Oral surgeries such as dental implants and veneers are often pictured as lengthy and painful whilst, in reality, they’re mostly quick and reasonably painless. Good dental and oral health are key to a person’s wellbeing and quality of life, however, and according to the WHO, as many as 3.5 billion people are affected by oral disease.
In addition to health-driven operations, there’s also an ever-increasing number of patients undergoing dental treatments for cosmetic reasons, to improve self-confidence or image. These procedures are some of the most popular amongst international medical travellers due to their wide availability and reasonable cost.
What types of dental treatments are there?
Fillings – These are used to repair a hole in the tooth as a result of decay. It can be made from a choice of materials such as amalgam, which is made up of a mixture of materials including mercury, silver, copper, tin and zinc. Your dentist will offer the type that they consider would be clinically best for your individual situation. Other materials offered could be gold, porcelain or composites.
Crowns – Crowns are a type of cap that is placed on top of a damaged tooth which can’t be fixed with a filling. It is fixed into the mouth and can be made of metal, ceramics, porcelain or resin. It takes some time to prepare a crown so it fits your mouth perfectly so you will need more than one visit for this treatment.
Veneers – These are thin layers of either porcelain or ceramic that are fitted to the front surface of a tooth, similar to how a false fingernail would be applied to a nail. They are used to improve the look of your teeth and provide protection to the tooth’s surface. It is considered a cosmetic procedure, so would be unlikely to be covered by public healthcare systems or insurance.
Root canal – This treatment is to address infection or decay at the centre of a tooth, aiming to save a tooth from being removed completely. The procedure involves removing all the infected tissue and sealing it with a filling or a crown to prevent further infection. It should be painless and not dissimilar to having a filling.
Teeth Whitening – Teeth whitening is becoming increasingly popular and involves bleaching your teeth to make them whiter. It’s a safe and simple method to create a brighter smile and remove discolouration from your teeth. Standard teeth whitening takes several weeks to carry out, as it either involves several trips to the dentist or sessions at home. Therefore, many people opt for a laser whitening which takes only around an hour to complete but can make teeth slightly more sensitive than the standard option.
Dentures – Commonly known as false teeth, these are used in place of natural teeth. They can be a partial or full set and are custom-made to fit your mouth by using mouldings of your jaw and gums. The difference should be minimally noticeable from your natural teeth and you would be expected to remove them at night and soak them in a cleaning solution to keep them in perfect condition.
Dental bridges – If you have missing teeth, a dentist can use a dental bridge to close the gaps between your teeth. The procedure consists of bonding a false tooth to your natural teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental implants – Similar to a dental bridge or dentures, a dental implant is used to replace a missing tooth. However, it is different in the fact that it’s recommended to replace one tooth rather than a few consecutive missing teeth, and it is fixed into your jawbone using a titanium screw.
Braces – Common in teenagers and young adults, dental braces are used to straighten or rearrange your teeth, in order to improve the appearance and how they work. They can either be removable or fixed and are usually made of metal, ceramic or plastic. Some people opt for invisible braces, which are barely noticeable allowing for a discreet transformation of your smile.
Wisdom tooth removal – Wisdom teeth can sometimes grow irregularly or get stuck and not fully emerge, this is known as impacted teeth. Pressure from an impacted tooth can cause shifting and damage to neighbouring teeth. These are therefore often extracted to prevent pain and future problems from developing.
Why go abroad for dental treatment
With the field of medical tourism rapidly growing, one area that has become very popular is dental treatment. More and more people are prepared to travel to get the care they need at the best price. Here are the main reasons why you should consider getting your dental procedure abroad:
- Destination – As dental treatments typically have short recovery times, you can take the opportunity to travel to a beautiful destination such as Turkey, Mexico or The Philippines whilst having your dental procedure and recover whilst seeing the local attractions
- Affordability – Many dental treatments are not covered by insurance or public healthcare systems, therefore you will have to privately fund dental work you may need. By going abroad for treatment, you can save up to 70% on costs compared to treatments in the UK.
If you are looking for a particular dental treatment or to find a specialist, register your interest on our Patients page and we will inform you as soon as our platform goes live: Brit-Med | Patients