• Monday, August 08, 2022


What is the ‘Turkey teeth’ trend and why do UK Dentists detest it?

The trend leaves thousands of Britons with dead stumps, abscesses and serious dental issues.

Jack Fincham – Image credit: Instagram: @jack_charlesf

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Experts say that a good smile can influence our social lives and have a positive impact on our careers and relationships too. This is because it gives us more confidence, boosts our self-esteem, paints a picture of beauty and of course helps to transform our appearance. These could be some of the factors that motivated 48-year-old Lisa Martyn to travel abroad for an invasive cosmetic dental procedure.

In a report that explores the TikTok trend of people travelling to Turkey to get a brand-new smile – the BBC reports that many people from the UK have had such treatments abroad, in the hope of getting their dream smile.

“Turkey teeth” is the trend of travelling to countries like Turkey to get crown procedures for your teeth for an improved smile. It became extremely popular on social media ever since ex-Love Island winner Jack Fincham first sported this trend, after travelling to Turkey to get himself 10 crowns in 2018. The TikTok hashtag has over 130 million views, and several reality TV influencers.

Apparently, Lisa travelled to Turkey last year, to get herself 26 veneers, which are usually thin shells placed around the teeth after they are minimally shaved down. She was hoping to get a perfect smile for her son’s wedding.

However, it turns out that instead of veneers, she was given crowns and about 70 percent of her natural teeth had been filed down to stubs for tooth caps to be glued on.

She discovered this only months later. She is quoted as saying, “My teeth are gone. They’re filed down so much.”

She added, “They never said your teeth can die, that you can get an abscess.”

The “Turkey teeth” procedure involves choosing the shape, colour and material for the caps you want to put on your teeth. And people often opt for a bright, white symmetrical smile.

It’s been 10 months now since Lisa’s treatment and she is reported to have told the BBC that she’s experiencing nerve sensitivity and excruciating pain. She’s also lost weight (12.7kg) due to her inability to eat. Painkillers have been a source of relief for her during these painful months, she said.

A report in the Daily Mail stated that Lisa spoke about the experience by taking to her social media channel. She supposedly wrote: “I never in my life experienced anything like it.

“They were drilling then, banging and hammering. I was jumping out of that chair for two hours.

“No one asked how I was or even offered me a drink of water. My mouth was so swollen it was like a horror movie. I was numb from my neck up to the top of my nose but I could still feel the sensation.

“Now I’m still in pain and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will have to have dentures and live with pain every day. I wanted to look nice for my son’s wedding but now I would give anything to just know that day I won’t be in agony.”

However, it only gets worse for Lisa – the pain ended in an infection and abscess which she says nearly paralysed half of her face. She now needs two rounds of root canal surgery which will cost her more than 2,000 euro. “Financially it’s going to cripple me, but that’s just the price I have to pay after going to Turkey and filing all my teeth down,” she said.

The original procedure in Turkey reportedly cost Lisa 3,500 euro (£3,000).

Lisa, who is from Ireland has been told by dentists that the only long-term treatment available for her is implants or dentures. She is reported to have said that she never expected she would contemplate getting dentures at 48.

The BBC spoke to some UK dentists who say they’d be concerned their regulatory bodies would not allow them to conduct such work. Dr MJ Rowland-Warmann, director of a dental clinic in Liverpool, emphasised that crowns can cause major complications. She told the BBC, “If I did 20 crowns on a 21-year-old for the purposes of improving the colour, I would have my licence revoked, I would be struck off.”

Tilly, 22, has had no regrets since travelling to Turkey for 16 crowns early this year.

“Ever since a young age, I was bullied for my teeth,” she explains. “I was called things like Bugs Bunny and told how pretty I’d be if I didn’t have the teeth I had.”

For Tilly, life seems to have taken on a new meaning after the cosmetic dental treatment. I’m smiling a lot more, I’m laughing. I’m not hiding my mouth which I did constantly,” she said. “I’m just more and more myself, it’s given me my confidence back.”

But not everyone can be as lucky as Tilly. Besides the loss of finances, some people like Lisa, may even put their health in jeopardy but trying to follow such trends.

Eddie Crouch, chairman of the British Dental Association, warns: “Patients need to provide informed consent for any treatment they have and be wary of a hard sell, as the reality is rarely as simple as it appears on Instagram. Sadly, many UK dentists are now picking up the pieces when things go wrong.

 “We strongly advise people considering this to check a dentist’s qualifications and experience and whether they are insured if things go wrong.”

Eastern Eye

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