, the temporary bridge or denture is replaced with a permanent prosthetic crown. Not all patients qualify for this procedure as their bone density and bone stability may not be ideal. Immediate implants are also available in cases where one or several teeth are missing, however this option is usually more expensive than the traditional method.
Patients with insufficient jaw bone material for the placement of a titanium implant may have to undergo bone grafting. This procedure entails the placing of specific bone grafting material at the implant’s site to add bone density.
Cost of Dental Implants
The cost of dental implants in countries like the United States, Australia, the EU and the United Kingdom is quite high because of several factors: high salaries, cost of living, overhead costs such as malpractice insurance, office rental, insurance and more. Salaries of dental implantologists abroad are comparatively lower and keep longer working hours. Leases, staff salary, malpractice insurance, and the cost of living are less expensive.
Dentists abroad do not use inferior materials. They use the same brand of materials for implants as dentists in first world countries. However, it is best to check the materials used, brand of implant and type of anesthesia used as these are factors for costing of the procedure.
Though the cost of dental implants abroad is generally lower, one must consider additional costs such as flight and accommodation for a patient and the companion, insurances, medication, consultations and more.
Pain and swelling are normal after the procedure. The dentist should prescribe a pain medication and after care instructions. Two to three days after the procedure, the patient will most likely be advised to go home. However, it is best to wait for a couple of days more before traveling home.
- Is there a need for hospital confinement?
- Are there special considerations while staying in a hotel to recuperate?
- Will the patient be able to manage pain, discomfort and recovery after the procedure?
- How many days of recuperation before the patient can go home?
- What if the patient is not satisfied with the results?
An implant that is properly done and maintained may last up to more than 20 years.
Arrange dental treatment
It is best to arrange dental treatment abroad while in the home country. One can book through a medical travel agency or book directly to the preferred dental clinic. One of the advantages of booking through a medical travel agency is the patient will have an easier time of choosing from a wide range of specialized clinic. Of course, a certain amount is paid to the agency, but this is negligible considering the convenience on the part of the patient, and the included services such as airport pickup, accommodation, transport to and from the clinic and more.