Turkey Teeth – How far are you willing to go for the “perfect” smile?

Veneers in Turkey Turkey Teeth – How far are you willing to go for the “perfect” smile?

In 2018, over 300,000 people travelled to have dental implants in Turkey, for the ultimate in budget cosmetic dentistry.

Fast forward to 2022 and – despite the interruption of a worldwide pandemic and travel restrictions – the trend for dental tourism is still on the rise.

But with the number of emergency dental treatments soaring as a result of botched cosmetic work abroad, the question is how much are you willing to pay for a quick fix?

Understanding the risks of getting veneers in Turkey aka “Turkey Teeth”

Mislead millennials are committing to a lifetime of unnecessary, expensive and painful treatments as it’s found that many don’t even know what work they’ve had done when going for veneers in Turkey.

Amongst the masses on the quest for the perfect smile are thousands of young men and women looking for a smile worthy of Instagram. In the UK alone, 63% of those considering dental treatments are aged between 18-34, which has led to the unearthing of some shocking facts about dental implants in Turkey.

Our clinic has been inundated over the last couple of years with young people who have been misled by bargain cosmetic dental centres in Turkey. Having been left with the harsh reality of a lifetime of dental work, costing far beyond the cost of having veneers done in the UK, often our clients have no idea what work they’ve actually had done, or what’s involved in rectifying the issue.

The chances are that if you’re considering veneers, you’ve deliberated over the high price tag countless times. Maybe you’ve even thought of following in the footsteps of some of the nation’s most well-known celebs and going abroad for your treatment.

If this sounds like you – there are some things you should know. You should also take a look a the finance options we have available to help keep quality veneers within everyone’s budget. 

Differences in the treatment provided

Cosmetic dentistry clinics in Turkey are removing the nerves out of young people’s teeth, and fitting crowns instead of veneers – all without the consent or knowledge of the client.

With statistics showing that around 47% of people have already received some form of cosmetic dentistry to make improvements, it comes as no surprise that most people who decide to get dental veneers do so to improve the appearance of their natural teeth, rather than for clinical need.


Turkey Teeth - Harley Street Smile Clinic

But what’s involved? Veneers are one of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry, essentially working as a cover for your own teeth. Although less invasive than crowns, veneers still require a small amount of the natural tooth enamel to be filed away (about ½ millimetre) in order to create a base for the veneers to stick to. For this reason, once veneers are fitted the process cannot be reversed and so routine maintenance will be necessary to get the most out of the investment, with some veneers lasting around 15 years before needing to be replaced.

There are a number of reasons why you may be thinking about getting veneers – and done properly they are effective ways to combat some of the following:

Although a relatively risk-free treatment, care must be taken to ensure that the nerves of the tooth do not become exposed, which can occur if too much enamel is removed during preparation. When the pulp is exposed, the risk of infection is high and so a root canal is the only available outcome, which is invasive, painful and very costly.

We have seen numerous cases of impressionable young girls and boys who have come to us in agony, having had the nerves of their teeth removed and covered with crowns, instead of veneers. Veneers should not be painful and many of these individuals had suffered severe infections were now locked into a lifetime of maintenance as a result of poor cosmetic dental implants in Turkey. What’s more, is that a huge number of our clients had no discussions with their Turkish consultant or any idea that their natural teeth had been ruined forever. The above image is an example of someone who has had their full smile shaved down for crowns when in reality only a small amount of enamel (or for those getting no-prep veneers non at all) needs to be shaved.

If you’ve suffered from poor treatment abroad, get in touch with the team to find out how we can help to restore your smile. We even offer no-prep veneers which you can learn more about here.


Veneers in Turkey completed in one day – and spend the rest of your life paying for it

Here in the UK, cosmetic dentistry is only available under the NHS if there’s a clinical need – so for those looking to enhance their smile, it can cost a pretty penny for the highest quality care and treatment that will last for many years.

Before and After Veneers in Turkey

Although having veneers fitted in the UK can take anywhere up to three weeks from meeting your consultant to having the veneers fitted, getting veneers in Turkey can be done in just one visit, with the promise of a low price-point and fast results, which has led to the highest numbers of botched cosmetic dentistry procedures in recent years.

Whilst there certainly are a number of genuine dental clinics abroad, it is important to recognise that not every cosmetic dentistry clinic in Turkey will have the standards, skills or qualifications necessary to perform safe cosmetic dentistry – so why are so many people willing to compromise?

