As the demand for dental implant treatments grows worldwide, many people are considering dental tourism to find more affordable options abroad. Thailand has become a popular dental tourism destination, offering dental implant treatments at significantly lower costs than Western countries. However, it is important to understand that there are disadvantages to getting dental implants in Thailand. This article will explore these drawbacks and emphasise the importance of carefully considering all factors before deciding.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a type of dental treatment used to replace missing teeth. They consist of a screw, an abutment, and a crown. The screw is surgically placed into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. The abutment connects the screw and the crown, custom-made to match the appearance of natural teeth. Dental implants are designed to function and feel like real teeth, providing a long-term solution for tooth loss.
Dental Implant Treatment
The process of dental implant treatment typically involves several steps. First, a thorough examination and assessment of the patient’s oral health are conducted to determine if they are suitable candidates for dental implants. If deemed suitable, dental implant surgery is performed, during which the screw is placed into the jawbone. The area is then given time to heal, allowing the implant to fuse with the bone through osseointegration. Once the implant has successfully integrated with the bone, an abutment is attached, and impressions are taken to create a custom-made crown. Finally, the crown is placed on top of the abutment, completing the dental implant restoration.
Different Types of Dental Implants
Depending on the patient’s specific needs, several types of dental implants are available. These include:
These are the most common type of dental implants and are placed directly into the jawbone. Endosteal implants are typically screws or cylinders made of titanium, a biocompatible material that integrates well with the bone.
These implants are placed on the jawbone but under the gum tissue. Subperiosteal implants are used when bone height or density is insufficient to support endosteal implants. They consist of a metal framework that holds the artificial teeth in place.
Immediate Load Implants
Immediate load implants, also known as same-day implants or teeth-in-a-day, allow patients to receive a temporary prosthesis immediately after implant surgery. Unlike traditional dental implant procedures that require a healing period of several months before attaching the permanent crown, immediate load implants expedite the process by providing immediate functionality and aesthetic improvements. However, not all patients are suitable candidates for immediate load implants, as they require sufficient initial stability of the implant and careful case selection.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants significantly enhance the appearance of the smile and facial aesthetics. The crown of the implant is custom-made to match the colour, shape, and size of the surrounding natural teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking smile. Dental implants can improve facial harmony and restore a youthful appearance by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth.
One of the key benefits of dental implants is their ability to function like natural teeth. Unlike removable dentures, implants are securely anchored in the jawbone, providing stability and allowing individuals to eat, speak, and chew confidently. Dental implants restore the ability to enjoy a varied diet, including tough and crunchy foods, without worrying about prosthetic teeth shifting or slipping.
With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. The titanium screw used in the implant is biocompatible and fuses with the jawbone, creating a strong and durable foundation for the crown. Dental implants provide a long-term solution for tooth loss, unlike other tooth replacement options that may require frequent repairs or replacements.
Preservation of Jawbone
When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone can deteriorate due to the lack of stimulation from chewing forces. Dental implants help preserve the jawbone by mimicking the natural tooth root and providing necessary stimulation. By maintaining the jawbone’s integrity, implants prevent bone loss, which can lead to facial sagging and changes in facial structure.
Improved Oral Health
Dental implants have a positive impact on overall oral health. Unlike bridges, which require adjacent healthy teeth to be prepared and used as support, implants stand independently. This means that neighbouring teeth are not affected or compromised in any way. Preserving natural teeth allows for better oral hygiene practices, as implants can be brushed and flossed like natural teeth. Additionally, implants do not contribute to the development of cavities or decay.
Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem
Restoring a complete and beautiful smile with dental implants can significantly boost an individual’s confidence and self-esteem. With implants, individuals can speak, laugh, and smile without concerns about teeth gaps or the fear of dentures slipping. Dental implants’ natural look and feel contribute to a renewed sense of self-assurance, allowing individuals to engage in social activities and enjoy a higher quality of life.
Disadvantages of Getting Dental Implants in Thailand
One significant disadvantage of getting dental implants in Thailand is the language barrier. While many dental clinics provide interpreters and bilingual staff, communication can still be challenging. Misunderstandings may arise, especially concerning technical terms, leading to complications and unsatisfactory results. It is important to choose a dental clinic that ensures clear communication and seeks clarification for any questions until the dental implant treatment process is fully understood.
