They set a standard that all dental practices have to work at to be able to treat patients. They visit all dental practices regulary to make sure we are offering the best and safest care possible to all our patients.
Obviously, our dentists are highly trained. They’ve been through 6 years of training before working in practice, and then are continually attending courses to improve their skills and to stay up to date. They have to (like all other folks in the dental field) carry out 250 hours of continuing professional development every 5 years, and they have to declare these hours to the General Dental Council so that they will be allowed to continue to work.
Any practice found not to be meeting these standards will be closed down. Any person found not to be meeting these standards will be taken off the register and not allowed to work.
I was working at a practice once where we had a patient said that she had 2 implants placed abroad, £4000 cheaper than we could have offered her. But she wanted to come in because she had a problem.
When we looked in her mouth, the teeth didn’t look that bad, but she was complaining that since she had the implants placed, she had no feeling in her lower lip or front teeth. We took an x-ray and discovered that the implants had been placed straight through her interdental nerve, which is the nerve that supplies her lower lip with feeling. The implants had severed this on both sides, and there’s no way to fix a severed nerve, so basically she would have no feeling in her lower lip for the rest of her life.
It’s doubtful that the dentist who placed the implants even took an x-ray to see where this nerve was. He used implants that were too large, and they were all placed at once, which puts added pressure onto the implants so they have a higher rate of failure.
We’ve seen other patients who have gone abroad and had veneers or crowns placed on teeth that are heavily decayed. Decay spreads, so you have to get rid of it before putting a restoration on top of it. These veneers and crowns would eventually fail and the teeth would end up being very painful.
So whilst it may seem like a good idea to save a few grand on an implant or a full mouth of veneers, chances are the person and clinic carrying out the work aren’t regulated, aren’t insured and aren’t safe. Stick with us in the UK! I promise you’ll be better off for it.
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