This guide will offer some advice for finding a clinic abroad that offers dental implant surgery. If you would like more information about dental implants prices, the procedure itself, or to contact our Care Team members about a procedure, click here for The Patient’s Guide To Dental Implant Surgery
- Researching clinics and doctors
- Finding the clinic that is right for you
- Contacting the clinic
- Know Before You Go
- Compare Prices
Researching Clinics and Doctors
Qualifications and Accreditations
Dental implants can be performed by oral surgeons, periodontists, or dentists with additional training in prosthodontics. We strongly recommend that you check your dentist’s credentials to make sure that the dental professional graduated from a reputable institution. Ask the dentist how much experience they have with implantology and specifically with cases like yours, what their success rate is, and if they have any certifications or specialist training in implantology or dental prosthetics.
Find out if they are members of any professional organizations. If they are, check to see if it is affiliated with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
The dental clinic where they practice should also be accredited. There are many different accreditations they could have, some of them issued by international organizations such as ISO or TEMOS and others issued by smaller national organizations. Accreditations are usually voluntary, but they indicate that the hospital or clinic adheres to a set of independent standards. Having accreditation is a good sign that the clinic is reputable. Click on this link to read more about accreditations.
Finding the Clinic that is Right for You
Clinic Profiles and How to Use Them
Make Medical Trip features profiles for the majority of our clinics, hospitals and medical tourism agencies partners around the world. When we develop these profiles, we do in-depth research on the healthcare organization including its history, accreditations, the professionals who work there, and anything else that might be useful for you to know. We also research the area where the organization is located, including hotels in the area and the nearest international airport, as well as different modes of transportation.
Comfort with the Clinic
Being comfortable with your surroundings and the staff of the clinic will also goes a long way towards ensuring a good medical experience abroad. A nice waiting room, a clean surgical center, and state-of-the-art medical technology are a good indication that you are being treated in a reputable facility.
It’s always a good idea to look at photographs and videos of the clinic so you can get a feel for the atmosphere of the clinic before you get there. If you are nervous about your visit, seeing the clinic before you get there will help ease some of the anxiety about visiting a new doctor in a city you might not be familiar with.
If you would like to be in regular contact with the clinic or hospital prior to your medical trip, make sure you let the staff know or consult with a medical travel agent! Medical travel agents have staff members dedicated to helping patients with travel arrangements and can even help with booking tours or other activities. Make Medical Trip’s Care Team can also connect you with a reputable medical tourism agent. Find out about other amenities available at the clinic as well, such as free WiFi or transport services between the airport/hotel and clinic.
These details can also help you narrow down your decision. They may not be as important as the quality of care but they can also make or break your overall experience.
Comfort with the Destination
Since you will be traveling for a complex dental procedure, your comfort with your surroundings will be very important. If you are staying overnight, which you probably are for a bone graft or implant surgery, make sure that the hotel has everything you will need. Think not only about your experience with traveling abroad, but also how functional you will be while recovering. You might be able to walk 2 Kilometers to a store to buy food on a good day but that could be much more difficult in a pinch while recovering from surgery.
There is a stress factor involved as well. Traveling in an unfamiliar environment can be very uncomfortable and stressful for some people. Traveling with a companion and planning ahead will make the experience much more comfortable. You should stay in contact with your medical tourism agent for assistance if you must travel alone.
For some patients, the location itself might be less important than the clinic and dentist, but for others this will be the first factor that comes into play.
Contacting the Clinic
Ask the Dentist and Clinic Questions
If you aren’t asking your dentist any questions, chances are you haven’t been paying enough attention! Ask the clinic for information you will need before your trip for the consultation. Communication is an extremely important part of the doctor-patient relationship as it helps the doctor do their job and it helps you build trust with the doctor. Some examples of questions you might find important are:
- How long do I plan to be abroad?
- What type of aftercare do I have to arrange when I return back home?
- Will I be given medication for after the treatment? What type, and where can I have them filled?
- Are there any guarantees or warranties on the work? What about the implants themselves? What should I do if something happens to the implant while I’m at home?
- What are my risks when going through dental implant surgery?
- Is there another course of action that would be more appropriate for me?
- What type of experience does the dentist have with dental implants?
You can make an inquiry directly from the clinic’s profile page or by using the form here.
You may be asked to send some photographs to the clinic before your visit. You can usually send them via email. For some tips on photographing your teeth, see our photo guidelines.
Before the dentist can plan your implant surgery, you will need to have some X-rays taken. Most dentists will want a cone beam 3D Scan X-ray, also known as a CT scan, 3D scan, CBCT, or cone beam scan. This type of X-ray is similar to the CT scan you may have seen in a hospital, but uses much less radiation and does not involve laying in a small, claustrophobic tube. The CBCT device moves around your head, taking about 600 images which a computer puts together into an image for the dentist.
If you already have X-rays, you can send digital copies to the clinic abroad and possibly avoid having to have new ones taken. However, in most cases X-rays abroad are inexpensive and they might even be free with treatment.
Other Information from Your Dentist at Home
Before traveling abroad for dental implant surgery, you should inform your dentist at home of your plans and get a copy of your records before leaving. Your dentist may charge a fee for this service and they may need several weeks’ notice ahead of time, so make sure you inform them as soon as you know when you will be traveling.
