Dental treatment can be complex and involve much treatment time and expense. Sometimes, people may hear of dental procedures being available in other countries, and at a fraction of the cost. The 'selling line' is that the person can have a holiday and their dental treatment, for a total cost that is less than what they might pay in Australia.
It is understandable that people may not be able to afford all forms of dental treatment, and thus may seek dental care elsewhere. However, the Australian Dental Association cautions all patients on the risks they incur if they are treated overseas. Specifically, that there are no safeguards with respect to sterilisation and infection risks, no controls on what quality of materials are used or implanted into the patient, no provisions to know what qualifications the overseas dentist actually has achieved, and finally, there is no recourse to the patient should the treatment become problematic or fail, as the 'Dentist' that treated them is now a long way away, in another country, and under different government and legal jurisdictions.
At Brisbane Prosthodontics, we often see patients who have had treatment performed abroad, and now need it corrected. Some examples are shown below.
This young man was residing in Australia for 2 years. He came from a Middle Eastern country, where a 'Cosmetic Dentist' there had provided some crowns on his front teeth to improve his smile. He came to us because he said the crowns did not look good and his gums always bled when he brushed his teeth.
This photograph was taken after the overseas crowns were removed. You can see that several of the teeth were drilled too heavily and the pulps (nerves) in those teeth died and required root canal treatment. There was infection, the crown margins were poorly fitting and too deep, and the gums were severely inflammed.
The new all-ceramic crowns were a significant improvement on what existed before. Whilst we could not bring back the destroyed tooth structure, we were able to improve the overall situation (and gum health) with our more exacting and aesthetic procedures.
This beautiful young lady was only in her twenties. She had sought to improve her smile and was told that veneers could help. Someone then told her of a 'reputable clinic' in the Philippines, and she went there to have her veneers. She was not happy with her new smile and came to us for re-treatment.
A close-up view shows that the overseas veneers had a very unnatural shape, a flat and opaque colour, and there was an ominous grey colour coming through on several of them.
Once the overseas veneers were removed, the severity of the problems became evident. The overseas veneers were not only poorly made, but they were also poorly adhered to her teeth. The result was that they had been leaking for several years and a lot of decay had occured beneath them.
This is a close-up view after our new veneers were placed for her. This young lady had to undergo some gum surgery to correct the gum positions and then small fillings were needed where the decay was. Finally our new porcelain veneers were placed. The new veneers fit her beautifully.
The final result speaks for itself. Most complex treatments like veneers, can only be performed over a period of months, not days, and when done correctly, the results are natural and the appearance is outstanding.