Amongst the most commonly reported benefits of getting veneers in Turkey is, of course, the cheap costs of veneers compared to here in the UK. Private dentistry in the UK can cost anywhere up to 70% more than its Turkey counterpart– so it’s a no brainer, right?

Well, according to statistics – it’s not quite as straight forward as you might think. A survey done by the Irish Dental Association revealed that approximately 75% of those who had travelled abroad for dental procedures required corrective work back home. So, it really begs the question of how much you are actually saving in the end, and whether your oral health is worth that risk. Are you worried about the cost of veneers? Read our blog to learn how you can receive affordable veneers.

Lack of communication leads to thousands of young people leaving Turkey with nothing to smile about as botched cosmetic dental work abroad is on the rise.

Here in the UK, a botched cosmetic dentistry procedure can be painful and traumatic. But it’s also assured that you are protected under UK law to claim under medical negligence, should something go wrong. However, if you opt for cheaper veneers in Turkey, in the case of things going wrong, you are not covered in the same way and more often than not you can end up spending many more thousands of pounds trying to fix the problems.

Unfortunately for every success, there is a horror story of dental tourism gone wrong, with the majority of cases leading to the following issues:

  • Intense long-lasting pain
  • Overly sensitive teeth making it difficult to eat or drink
  • Exposed nerves, leading to further invasive treatments
  • Ill-fitting veneers can be too big or too small for the size of the mouth
  • Infected gums, which can spread to the sinuses and even to the bone if left untreated
  • Rotting teeth
  • Excessive swelling
  • Poorly bonded veneers can fall off easily

You may be lucky enough to get a consultation with your Turkish surgeon before you go for your veneers to be fitted. However, these are usually performed over the telephone or through Skype, and can often neglect vital information such as medical history and allergies. For others, the first time you meet your consultant may be the very same day as your procedure, where many are faced with language barriers, leaving them feeling isolated and out of control of the situation.

Although seen as a convenient alternative to private cosmetic dentistry in the UK, the harsh reality is that many Turkish dentistry clinics offer varying levels of experience and technology. This can have dire consequences whether that be immediately or later down the line when you’ve arrived back home. At the Harley Street Smile Clinic, we only offer professional cosmetic procedures, all performed by industry-leading experts. Why not request an e-consultation with us?


The lure of a quick fix

Turkey Teeth - Harley Street Smile Clinic

It appears that not only do us Brits love a bargain, but we’re impatient too!

The pandemic forced the doors of dental surgeries to close up and down the country, meaning many practices are still dealing with the knock-on effects and lengthy waiting lists. And, worryingly, in a bid to skip surgery backlogs, it seems more and more people are again willing to risk botched jobs for the promise of a quick fix.

In a survey of 1000 UK dentists carried out by the British Dental Association (BDA), cheaper costs were recognised as the key factor influencing patients’ decisions to seek dental care abroad, alongside the promise of a shorter waiting time.

Whether it’s time or money that’s precious – neither should be more sacred than the health of your teeth. And UK dentists are highlighting fears that seeking treatment abroad carries considerable risk:

  • 86% of the dentists questions reported having treated cases that developed problems following treatment abroad.
  • The biggest concerns identified were failing or failed treatment (86%), followed by pain (76%), and poorly executed treatment (72%).

A number of dentists also raised concerns regarding over-prepared teeth (where an excessive amount of tooth is removed – see Katie Price’s horror story below for more on this). Others were shocked to find returning patients whose treatment had still been carried out despite having untreated gum disease. Not only can this dramatically increase the chances of treatment failure but it also increases the risk of infection and pain.  

Eddie Crouch, Chair of the BDA, warns: “Be wary of a hard-sell, as the reality is rarely as simple as it appears on Instagram.

“Complex courses of treatment typically require detailed preparation and a number of follow-up visits. Patients should be aware of the risks and alternatives to the treatment desired, and get advice on what they should do in the event of problems occurring when they return.

“The cost of follow-up treatment needs to be factored in. If there are complications, the initial price may not be such a bargain.”

Celebrities aren’t immune to the dangers of Turkey Teeth

Even celebrities can fall prey to the dangers of seeking veneer treatment abroad, with Katie Price being the latest victim to highlight the problem.

In a YouTube video, Katie jokes: “I look like a James Bond villain!” As shock images show the star’s teeth reduced to stumps during her replacement veneers procedure.

