Dental chain boss issues warning over dental tourism

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The boss of a dental chain has issued a stark warning over the safety of dental tourism.

Dr Zuber Bagasi, clinical director at the Synergy Group, said that travelling overseas for dental treatment posed serious risks due to a lack of regulation of the dental industry. Dr Bagasi warned that in countries like Turkey, regulation is much more relaxed than in the UK.

In recent years, dental tourism has soared in popularity, with many people eager to snap up offers and bargain prices on dental treatments, including tooth whitening, veneers, crowns and dental implants. Turkey has emerged as the most popular location. The number of clinics that target tourists is increasing all the time and prices are up to 70% lower than in the UK.

Dr Bagasi, whose dental group runs 16 practices, said that people are flying out for treatment with high hopes that they’ll come back with a perfect smile, but many are experiencing severe health issues after undergoing treatment. Dentists across the UK have reported an uptick in the number of patients seeking advice following a trip abroad. Many need remedial or corrective work, which can cost thousands.

One of the most common issues dentists see is damaged teeth, tooth loss and nerve damage following the placement of new crowns. Patients are having new crowns fitted, which involves shaving the teeth down and altering them permanently. In some cases, healthy natural teeth are over-prepared, which can lead to nerve injuries, loose teeth, gum disease and pain. Many patients who find themselves with these symptoms after treatment have no choice but to have the teeth extracted. As NHS dentists are often reluctant or unable to take patients who need remedial work following treatment abroad, the bill for treatment can be substantial. Some people have reported paying over £20,000 to have their teeth fixed.

The advice from dentists like Dr Bagasi is for patients to carry out extensive research before travelling and to ensure that they have robust travel insurance.

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