You should also find out from the clinic abroad if they will need your medical records translated or if they offer this service at the clinic. If they don’t, there are a number of translation services available online. We recommend a service called Verbalzeit, which promises a return time of 24 to 48 hours. Medical records translation is also available through Make Medical Trip partners like medical tourism coordinators. Ask your Care Team representative about this service.
Bone Grafts and Other Ancillary Procedures
You may have lost significant bone mass in your jaw due to decay, smoking, or other factors. If there is not enough bone left in your jaw for the implant to be placed, you will first need to undergo a bone graft procedure. If you don’t have this procedure performed, the implant may fail due to poor osseointegration, which is the number one reason dental implants may fail.
A surgeon will take bone from another part of your body, usually the sinus cavity using a procedure called a sinus lift. Then they will make an incision in your gums and then graft it to your jaw bone and close the incision. It will take several weeks for the graft to heal enough to support an implant, so if you need this procedure performed abroad you will probably have to make 2 trips. Giving the graft enough time to fuse with the jawbone is important because inserting the implant too soon may cause the implant to fail.
The surgeon may also use allograft bone, which is bone taken from the cadaver of an organ donor. This avoids the sinus lift procedure and means there won’t be more than one surgical site. Allograft bone is processed to ensure safety and is often readily available. They may also be able to use artificial bone.
The graft surgery will be performed after the damaged tooth has been extracted, if necessary.
Know Before You Go
Dental Implants Take Two Trips!
Dental implants will usually require two trips before treatment is complete. During the first trip the implants will be placed and measurements will be taken for the crown. This trip usually requires about 4 days abroad, but may take longer if teeth need to be extracted. If a bone graft is necessary, the implants can’t be placed on this trip and treatment will have to be delayed until the graft has fused and healed. The abutment and crown will be inserted during a subsequent trip.
In the case of “immediate load” or same-day implants, a temporary abutment and crown can be placed in the first trip, but it will need to be replaced. Some immediate load implants can last for years, others must be changed within a few months.
Not all patients are candidates for immediate-load implants and they are more expensive than traditional ones. Some patients might choose this option if a second trip to have the full restoration (abutment and crown) will be difficult to make on-time. This gives them a temporary solution until they can make the trip.
Traveling for Health Care and Your Destination
If this is your first time visiting your destination, you’ll have some homework to do about that as well. Do some reading on travel and tourism in the area. Make sure that you will have all of the creature comforts you might need during your stay. Many of the products you use will often be available there, just under a different brand name with some slight differences. It is usually a smart idea to convert cash before you leave to avoid an unfavorable exchange rate. Your bank or credit union should be able to help you with this, but make sure you give it up to a few weeks as they may have to order the currency. Triple check to ensure that you have all of the necessary documents to travel, including your passport and any visas or other documents. Also check to see if you need any vaccinations before traveling in your destination country. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, you might consider setting up a cell phone that will work in your destination country.
Whether being treated at home or abroad, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and, rarely, this means that patients need to stay overseas longer than planned. Have a plan in place in case you need to spend some extra time abroad before you’re able to travel home.
Aftercare following treatment is essential to making sure the outcome meets your expectations. The best time to make arrangements for your care at home is before you leave! Make an appointment with your regular dentist so they can check the implants and track how you are healing. Consider contacting your pharmacy before you leave to make sure they will fill any prescriptions you might get.
Preparing an emotional support network can be as important as preparing anything else. If traveling abroad is particularly stressful for you or if you are very nervous about the surgery, you should heavily consider hiring a medical tourism coordinator, or at the least ask a loved one to be available for you to contact while you’re overseas for moral support if you will be traveling alone. Many patients have very positive experiences abroad, but find that some parts of the journey take an emotional toll that they didn’t expect.
If you’ll be staying at your location for a while, online maps are helpful to locate a grocery store or pharmacy near the hotel. Additionally, the front desk staff of most hotels should be able to help you locate things. It is always a smart idea to print out a list of locations with addresses to show taxi drivers in case of language barriers.
Medical Complications Insurance from Make Medical Trip
We recommend purchasing insurance that will help cover expenses if there are unforeseen complications from any part of the treatment. While complications are rare, they can happen even in the best of circumstances. Make Medical Trip can connect you with medical tourism agencies that offer medical complications insurance that can help cover the cost of complications from a treatment. Ask a Care Team member for details. If you choose to purchase insurance, make sure it will cover the clinic that will be performing your treatment.
Compare Healthcare Prices around the World
Make Medical Trip is the only platform that has a “Price Estimate Calculator” that will provide you with instant price estimates to give you a general idea of how much you can expect to pay in each country around the world for dental implants abroad. This will ensure that you won’t overpay and that you receive high quality, affordable dental implants abroad. If you’d like to get a personalized cost estimate, there is no charge for an inquiry at Make Medical Trip!
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About Make Medical Trip’s Staff
MakeMedicalTrip.com makes medical travel easy by connecting patients with clinics, hospitals, and medical tourism agencies worldwide, completely free of charge. We have clinics specializing in everything from dentistry to bariatrics. Lean more about how Make Medical Trip works at www.makemedicaltrip.com/how-we-help-you/