I traveled to Turkey to cut my teeth like Rylan Clark but my new smile left me suicidal

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As she walked into the “impeccable” Turkish dental clinic, Amanda Turner couldn’t wait to finally have the perfect, dazzling smile.

But just three weeks later, labor left the mother-of-two close to suicide and in hospital with a chronic infection from which she is still recovering.

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Amanda Turner said her ‘Turkey Teeth’ hell left her suicidalCredit: pacemaker

The betting shop manager is one of thousands of Britons who traveled to southeastern Europe for ‘Turkey Teeth’, lured by cut-price treatment, only to return with more trouble than they had none left.

Amanda, 34, from Belfast, warned: “It’s been absolute hell.

“I want everyone to know what can happen with the clinics after my life was almost ruined.”

A Sun on Sunday investigation can today reveal that the growing obsession with pearly whites is creating a nightmare for the NHS and now costing it TENS OF MILLIONS a year to correct mistakes.

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Returning UK patients are not automatically entitled to NHS treatment.

Dentist Jeffrey Sherer, of the Dental Design Studio, said: ‘A growing number of people are signing up for cheap treatment abroad, thinking the NHS will pick up the pieces if things go wrong.

“If registered with an NHS dentist, a patient may be entitled to a certain level of care after treatment abroad to relieve any pain or discomfort.

“In the vast majority of cases, longer-term repair work would then have to be done privately because of the exorbitant cost and complexity of reversing operations procedures.”

He said the NHS mainly pays for emergency and root canal treatment for teeth that develop infections as a result of treatment abroad.

An astonishing 86% of dentists have seen cases resulting from cheap work done overseas. And nearly half of all dentists said repairs, which can cost up to £5,000 at a time, were funded by the NHS.

A dentist has told how patients from Turkey show up at his door like suitcases on an airport carousel.

Paul Woodhouse, of Grange Dental Practice in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, said: “This is a disaster area. Tens of millions of pounds are spent each year to rectify errors.

“I have a case of a patient who needs 20 replacement crowns. It will cost over £20,000.

“It’s not fair for the NHS to take on these cases. Patients have chosen to have work done that is usually unnecessary.

Amanda wanted a sparkling smile like Rylan Clark

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Amanda wanted a sparkling smile like Rylan ClarkCredit: Splash
Katie Price shared her dental treatment in Turkey via social media

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Katie Price shared her dental treatment in Turkey via social media1 credit

Many of those undergoing treatment abroad do so with the aim of returning home sporting smiles like Love Island celebrities Katie Price and Jack Fincham, who have posted on social media about the dental treatment they have had received in Turkey.

Price had to return after some of his veneers fell out, leaving ugly stumps of his original teeth.

Another inspiration for a smile makeover is TV host Rylan Clark, who revealed his new look this year after having his veneers replaced at a London clinic.

Reality TV shows including Love Island and social media are also driving the obsession.

The #Turkeyteeth hashtag has over 130 million views on TikTok.

The craze is now so popular that many overseas companies are offering Smile Now, Pay Later deals.

While some patients have horror stories to tell, there is no suggestion of negligence on the part of the clinics featured here.

Amanda learned that fixing her teeth could cost almost £20,000

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Amanda learned that fixing her teeth could cost almost £20,000Credit: provided

“Close to suicide”

Amanda was forced to travel after years of struggling with her teeth and paid £3,050 for root canal work and 28 crowns at Karat Dent Clinic, Istanbul.

She flew on April 10 and paid cash. Then, after filing her teeth down to the stumps, she was fitted with a series of bridge-like linked teeth, not the individual crowns she expected.

Amanda, mum to Connor, eight, and Cole, 22 weeks, said: ‘I had them tied to my stumps on the ground but there were gaps underneath so food could get stuck underneath.

On arriving home she saw an emergency dentist who told her the job to fix the mistake would cost at least £18,000.

Amanda developed an infection after returning to the UK

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Amanda developed an infection after returning to the UKCredit: provided

In May, she developed an infection and ended up in hospital.

She said: “I thought my life was over. I was close to suicide. Then, when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I developed a massive infection.

“I was admitted to hospital for chronic pain and stayed there for a week to have a drain fitted as the infection had spread to my neck.”

Karat Dent Clinic has been contacted for a response.

Dentist Jeffrey Sherer said of the new dental trend, “First, there are those who seek cosmetic treatment based on peer pressure and trying to fit into popular culture.

“It’s usually younger patients who go abroad because British dentists refuse to provide treatment because they feel it’s not in the best interest of the patient, or because they can’t allow private dental care here.

“Second, you have those who really need treatment due to advanced issues.

“These are usually older patients, and they really need treatment such as crowns and implants, but, due to their financial constraints, they cannot afford the cost of private dentistry in the UK. “

Cherry Fox says her new veneers fell out shortly after treatment

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Cherry Fox says her new veneers fell out shortly after treatmentCredit: Jon Rowley

Actress and model Cherry Fox paid £2,600 for a 20-veneer set at Mono Clinic in Izmir, a discounted rate in return for social media posts.

Cherry, 28, from Bristol, who is mum to Logan, five, said: ‘My teeth had chips and yellowing which I was not happy with.

“When friends recommended Mono Clinic to me, I did some research and saw nothing but rave reviews.”

She flew on April 25 and her veneers were placed.

Cherry said: “They felt too big. The dentist told me it was part of the healing process. When we came back, my mouth was still sore and bleeding. My first veneer fell out about two weeks later while brushing my teeth.

“Two weeks later, five more veneers fell out. They are very visible and I cannot work.

Cherry faces a repair bill of over £15,000. Mono Clinic did not respond to requests for comment.

Cherry is one of thousands of Britons to travel abroad for dental treatment

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Cherry is one of thousands of Britons to travel abroad for dental treatmentCredit: provided

Around 35,000 people go abroad for dental care every year and business in Turkey is booming.

A report by Statista analysts has predicted that Turkey’s dental industry will be worth £589m next year, up £177m from a decade ago.
The coastal paradise of Antalya is nicknamed “Dentalya” because it is a hub for treatments.

Patients are transported by private car to the clinics.

Later, they lounge around their hotel pools in bandages.

One of the biggest companies is London-based Longevita UK, which organizes medical tourism in Turkey for hair transplants, cosmetic surgery and dentistry.

According to Companies House, Longevita’s assets have grown from £5.6m in 2021 to £7.2m this year.

Last year, Founder and CEO, Kagan Seymenoglu said, “Medical tourism has grown over the past decade.

“I believe the biggest contributor to this is social media and the impact of FOMO – the fear of missing out.

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“You see a lot of influencers promoting cosmetic procedures on Instagram, and inevitably their actions drive demand.”

Longevita has been contacted for a response.

Britons are being sold a dream by glossy adverts urging them to seek treatment

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Britons are being sold a dream by glossy adverts urging them to seek treatmentCredit:
Love Island star Jack Fincham had his teeth done in Turkey

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Love Island star Jack Fincham had his teeth done in TurkeyCredit: PA: Press Association

Playing with health

DENTISTS are aware that many people find it difficult to access care and may be tempted to go abroad for treatment at a reduced cost.

There are excellent dental clinics abroad.

Just beware of those who are struggling to sell, where there is pressure to make a quick decision without discussing possible complications or follow-up.

Obviously, a winning smile can give people a lot of confidence, but avoid celebrities touting cheap and quick fixes abroad, which turns out to be anything but.

Treatment abroad may not be as cheap as it looks if it involves repeat visits, complications, legal fees and remedial work.

Instead of gambling with your health, the solution to long-lasting smiles may be easier and cheaper near you.

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