A Belfast woman has warned against opting for cosmetic dental treatment abroad after suffering pain and being faced with a £18,000 bill to fix the problem.
Manda Turner, 34, visited Karat Dent, a cosmetic dentistry clinic in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month after her teeth required significant treatment due to pregnancy.
She explained: “My teeth broke. I was in pain and needed a lot of root canals.
“I had spoken to my dentist here about cosmetic procedures but they said all of my treatments would take time.”
With multiple appointments over a six-month period and high bills for treatment and childcare, Amanda turned to dental tourism.
This is the case when people travel abroad, mainly to Turkey, for cheaper dental treatments such as veneers and crowns.
Amanda said: “I said to my dentist that I had many friends who traveled to Turkey to get dental treatment and they were only gone for a week and everything was done faster and cheaper.
“My family encouraged me to go to Turkey, come back pain free and get it all over with in a week.”
She then consulted the Karat Dent clinic, which has over 20,000 followers on social media, and arranged for a customized crown treatment that also included a hotel stay.
It wasn’t until she landed in Istanbul that her ordeal began. Now Amanda needs extensive pain medication to get through the day.
“Honestly, it couldn’t have gone worse. Nobody tells you the horror stories – you only hear about the good results,” she said.
Upon arrival, Amanda visited the clinic that same afternoon for what she believed to be a consultation.
She added: “Nothing was explained really well. I arrived, got my x-rays and the next thing they told me to just sit in the chair. I got pain relief and thought the dentist was just going to look at some of the root canals I told them about, but next he started filing my teeth.
“It was awful. I didn’t have enough pain relief. I was barely numb and started crying.”
Amanda said she was then injected with more pain-relieving medication and sent back to her room. She said the entire experience was not what she expected.
“I didn’t have temp work (a set of disposable teeth used to hide filed teeth while waiting for veneers and crowns to be fitted) and I was so sore,” she added. “I think after I must have slept for about three days. It even hurt to breathe.”
After a painful few days of rest, during which she said she could barely eat and resorted to sucking the toppings off pizza slices just to ease the use of painkillers, Amanda was taken back to the dental clinic to have her new teeth to adjust.
Originally advertised as a “Hollywood smile,” Amanda soon noticed that her “new teeth” were a set of bridges — a set of porcelain teeth generally used to fill in a gap of a few teeth — rather than the individual ones crowns she had expected.
She said: “I actually thought it was my temps I’m finally getting.
“There were only these rows of teeth. The dentist said these were my new teeth, but I just kept saying no. I actually thought he was joking.”
Back in Northern Ireland, Amanda made an emergency appointment with her dentist, only to be told it would cost tens of thousands of pounds to fix the problems.
“My dentist actually said he’s never seen anything like this and doesn’t understand why my teeth were all ground down,” she explained.
“He said the bridges were not properly connected and told me all my treatments would cost around £18,000 and would take around six months to correct. I just started crying. I don’t know if I can endure the pain I’m in for six months.”
The General Dental Council, which regulates dental care and dentists in the UK, has advised against traveling abroad to have dental surgery.
It states that all surgeries carry some risk and dentists abroad are not always required to be registered with a regulatory body, meaning patients risk malpractice.
Amanda now faces months of corrective treatments to ease her pain and fix her teeth.
She said she hopes to take legal action, but stressed that she wants to make it clear that she is not seeking financial help through donation sites, nor is she being paid for this item.
Amanda said she feared people would find themselves in a similar situation.
She added: “I just don’t want anyone else to make that mistake. Please consider seeking treatment here and think twice before doing anything.”
Karat Dent did not comment.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/woman-in-agony-and-facing-massive-repair-bill-after-dental-work-in-turkey-41592245.html Woman in agony and with massive repair bill after dental treatment in Turkey