Michael Capuano, a 64-year-old retired New Yorker, ate a sandwich on his flight from Istanbul to New York and felt two of his dental crowns fall out. The day before, he got two dental implants in one of the Turkish dental clinics. The trip was arranged by Bookimed, the service for treatment abroad.
Six months later, Michael's new teeth are in place. He is pleased with the result and advises Bookimed to all his friends in the USA. We asked Michael to tell in detail about his unfortunate dental implantation abroad and how he managed to fix it.
I have been receiving medical treatment abroad for 20 years because medical services are overpriced in the USA
I live in New York, and since 1978 I have been opening and developing public places: I have 13 restaurants and small discos throughout the city on my account. Now I am retired, traveling, and taking care of my health.
In the United States, medical services are costly. Most people can afford them thanks to the health insurance they get from the workplace. Since I worked for myself, I had no insurance. I had to pay for everything from my wallet.
About 20 years ago, I went to the dentist to cure some problem teeth. The doctor said that it would cost me $17,000. This sum is not overwhelming, but it is still quite large. I mentioned this in a conversation with my friend from Poland, and he said that these services are almost ten times cheaper in his country. His son was a dentist, so he knew this firsthand.
Then I decided to search the Internet for an opportunity to go abroad for dental treatment. I found a dental clinic in Ukraine with a $2,200 offer instead of $17,000. And since I have relatives and friends in Ukraine, I decided to go there for the procedure. It was my first experience of treatment abroad.
The second story happened around the same time, only with a hair transplant. First, I went to Bosley, the largest hair transplant clinic in the USA. I decided to transplant a small section of hair: 1000 grafts equal to 2000-4000 hairs, or a palm-sized area on the head. In the US, I had to pay $7,500 for this service.
I was delighted with the result, so I wanted to transplant the hair on the rest of the head. In Bosley, they said it would cost $75,000. This price didn't suit me, so I started googling for transplant options abroad again. I was so pleased with the dentists from Ukraine and the fact that I managed to save a significant sum that I decided to go there again. I found a hair transplant clinic in Ukraine, Mosaic. The service there cost me $4,000, and I was also delighted with the result.
At the age of 60, the transplant had to be repeated because more hair fell out. I accidentally came across an offer from a Turkish clinic: They promised to transplant the maximum amount of hair for only $1,500. Even with tickets from New York to Istanbul, this service would have cost me less than in the USA. At first, the low price alarmed me, so I began to read reviews on the Internet. It turned out that Turkey is the capital of hair transplantation. Local specialists are the best in this sphere. I decided to have the procedure in Istanbul and have never regretted it: My friends told me that I looked 20 years younger. I agree with them, as the last time I had this amount of hair on my head was, perhaps, when I was 18.
Dentisland promised instant dental implants, but there was a tricky part
When my dentist in New York said that I needed to remove two more teeth and get implants, I immediately decided to find a clinic abroad. I was very pleased with dentistry in Ukraine, so at first, I was going to go there for treatment. And then, I saw an advertisement for dental implants in Turkey in the Dentisland clinic. The Bookimed platform arranged the trip. The offer was very tempting: $900 for one implant and all-inclusive conditions. That means that the price included transfer from the airport and hotel accommodation in addition to the procedure. It was incredibly cheap.
Another reason why I've chosen this particular clinic and not another one in Turkey is their promise to do the procedure in one go. Usually, installing dental implants consists of two parts. First, a titanium screw, which acts as a tooth root, is placed in the jawbone. When the root and gum are healed, the implant abutment is placed (a connecting element between the implant and the tooth's crown), and then, the crown itself, an artificial tooth. Usually, the healing process lasts 3-6 months, and during this time, you don't have a crown.
Dentisland promised to do everything at once: To immediately install both the screw and the crown. This offer tempted me because I didn't want to go twice to another country for treatment and stay without teeth for several months. Before the procedure, I called my dentist and asked if it was possible to do everything in one go. His answer was an unconditional "No." He said that the teeth would immediately fall out. Looking ahead, it is precisely what happened. But when I agreed to the procedure, I hoped for the best and trusted the promises of Dentisland.
I ate my lunch on my flight home, and my new teeth fell out
I was happy with hair transplants in Turkey, so I wrote to Bookimed without further hesitation. They organized my trip to Istanbul, met me at the airport, and transferred me to the hotel. I liked the accommodation, service, and the clinic.
But with the tooth implants, the problems began immediately. When the doctor took out my tooth to replace it with an implant, I heard a crack. At first, I thought it was a cracked tooth. But later, I learned that it was the sound of a crack in the bone.