Dr Maurice Johannes, Principle Dentist at Harley Street Smile Clinic, said: “I can’t stress enough that people need to be 100% clear about exactly what they are signing up for when they go abroad for cosmetic dental treatment. Although patients are under the impression they are having veneers, in reality they are having crowns placed, which means much more aggressive tooth reduction.

“Katie may be happy with the finished look, but with this amount of tooth reduction it increases massively the risk of having nerve damage and root canal treatment.”

Turkey Teeth - Harley Street Smile Clinic

What you see isn’t always what you get

Unfortunately, despite a number of warnings from The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry about the high risks of dental tourism, thousands of people still opt to make the journey in a bid to gain an affordable smile. So, what can you do to avoid months of pain and suffering at the hands of an untrustworthy cosmetic dental centre in Turkey?

You wouldn’t spend thousands of pounds on a car without doing your research. So why would you head to foreign lands to have a cosmetic procedure without finding everything out about the people doing it? Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Always thoroughly research the clinic, and the consultant doing the procedure before making any contact.
  • Don’t be afraid to call and ask to speak with your consultant to ensure that there is no language barrier and that communication is clear
  • Ask the right questions; what materials do they work with? What qualifications do they have? You can even go the next step and contact the issuing body to verify their claims

Of course, our biggest piece of advice to avoiding disastrous veneers in Turkey is to have your treatment done in the UK where you are safe and protected under law. Here at the Harley Street Smile Clinic, we pride ourselves on offering top-tier quality at competitive prices, and we invite all of our clients to speak with us at every step of the way to help build a long-lasting relationship.


Is it just that veneers in Turkey are a bad idea?

The default destination for veneers abroad seems to be Turkey – but that’s not the only holiday hot spot vying for dental tourism.

Croatia, Hungary, Mexica and even as far afield as Thailand, are also keen to attract patients to their clinics. And whilst many can offer high treatment standards, the risks, barriers, and ongoing practicality associated with getting veneers overseas remain the same.  

Treatment you can trust

Yes, if you opt for veneers in the UK, you are backed by UK laws designed to help safeguard you from negligence and poor treatment. And there are no concerns about language barriers or shelling out more money for flights if follow-up treatment is needed. But that doesn’t mean every practice in the UK is as good as the next – they’re not!

Even in this country expertise, technology and treatment can vary greatly from clinic to clinic, which is why – wherever you choose – it’s essential to do your research.

As part of your due diligence, be sure to read reviews, ask to see before and after images, and make sure you have a consultation – ideally this should be free – so you can talk to the people involved with your procedure, ask questions, and get a feel for how they do things.

At the Harley Street Smile Clinic, we believe great veneers don’t have to cost a small fortune, and that a perfect smile should never risk your health and well-being.

We are pioneers in cosmetic dental treatments and have fitted more than 50,000 veneers for happy (smiling!) patients.

Offering flexible finance plans to help with the cost, we struggle to understand why anyone would take the risk of veneers in Turkey. Why not contact the team today for an informal chat about your specific needs and to find out more about our approach to veneer treatment? We would love to help.

Veneers in Turkey - Harley Street Smile Clinic

Answering some of your most asked questions about veneers in Turkey

Education is at the forefront of what we believe in here at the Harley Street Smile Clinic, and we encourage all of our clients to do their research before committing to any specialist clinic.  To help you be as informed as possible, here we’ve tackled some of your most frequently asked questions about dental veneers abroad.

1Is it cheaper to get veneers abroad?

Yes – in many cases dental procedures, including veneers are cheaper abroad. However, it’s important to factor in the price of travel and accommodation, as well as money to spend on necessities whilst over there when considering the overall price. Typically, veneers procedures done abroad will cost anywhere between 30-50% less than they do here in the UK, and they are often completed much faster, with some getting a brand new smile in as little as 24-hours – so we can certainly see the appeal. We encourage anyone considering veneers to think about the sacrifices that may be being made in order to create the appearance of a brand-new, perfect smile in such a short time frame. Our dental veneers specialists at Harley Street have been working in the industry for a number of years, and we offer our clients a 3-appointment service for brand new veneers from beginning to end. This service includes detailed consultations, bespoke simulations and aftercare to ensure your veneers last for many, many years to come.

Affordability and speed, unfortunately, don’t always equal value and those opting for dental tourism should first consider the ramifications of a rushed, or underqualified procedure taking place.

2. How much do veneers cost in Turkey?

The price of veneers in Turkey really depends on the clinic, qualifications of the specialist and the materials used. Some dental veneers in Turkey can cost as little as £120 per tooth – however, with the average UK cost of veneers starting at £695 per tooth it is vital to consider what is being sacrificed in order to offer such a procedure at these incredibly low prices.

