Medical tourism: is it worth to go to put implants in the cis countries?

Dental services are quite expensive, so many patients are looking for places where it will be more profitable to treat teeth. This gave impetus to the development of medical tourism, especially in the field of dental implants.

Often, when choosing a place to place implants, the choice of Baltic residents falls on the neighboring CIS countries: Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, because it is cheaper there. But in pursuit of a better price, many are missing one important point, namely the quality of the services provided.

For some reason, almost everyone pays attention only to the price, not wondering what is behind it. It is like starting to build a house not from the foundation, but from the roof.

What are the risks when choosing a cheap clinic abroad?

Imagine that installing implants is like a game of chess, where you have to think a few steps ahead and look for pitfalls. If you don't think through the next steps, you risk getting a larger amount, because you will not have it right away in reality.

What you should consider before deciding where to get dental implants:

Legal protection

An important point to pay attention to is the protection of your rights as a consumer. The fact is that each country has its own legislation, which, alas, does not always coincide with the European one. Therefore, in case of disagreements with the clinic, all legal and court proceedings will take place in the territory of the country where the services were directly provided to you, and this is an additional waste of time, money and your nerves.

High risk of harm to health

Implantation in the CIS countries most often not done under European protocols, which allows clinics to reduce prices. But this entails risks due to which you will have to reinstall implants, again exposing the body to stress. Or, in the best case, the lifetime of the implants will be reduced by several years, since the appropriate measures for the implantation will not be followed.
In the same clinics in Ukraine, Russia and other countries, where doctors still adhere to the protocols for installing implants, prices will not be much different, and in some cases will be even higher, since the doctor's experience is also taken into account.

медицинский туризм ЛатвияFurther service

Getting a titanium implant is just the tip of the iceberg. Further behind it is a service that needs to be carried out approximately once a year. When choosing a clinic abroad, keep in mind that you will have to go there again for diagnostics, and this is an additional cost of time and money.

Some clients mistakenly believe that it is possible to go to a local doctor for diagnosis after installing the implant abroad, but it is no quite so. Many clinics do not see such patients because the work was done by another doctor, and there is no guarantee for it. But if you are lucky, and you managed to find a doctor who will accept you, then be prepared that the price for services will be 3-5 times more expensive. For example, when doing implantation in Latvia, further full service of implants and prostheses will cost about 50-100 euros for everything. If this is the work of another doctor, then you have to compensate for all the risks, so here the cost will already be about 80-100 euros for one implant. And if you have 5-8 of them, then it will cost a pretty penny, and doing such manipulations every year will cost itself more.

Remember, installation and further maintenance of implants should be carried out by the same specialist. After all, only he knows all the ins and outs of his work and can properly dispose of this information.

Travel costs

It is also worth considering the costs of round-trip tickets, accommodation, meals and insurance. Add this to the cost of services, and you will see how the numbers change.

Poor quality of services

To be able to dump prices, clinics sacrifice the most important thing: quality. For a minimal cost, they can make you a "workhorse", but you should not count on high aesthetic performance, comfort and biocompatibility.

What do they often save on?

Low prices are always driven by savings and sacrifices in quality. Where can the savings occur, and what is sacrificed in dentistry:

  • work execution protocols (incorrect or inaccurate installation);
  • building up the minimum bone volume, without a reserve. The smaller the bone, the less the prosthesis will stand, which means that after a
  • while you will have to do the augmentation surgery again, and the whole implant planning could suffer;
  • minimal gum build-up, or even the absence of this manipulation. This will affect aesthetic performance as well as bone protection and nutrition;
  • poor quality parts and titanium implants.

To somehow compensate for the low cost, doctors suggest installing more dental implants. For example, there is an “all on 4” method, where you can replace the entire dentition by installing a prosthesis for 4 implants. You can read more about this here.
But since this technique requires great precision and skill, few dentists use it in low-cost clinics, and instead the patient is fitted with 7-8 implants, which also increases invasiveness and affects your sensation and comfort.

That is, all-on-4 prosthetics in Latvia would cost you the same price if you installed about 10 implants in the CIS countries. But this is not a case where more is better. Also, do not forget about the engraftment factor, because dental implants still tend to be rejected.

As a result, cheap dental implants will cost you even more, and parameters such as everyday comfort, functionality, aesthetics and biocompatibility will be greatly affected. So in the long run you will only lose more, both money and time.

Let's talk about money

Please remember that a quality product / service cannot be cheap. Therefore, the cost of installing implants in Latvia from a good doctor will cost approximately the following amount:

The implant itself — 600-800 euros
Guide template — 150-200 euros * optional
Bone augmentation surgery — 800 euros * optional
Gingival augmentation — 300-400 euros * optional
Temporary crown — 180 euros
Permanent crown — 750-850 euros

As a result, the minimum cost of installing an implant and a crown, provided that the bone and gums meet the required parameters, will cost you an average of 1500-1600 euros. The full price for all services with extensions and a guide template will be 2700-3000 euros.
Now the price seems impressive, but in the context of time it turns out to be much more profitable than installing implants abroad, where there are some nuances.

Real life example

There was a case when a client underwent implantation abroad, and after about 1.5 years she came for a routine diagnosis in Latvia. But it turned out that such implant systems are no longer used in the EU, so it was necessary to go back to the clinic where the implants were originally installed. And since the borders are now closed, there is no way to fly away, the bone has already begun to move away, which caused some problems and inflammation. The only thing that remained to be done was to remove the previous implantation system and place new implants, having previously performed a bone augmentation operation. As a result, removing old implants, installing new ones, surgery and other manipulations cost the patient about 3 times more.

Therefore, it is better to always think over all the steps in advance, and not fall for the tricks of the low price, because for this you will give not only more money, but also your time.

author
ALEKSANDR MAKAROV
Dentist, surgeon, orthopedist

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