When she cut open the gum and drilled a hole in the upper jawbone to place the implant, she reached up to the sinuses. And when I breathed in through my nose, I felt the air getting into my mouth. I don't think this is how it was supposed to be. When I asked the doctor if their instant implantation procedure was reliable, I was assured that everything would be fine. That was what I hoped for.
I had two implants and two dental crowns installed in one day, as promised. I spent the night at the hotel and the next day boarded a plane to New York. I ate my lunch, and my new teeth fell out.
Bookimed’s CEO agreed to pay for my treatment in any clinic in the world
As soon as I arrived in New York, I immediately called the Dentisland clinic and told them what had happened. They said that they couldn't help me. Then I decided to write to Bookimed. To be honest, I didn't even hope that they would help me. Usually, no one guarantees additional help on medical tours if something goes wrong (for example, if a tooth or hair falls out after a transplant). But I decided to give it a try.
I called Bookimed, told them about my problem, and realized how excellent this company was. The company CEO, Ievgen Khotianov, immediately called me back and said: "Don't worry about anything. We will fix the situation. I will pay for the treatment of your teeth in New York or any other city in the world, and I will also pay for tickets." And he did what he promised.
I decided to go to the dentist in New York. Ievgen tried to book a visit for me, but there was a problem with that. In the United States, if something goes wrong after the services doctors provide, the patient can sue them in court. This practice is so widespread that doctors do their best to avoid any risks. Therefore, all dentists refused to finish the hard work because they were afraid of lawsuits. Ievgen got a denial in three clinics. According to him, Dentisland also refused to correct their mistakes. By the way, Bookimed no longer works with this clinic.
Then I came up with another option. My wife is from the Czech Republic, and we were just about to visit our relatives in Prague in a month, for Christmas. I called Ievgen and asked him to book me a visit to the dentist in Prague. He immediately paid for my visit to the Schill Clinic. Local friends told me that the clinic was the best one in the city.
Schill Dental Clinic is a single-specialty medical facility offering dental care with the latest European standards. Schill Dental Clinic was founded 25 years ago by Dr. Alexander Schill in Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2013, the local branch in Prague, Czech Republic was opened to welcome patients from Central European and other countries.
The doctor from Prague fixed everything
A month later, I went with my family to Prague and went to the dentist. I was surprised that I didn't have to fill out the paperwork. Usually, when you're not satisfied with the service and want to receive compensation in the US, you need to fill out a massive pile of documents. Nothing was required of me here.
The dentist examined my implants and said that I need to replace two of them instead of one — due to the structure of my bone and because the Turkish doctor drilled it too deeply. Another screw was installed in my jaw, the procedure took about an hour, and this time it went without discomfort. I had to come to Prague again to get dental crowns in three months.
Immediately after my gums healed, I felt comfortable eating and drinking. There were no special care rules since the screw was inside the gum and could not be seen on the surface. In three months, I got dental crowns, and there were no restrictions either. I was allowed to eat and drink immediately.
The dentist said to call him if something happens so that he can fix any problems. In this clinic, they take responsibility for their work.
On these two trips to the Czech Republic, I had a great time with my family and friends. I faced no difficulties returning to Prague since I combined my trip for treatment with sightseeing and meeting with friends. Several weeks ago, I returned from the Czech Republic with my new dental implants and crowns. I am happy with the result, the quality of work, and the money savings.
I paid $4,500 instead of $17,000 for treatment and travel and had a good time
In total, I spent about $2,700 on tickets to Istanbul and Prague and about $1,800 on dental implants in Turkey. That is $4,500 instead of $17,000 in New York. In addition, in the Czech Republic, I had a great vacation with my family and friends. I saved money and had a good time.
Now I advise my American friends to go to dentists abroad instead of paying huge money for treatment in the USA. For example, my neighbor paid $12,000 for two dental implants in New York. I told her that instead of $ 6,000 per implant, she could pay $600 and about $800 more for tickets to the Czech Republic or Ukraine. And my brother paid about $40,000 for a hair transplant in the US. I tried to explain to them that everything can be done much cheaper in Turkey or Ukraine. But they are afraid that they will face frauds who will deceive, rob them, or do their work poorly.
During these 20 years that I have received medical treatment abroad, there was only one unpleasant case with dental implants. But I understand that this was just one bad dentist in Turkey. Surely there are many good specialists there.
I would advise everyone who pays crazy money for treatment in the USA to try the services of European doctors.