Turkey Teeth - Harley Street Smile Clinic

3. How long do veneers last from Turkey?

Here at the Harley Street Smile Clinic, a set of veneers can last anywhere up to, or exceeding 15 years. This is of course dependant on the levels of care and effort put into maintaining regular dental checkups, however, typically our dental veneers are considered a long-term investment. Dental veneers done in Turkey can often be incredibly short-lived due to the rushed and often under-qualified nature of the work. We have treated countless clients who have come to us for corrective work after having veneers done in Turkey, having found themselves in pain with the natural tooth drilled down to exposed nerves. Shockingly, many of these clients have no idea what type of work they’ve undergone, and what state their natural teeth are in beneath the surface of veneers. Of course, not every cosmetic dentistry clinic in Turkey will be of poor quality, but it’s vital to do your research first to ensure you know who you’re being treated by, and exactly what you can come to expect.

4. Why do people go to Turkey for veneers?

Over the past decade, as cosmetic dental procedures such as veneers have become much more commonplace, locations like Turkey have skyrocketed in popularity – and the main reason behind this is affordability. In the UK, dental veneers cost considerably more than in most Turkish dental clinics, which attract Brits who are looking to transform their smile at half the price. The downside to this, however, is that people are opting for cheap and cheerful veneers in Turkey, where standards are often low, and where you run a risk of being treated by someone underqualified. The truth is, if you’re looking for high quality, safe veneers in Turkey, you will still end up paying top tier prices – just with the added cost of travel and accommodation too!

5. Why are veneers cheaper in Turkey?

There are a number of reasons why your dental veneers may cost less in Turkey. Firstly, it’s important to note that if something was to go wrong, you’re very unlikely to have the same amount of cover and protection as you would here in the UK. The reason dental veneers in Turkey are so much more affordable than here in the UK comes down to a few different factors. For the cosmetic dentistry clinics that offer a high quality, safe and reputable service, the main reason that there may be a reduction in cost is that overall operation costs, including lab and dental fees, are lower in Turkey. However, for the very competitive prices, you are likely to see a slip in standards, qualifications and ability which is what we have seen so many of our patients’ experience.

Veneers in Turkey - Harley Street Smile Clinic

6. I had a botched veneer procedure in Turkey, how can I get it fixed?

If you’re experiencing the pain and discomfort of a botched veneer procedure, it’s essential to get things fixed as quickly as possible. To do this you need a reputable cosmetic dentist who is highly experienced with veneers.

The good news is that, here at Harley Street Smile Clinic, we specialise in veneer treatment and can work with you to determine the best course of action to rectify your failed procedure and restore your smile.

7. What are the most common problems with getting veneers in Turkey?

When done properly veneers offer a low risk, long-lasting solution to perfecting your smile. However, if carried out by an unqualified or inexperienced person, they can cause irreversible damage to the natural tooth.

The main issues with getting dental veneers done in Turkey is that there is often a language barrier, meaning that many patients have no proper meeting with their consultant prior to the procedure, nor do they have a full understanding of what they are agreeing to. If consultations are carried out, they are frequently done over the phone and essential information – including medical records and allergy information – is overlooked.

Researching for a cosmetic dentist abroad also makes it much harder to ascertain if they have the relevant standards, skills or qualifications necessary to perform safe cosmetic dentistry.

8. Can I claim compensation for a botched veneer procedure in Turkey?

If the worst should happen and something goes wrong with work carried out here in the UK, you are protected under UK law to claim under medical negligence. But opting for veneers in Turkey, or elsewhere abroad, you are not offered the same level of protection and a botched job could result in you needing to spend much more money to rectify the problem.

Turkey Teeth - Harley Street Smile Clinic

9. What questions should I ask a surgeon if I am getting veneers in Turkey?

As with anything, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Read reviews, find out what other people have to say about their work, check to see if they are a general practitioner or concentrate purely on cosmetic procedures. Do they speak English? What materials do they work with and what qualifications do they have? Don’t be afraid to ask questions – you have a right to know.

It also helps to ask about what they can offer you – can they provide a free smile simulation so you can view what to expect from the finished results? Can they show you plenty of examples of previous cases? And don’t forget to ask yourself a question too – do you feel safe and reassured with the dentist you’re considering?

All of this will help to inform your decision and ensure you use a quality cosmetic dentist.


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