Lack of Regulation and Oversight
A major concern with getting dental implant treatments in Thailand is proper regulation and oversight of dental clinics. While there are reputable dental clinics in Thailand, many need more certification and training. This puts patients at risk of receiving substandard treatment, leading to complications such as infection, implant failure, and bone loss. Proper regulation is crucial to ensure the quality of materials used in the implant procedure and the competency of dental professionals.
Another drawback of getting dental implant treatments in Thailand is the prevalence of unqualified dental professionals. Many clinics offer dental implant surgery without adequately trained dentists, increasing the risk of incorrect implant placement and other complications. Finding qualified dental professionals who can perform complex dental implant surgery or provide appropriate care in case of complications can also be challenging. Patients should thoroughly research and choose a reputable clinic with qualified professionals to minimise risks.
No Aftercare Support
Typically, dental implant treatments require several follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and placement. However, with dental tourism, many patients only visit the clinic once, leaving them with limited aftercare support. Moreover, communication can be a significant problem for patients who do not speak the local language. The lack of timely and adequate aftercare can lead to problems such as implant failure, gum disease, and bone loss. It is important to consider the availability of comprehensive aftercare support when deciding on dental implant treatment abroad.
Limited Options for Immediate Load Implants
Immediate load implants, which allow patients to receive a full set of artificial teeth on the same day as the implant surgery, are increasingly popular in Western countries. However, in Thailand, the availability of immediate load implants is limited. Patients may need to visit multiple dental clinics, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, immediate load implants require considerable skill and expertise, which may only be available at some clinics in Thailand. Patients should carefully assess their treatment options and consult with dental professionals to determine the best approach for their case.
Risk of Jaw Bone Loss
Dental implants require sufficient jawbone for proper fusion and stability. However, a loss can occur when teeth are missing and the bone is not stimulated through chewing the jaw. In Thailand, many dental clinics offer affordable denture plate tooth replacements or cheaper dental implant treatments that may not address the underlying jaw bone loss. This can lead to significant jaw bone loss over time, potentially causing future dental or aesthetic problems if not addressed during treatment. Choosing a dental clinic that prioritises preserving and maintaining jawbone health during implant treatment is crucial.
Dental Implants in Australia
Australia is renowned for its high-quality healthcare system, and dental implant treatments are no exception. The country maintains strict regulations and standards that dental clinics must adhere to, ensuring patients receive excellent care from qualified professionals. Australian dental implant treatments meet international standards, guaranteeing the use of high-quality materials and adherence to rigorous sterilisation protocols.
Dental professionals in Australia possess extensive knowledge, training, and experience in performing dental implant surgery to the highest standards. They undergo rigorous education and training programs, keeping them updated with the latest dental implant technology and advancements. With their expertise, Australian dental professionals can provide patients with the most appropriate treatment plans and ensure successful and long-lasting dental implant outcomes.
Dental implant treatments in Australia are performed using advanced technology, enhancing the precision and effectiveness of the procedures. Cutting-edge equipment, such as 3D imaging technology, allows dental professionals to accurately plan implant placement accurately, minimising potential risks and complications. This technology enables precise positioning of the implants within the jawbone, ensuring optimal stability and long-term success.
Many dental clinics in Australia also offer comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services alongside dental implants. Patients can undergo a complete smile makeover, addressing missing teeth and other cosmetic concerns. Services such as Zoom tooth whitening, denture plate tooth replacements, and other cosmetic enhancements allow individuals to achieve their desired aesthetic goals and improve their overall smile appearance.
No Need for Dental Tourism
Choosing to get dental implants in Australia eliminates the need for dental tourism. Australia has a well-established dental industry with many dental clinics and professionals offering high-quality implant treatments. This saves patients the time, cost, and potential risks of travelling abroad for dental procedures. Additionally, patients can easily communicate with their dental professionals in their native language and have convenient access to follow-up care and support.
In conclusion, while Thailand may offer lower costs for dental implants, it is important to consider the disadvantages associated with dental tourism carefully. Australia, with its high-quality standards, experienced professionals, utilisation of advanced technology, availability of cosmetic dentistry services, and convenient access to care, provides a superior option for dental implant treatments. Patients can have confidence in the quality of care, the success of the implants, and the overall outcomes of their treatments. Contact our professional dental team at Boutique Dental Care Chatswood to schedule your first appointment!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Dental Implants. Part I: Biological basis, implant types, and the peri-implant sulcus https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8699485/
Dental implants and how crucial replacing teeth really is https://www.dentalhealth.org/Blog/dental-implants-and-how-crucial-replacing-teeth-really-is