“I’m having my dental implants done abroad-it’s better and cheaper!”

 

A very nice lady consulted me couple of years back, with regard to providing her with several dental implants around her mouth. She was in fact desperately in need of some sort of dental restoration.  She had an ill-fitting acrylic denture, which jumped and moved when she eat. She had missing teeth in her lower jaw. Several of her other teeth were badly aligned and discoloured.

As I always do; I spent some time talking to her to ensure I understood what she expected of me and ensuring that she understood what I could provide for her.  We had models of her mouth set up on a “false jaw” and a whole series of photographs. My technician had prepared a ‘mock-up’ of how her final smile might appear, so that she could approve it before we started work. All went well until I provided her with her final written treatment plan. At which point she said that the whole price is extremely high and how could I justify such a price! I carefully pointed out to her the large amount of planning, the use of premium implants and the construction of a restoration by an award winning aesthetic laboratory. She would not be placated as she had a written quote from a clinic in Bratislava, for less than half the price. I was faced with the “I’m having my dental implants done abroad, it’s better and cheaper” quote.  She continued to berate me over the phone for the next couple of weeks. I of course wished her all the best with her dentistry and the decision that she had made.

At this point you are all thinking that there is going to be an “I told you so” moment, and you are right. However, not straightaway. She returned from having her implants placed in good spirits, in fact, she even rang to tell me so! It was in fact a week later that she got a large swelling in her right sinus, associated with the implants. As she was in distress, I agreed to see her. When I had a look,I found some poorly placed implants of dubious quality, and a very badly infected sinus.

The result was that I eventually had to remove all the work that had been done abroad, redo the graft in her sinus. Place premium quality implants over a longer period of time, due to the infections previously. I am pleased to say we eventually have a great result. It has however cost her almost twice what I quoted her originally.

The old adage “you get what you pay for” is definitely true in implant dentistry, in my opinion.