Dental Holidays May Be A Real Risk For Your Teeth

Opting for cheaper treatment abroad may bring problems you haven’t anticipated

Wondering about tooth careWith Spring now officially here, a lot of us will be starting to look forward to our holidays abroad under warmer skies and away from the daily problems in our lives. It is also the time that we might start to ‘refresh’ our appearance with new clothes, and it is also a popular time for people to start to put together their ‘wish list’ of treatments to give their smile a boost.

These are positive things, of course, but problems can arise when the two are combined. There is an increasing trend, especially amongst younger people, to combine a holiday abroad with receiving dental treatment, or more specifically, cosmetic dentistry. Whilst the offers might be tempting, you could be letting yourself in for a world of trouble, as our Chelmsford cosmetic dentists explain.


If you go to a dentist in the UK, such as Blue Sky Dental, it is a highly regulated environment and you can be sure that all dentists will be qualified to a high level and that other factors such as hygiene and cleanliness are carried out very thoroughly. This may not always be the case if you have your treatment carried out abroad. That isn’t to say, of course, that there aren’t excellent dentists abroad; of course, but how can you be sure until you arrive there for your treatment?  It is unlikely that you will do a preliminary visit before booking your ‘dental holiday’ and you may rely largely on their glossy advertisement. You may also find that the level of skills required to carry out dentistry in some countries is not as high as it is in the UK. This can be a problem, especially where any treatment that you are having is of an invasive nature.

Language barrier

Few people really actually ‘enjoy’ having dental treatment, even if it is to help them have a more attractive smile in the long run. One thing that helps people to feel more relaxed though is through their conversation with the dentist who can help to put them at ease throughout the procedure. This can be a problem where there is a language barrier and although many dentists abroad will speak some level of English, it may be at a fairly functional level and not the friendly chat that you might get at a practice in the UK. More seriously, a breakdown in communication during a procedure could leave you feeling very unhappy with the end results due to a misunderstanding.

Turkey teeth and other problems

We have discussed before about the risks of having dental implants placed abroad. This isn’t the only treatment where things can go wrong though and there have been warnings about the risks of ‘Turkey teeth’, a name for some treatments carried out in Turkey. One of the main warnings has been regarding people who, inspired by certain TV celebrities, travel to Turkey to improve their smile. Many of these have had their natural teeth filed down in order to have a crown fitted.

Even where high quality materials have been used and have been fitted correctly (and this may not always be the case), this is often overkill and whilst it might look ok, this is a highly invasive treatment that is unlikely to be recommended in the UK. Crowns are largely used to restore a badly damaged tooth or to complete a root canal procedure. They are rarely used purely for cosmetic purposes only except in certain circumstances. There are often other, less invasive, treatments available and our Chelmsford team will always try to offer the least invasive option available when it comes to cosmetic dentistry.

Even a non-invasive treatment can go wrong though. A teeth whitening treatment carried out by using too strong a whitening solution can cause significant discomfort and can even cause long term damage to your teeth and gums.

There is also a risk that some savings that are made by having treatments abroad may be due to cheaper and less effective materials being used. This can cause problems and even complete failure in some cases.

Follow up care

Some treatments, by their very nature, require follow up visits. If you are planning to return to the same dentist abroad, this can soon override any savings that you might have made. You may though be thinking about having any follow up at your own dental practice. Whilst this might make sense, you may find that your own dentist is very reluctant to do this, especially if the initial procedure has not been carried out correctly. If you are planning to do this, make sure to discuss this with your own dentist before you travel.

Legal recourse

In the event that a treatment goes badly wrong and causes significant damage, you may wish to take legal action and seek compensation. This is likely to be a major headache in some countries. Law can be complex anywhere, but if you are trying to do so abroad, this may prove very difficult and possibly very expensive too.  Given the degree of training that UK dentists receive, you are very unlikely to need to do this in the UK, but there are avenues open to you in rare instances where you might need to seek this.

Our advice to you is to remember that your teeth are living things and not just a block of white material. By taking risks and shortcuts now, all for the sake of saving a little money, you could be letting yourself in for a lifetime of problems, and in our view, it just isn’t worth it.

If you would like to have nicer looking teeth, please don’t risk these cheaper options abroad and instead, arrange a free non clinical consultation with one of our experienced team by calling Blue Sky Dental today on 01245 211070. We look forward to seeing you!

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