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The price to pay to have beautiful and cheap teeth

BrotherWhen the anesthetic wore off, Lisa Martyn returned home from Turkey with shiny teeth and growing pains in her gums.

“I almost lost my mind. I put my hand to my mouth and immediately felt pain. The pain didn’t go away, it ran around my mouth, from one tooth to another,” the 48-year-old woman said.

Martyn went to Turkey to have his teeth fixed in September 2021. She is one of hundreds of thousands of “dental tourists” who flock to foreign clinics each year, after seeing advertisements for cheap services.

Many areas of the UK experience a shortage of public dentists. Patients are transferred to private facilities. One family was so desperate that they had to go to Brazil for a dental check-up.

Cheap service in areas like Hungary, Poland and Turkey is therefore attractive. For example, the cost of porcelain teeth in Turkey is from 3,700 USD to 7,500 USD for the whole jaw, but in the UK it can be up to 12,500 USD.

The pandemic is driving demand for cosmetic dentistry, especially among people over the age of 40. The global dental tourism industry is booming. It is estimated that this market will reach a value of 5.83 billion USD by 2025.

Some dental tourists have a satisfying experience, but others lost money, disability.

Martyn used to apply porcelain veneers at a clinic in Turkey in 2011. The first time she had treatment abroad, she was very satisfied with the results, did not feel too much pain when she returned home. Last year, however, Martyn noticed a crack in a porcelain tooth and returned to the clinic to have it checked. When she got there, the doctor informed her that she could not replace one tooth, but had to redo the whole jaw at a cost of 4,400 USD.

The second round of treatment, according to Martyn, was a “nightmare”. After taking a quick X-ray and placing her in a chair, the doctor began grinding 26 of her real teeth to make porcelain veneers.

“I said, ‘My teeth look too small,’ and the dentist said, ‘They’re fine.’ They didn’t even let me worry,” Martyn said. When the procedure was over, Martyn paid with a swollen face. The hospital did not bill her, nor did she want to return her medical records.

Months later, Martyn was almost paralyzed in the face, often suffering from pain in the gums, jaw and an abscess on one cheek. Going to the doctor, she realized she had an infection and had to pay more money to have the root canal removed. “I went to the dentist with a seizure,” she said.

By this time, Martyn knew that she was completely covered with porcelain teeth, not having to apply veneer as requested by the doctor. Porcelain veneers are less invasive than other methods. In order for the porcelain veneer to adhere to the tooth surface, the doctor only needs to grind the front of the tooth a little to create a roughness. Meanwhile, porcelain crown is a mandatory option to grind a lot of teeth to cover the porcelain crown on top.

The pain followed Martyn for eight months, leaving her unable to eat or drink. “When I went to Turkey to get my teeth done, I weighed 117kg. Now I’m 95kg,” she said.

Martyn was forced to have all his teeth extracted and implanted with dentures. She is still taking painkillers every day, needs deeper treatment of the pulp. The cost of remediation is more than 1,800 USD.

She posted a warning video about cheap dental tourism services on her personal page and received hundreds of views. Martyn thinks his case is just the tip of the iceberg, existing in the billion-dollar global industry.

Lisa Martyn once had porcelain teeth in Turkey, returned to the UK with sore gums and an abscess on one cheek.  Photo: Telegraph

Lisa Martyn once had porcelain teeth in Turkey, returned to the UK with sore gums and an abscess on one cheek. Image: Telegraph

Another woman, Chloe, also had a similar experience after having porcelain crowns in Turkey. Just from the outside, she has perfect white teeth. Beneath, however, Chloe’s gums became inflamed, potentially causing problems that could last a lifetime.

The 20-year-old female student used nearly $5,500 in her savings to get her teeth done in February. Initially, she wanted less invasive porcelain veneers because she was not satisfied with her real teeth. Chloe went to a dental facility in Turkey after seeing an attractive advertisement on social media.

Going to the clinic, she couldn’t help but be surprised by the “industrial” here. “It’s like a big chain, patients just go in and out,” she said.

The clinic has a luxury drink bar, free food, a large garden in front of the door and a free shuttle service from the hotel.

“I’ve never seen a dental clinic like it before. It’s beautiful. But there they don’t care about your teeth at all,” she said.

Although Chloe asked to perform non-invasive procedures, without grinding the root teeth, the doctor still filed to the root and covered her with porcelain. When she looked in the mirror and saw that her real teeth were tiny, she burst into tears.

“I was shocked, cried a lot. Immediately, I said that I didn’t want my teeth to chip so much. They told me that my teeth were not strong enough for veneers. No one informed me in the first place. “, she recounted.

Like Martyn, Chloe is not allowed to sign any documents, contracts before the procedure, nor receive a receipt after completion.

She returned home with aching teeth, pain spreading all over her body. To date, the discomfort has subsided, but Chloe’s gums are still sensitive. She worries about problems in the future. “I’m feeling really bad mentally,” she said.

Chloe thinks the “Instagram effect” is the driving force behind young dental tourists. Celebrities, influencers often post pictures with perfect smiles, causing them to travel thousands of kilometers to get their teeth done abroad.

Dr Emi Mawson, dentist at the National Health Service (NHS), said that more and more teenagers are looking for affordable dental services, but do not understand the difference between porcelain veneers and porcelain teeth. .

“When you take porcelain crowns, your dentist will grind your teeth down to the root. This can cause problems in the future. Statistically, when grinding healthy teeth down to the root, a quarter of it will be dead teeth, causing symptoms like abscesses,” she said.

Besides, when going abroad for dental work and having problems arising, it is difficult for patients to find a doctor in the UK who agrees to treat them. According to NHS rules, a doctor will be fined if the procedure is not successful.

“As a dentist, we take full responsibility for the methods we prescribe to our patients. However, if a person has had porcelain crowns in another country, now has an abscess and comes to the doctor, I am not willing to do so. root canal for them, because the success rate will be lower. I could be fined if the treatment doesn’t work. The only thing I can do is pull that tooth,” Dr. Mawson said.

To make cheap teeth, some hospitals abroad will cut supplies, buy crowns in large quantities, and are produced in batches, instead of matching the tooth structure of each patient. Meanwhile, gluing porcelain veneers requires more time and technique.

Dr Mawson acknowledged there are skilled dentists working in dental tourism hotspots, but warned young people to do their due diligence before agreeing to invasive procedures.

Dentist Dr Len D’Cruz, head of the British Dental Association, agrees. He said that many patients with porcelain crowns abroad were not provided with all necessary information. According to Dr D’Cruz, complex procedures are common in the dental tourism hotspot, but are the last resort for dentists in the UK.

“In the UK, we strongly believe in the MID principle, which is called minimally invasive dentistry. We very much avoid using crowns and bridges if not necessary,” he said.

Thuc Linh (According to Telegraph)

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