Leeds dentist issues warning over ‘Turkey teeth’ as patients seek Love Island smiles

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A dentist from Leeds has warned patients to think twice about going to Turkey for dental treatment amid a surge in the popularity of dental tourism.

Dr John Hewitt believes that shows like Love Island and the growing popularity of social media have contributed to a sharp rise in the number of people taking an interest in cosmetic dentistry. He claims that more and more people are coming through the door wanting to look like reality TV stars like Molly-Mae Hague.

Dr Hewitt suggests that many stars who have inspired and influenced people to think about going to places like Turkey for treatment will have undergone treatment in the UK, but prices are significantly lower abroad. When people come for a consultation, they sometimes decide to go to Turkey because they can’t afford to revamp their smile in the UK. Treatment, which costs around £3,000 in Turkey, for example, can cost around £16,000 at a UK practice.

The danger with ‘Turkey teeth’ is that it can lead to permanent damage to the teeth. Many people who are now seeing a UK dentist after going to Turkey for dental work need remedial treatment, which can cost thousands of pounds. Rather than discreet, relatively straightforward solutions like whitening and straightening the teeth and using cosmetic bonding to reshape the teeth, some clinics overseas fit new sets of crowns, which are often fused together. To do this, they drill the teeth down to stumps before placing the crown. This treatment can cause serious complications and the results only last 10-15 years.

Dr Hewitt is concerned that many young people are making decisions that will impact their teeth for the rest of their lives. At just 18-25 years old, those who have all their teeth filed down to have crowns could need four or five cycles of treatment and end up needing dentures much earlier than they should. The cost will also far outweigh the price of getting professional treatment in the UK.

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