'Turkey teeth' trend leaves Brits with 'serious dental issues'

‘Turkey teeth’ trend leaves thousands of Britons with dead stumps, abscesses and serious dental issues: NHS paying for repairs of many who fly out for cut-price crowns fuelled by dream for perfect reality TV smile

  • Latest cosmetic trend sees people fly abroad to Turkey for cheap dental work
  • While some are left with no complaints, there has been a surge in people who require remedial work when they return due to painful and costly complications
  • Some UK dentists warn they will not touch teeth that have been treated abroad 

A dental trend called ‘Turkey teeth’ which involves travelling abroad to get drastic cut-price treatment is leaving Brits facing painful complications.

The latest cosmetic trend, which has been made popular by stars including Katie Price and Love Island’s Jack Fincham, involves filing down teeth and replacing them with crowns or veneers.

The trend, which is supposed to leave patients with a full mouth of bright white veneers, is being fuelled on social media under the hashtag #Turkeyteeth which has been viewed more than 100million times.

A new documentary by the BBC looks at the fallout when treatment goes wrong and asks whether it’s worth making the trip for cheaper treatment, as UK dentists warn complications can leave patients with huge medical bills to repair poor work.

A number of dentists surveyed on behalf of the BBC said some of the remedial work was provided by the NHS.

In one case, Tiktok user Lisa Martyn revealed how her experience turned into a nightmare after she travelled to Turkey for the cosmetic treatment and paid 3,500 Euros (£2,960).

She told the BBC: ‘I was duped into the dream of having a full set of perfect teeth that I was never going to have any issues with but I was grossly misled about what I was having done – they were sold to me as veneers not a full set of crowns.

A dental trend called ‘Turkey teeth’ which involves travelling abroad to get drastic cut-price treatment is leaving Brits facing painful complications. Pictured: Lisa Martyn from Ireland who has been left in pain after getting cut-price dental work done while on holiday in Turkey

Pictured: Lisa Martyn revealed her experience turned into a nightmare after she developed an abscess that nearly paralysed half her face (left) and developed a painful infection

‘No one sat down and told me the risks or if there were any other options. I thought that once they put the new teeth into my mouth that would be it – there would never be any more problems.

‘But not only have I been in crippling pain every day since, but it has also cost me thousands. It’s the biggest mistake of my life.’

Lisa flew to Turkey last year under the belief she would be fitted with 26 veneers in a bid to get the ‘Hollywood smile’ for her son’s wedding but was actually fitted with crowns – a far more invasive procedure.

But months after her treatment, the 48-year-old was left in horrific pain after developing an abscess which nearly paralysed half her face and is suffering from nerve sensitivity.

Describing the work on her social media channel, she said: ‘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.

Love Island’s Jack Fincham was one of the first to share his Turkey Teeth story after getting the treatment before appearing on the ITV reality show in 2018. Pictured: Before and after

‘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. I still didn’t know that all my natural teeth were filed down and these were crowns, not veneers. It was only after I returned home, that I was told by a UK dentist.

‘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.’

According to the BBC, she is unable to eat properly and has lost more than two stone since the treatment.

Lisa shared her story on Tiktok to raise awareness about the dangers of going abroad for cheap treatment and says the cost of fixing her teeth will financially cripple her.

The treatment has proven popular with social media influencers and TV stars including model Katie price.

Smile! The former glamour model, 42, disregarded her old gnashers while in the dentists chair at a surgery as she declared she no longer needed them and got new veneers in August 2020

In August 2020, she shared a video which showed that her natural teeth had been shaved down to points which she said made her look like a James Bond villain before she had new veneers fitted while in Turkey.

The treatment was carried out after her original veneers fell out. However, in October that year, she had to go back to Turkey again after some of her new veneers fell out.

A spokesman for the star told the Sun at the time she had to return to Turkey to get the work fixed.

Love Island star Jack Fincham also received treatment in Turkey before appearing on the ITV reality show.

After he discussed his Turkey Teeth in 2018, Google searches for the term sky-rocketed.

A survey carried out for the BBC found that hundreds of dentists in the UK had treated patients suffering from complications after getting work done abroad.

Dr MJ Rowland-Warmann, director of a dental clinic in Liverpool, told the broadcaster: ‘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.’

She said her clinic receives one to three calls a day from people with issues with their teeth after going abroad but that her clinic cannot treat them.

Pearly whites: Model Katie Price flew to Turkey to have matching his and hers veneers with her boyfriend Carl Woods in the summer of 2020 (pictured just before her holiday)

‘Some can’t floss because their crowns are stuck together or they’re in pain because they have bleeding gums.

‘But it’s easier for us not to take that patient. At the point when you inherit that patient and do any work, that’s when the problems really start and that’s when the UK dentist becomes liable. A risk we cannot take.

‘This leaves patients in very vulnerable positions trying to scrabble around for help and it becomes very costly trying to fix the damage.’

Not everyone who receives treatment abroad suffers complications. The BBC spoke to Tilly Entwhistle from Manchester who said she was thrilled with her work after being compared to Bugs Bunny as a child.

However, she said since visiting a dentist back in the UK, she was told they would not touch her teeth as they did not want to take responsibility for any issues with the work done in Turkey. 

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