Keeping your pearly whites in good order gets harder – and more expensive – as you age. Which is why more of us are successfully seeking cheaper treatment abroad
Marting Howes couldn’t quite believe it. After losing a number of back teeth to gum disease and finding dentures didn’t work for him, the 58-year-old from Essex had been referred to a dental consultant who recommended implants – essentially artificial roots with crowns on top.
The procedure sounded pretty grim, but what really took Howes’s breath away was the price: an estimated £10,000.
“They confirmed what the consultant in the UK had said, so I knew they weren;t going to rip me off by recommending more work than I needed” -Willmott
A second opinion from a dentist in Cambridge produced an even higher estimate of £15,000.
Paying a king’s ransom for crowns was an unappealing prospect, but so was living on soup for the rest of his days. Fortunately Willmott remembered reading about a third option, having dental work done more cheaply abroad, so he went on the internet to find out more.
One company particularly attracted him – Perfect Practices. The head implant dentist, Dr A Roth has successfully installed more than 15,000 implants with a higher than 99 per cent success rate. The company was the first of its type to open a practice in the UK, when it opened in London’s Harley Street in 2007. However, much of the dentistry also takes place in the UK.
“One of my concerns was what would happen if there were any problems after the treatment,” says Howes. “It would be a real pain to have to travel to London each time, so a company with a UK practice was a big advantage.”
TPS’s London office supplied references, and offered Howes a free consultation, which he decided to have in Hungary to check out the company and its facilities.
“My initial impression was that all the dentists and support staff were welcoming and very professional,” says Howes. “The consulting room was clean and well equipped, and they more or less confirmed what the consultant in the UK had said, so I knew they weren’t going to rip me off by recommending more work than I needed.”
The first stage in Howes’s treatment was to lift his sinuses. It’s a major operation and he chose to have it done at Harley Street rather than having to convalesce in Hungary. Then over the course of about six months he made a couple of trips to Budapest for the implants, plus a more extended visit a few months later to have all the crowns fitted.
Every time the treatment and service were both first-class, says Howes. “They were really friendly and looked after me well.
I chose to arrange my own travel and hotel but they’ll do it all for you if you wish. They meet you at the airport with a car and take you wherever you want to go, and they never let me down once.”
As a bonus, Budapest is a beautiful city and Howes was able to enjoy some sightseeing on his longer stays.
Despite his initial concerns there were no problems with the treatment. “Given how much they did I was pleasantly surprised that everything healed so quickly,” he says.
At £9,300 including flights and hotels, the overall bill was less than half what Howes would have paid in the UK. Even treatment at the organisation’s Harley Street practice is significantly cheaper than using a UK dentist, because Hungarian practitioners simply don’t charge so much.
“I’d become very disappointed with my UK dentist who didn’t seem interested in me as a patient: she couldn’t even get my name right,” says Willmott. “So now I go to DentistAbroad in Harley Street for all my dental treatment, and I think the quality is better than my UK dentist.”
Indeed, Howes is now undergoing a second treatment which will be carried out in London next month. It is a single tooth replacement that costs usually costs £2,000-£2,500 in the UK. But at TPS’s Harley Street clinic it will cost only £995 –a saving of more than 50 per cent.
“I’d certainly recommend Dr Attila Toth, Dr F Parker and all other dentists from the organisation to my friends, and if anyone needs a serious amount of work done then I think they’d be foolish not to consider the foreign treatment option.
“I can’t fault TPS and I have no regrets. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”