AN IRISH woman who wanted a ‘Hollywood smile’ has been left in “excruciating pain” – after a clinic in Turkey botched her dental treatment.
Amanda Turner, 34, from Belfast, jetted to Istanbul earlier this month to get dental crowns and root canal surgery, setting her back €3,628.
All seemed well when she checked into the clinic but on the last day of her treatment, Amanda realised there was something very wrong.
Instead of crowns, the clinic cut corners and fitted several strips of false teeth instead.
The false teeth, known as bridges, were fitted incorrectly, and now the mum-of-two is in agony and facing massive debt to have the work corrected.
She said: “I honestly cannot believe this has happened to me. I thought I’m going to get this work done, and it’s going to make such a difference and my teeth won’t be sore anymore. Now it’s a million times worse.
“My own dentist said he has to refer me to medical dentists and it will cost me £18,000 or €21,000 to fix.”
Amanda decided to fly abroad for dental work after her teeth became damaged during her recent pregnancy.
The mum-of-two took out a loan and jetted to Turkey to undergo treatment, which she believed would include root canal surgery and dental crowns.
But what she got in reality was very different.
She said: “I was researching clinics in Turkey and they were doing the Hollywood smile that everyone is going for.
“The package they were offering me was for 28 crowns, one bridge for a missing tooth that I had, root canal, my hotel accommodation, and transfers, to and from the airport, for £3,050 or €3,600.”
On arrival, Amanda paid for the treatment up front in cash and she was given a receipt for 28 crowns, which also boasted a 20 year warranty.
That same day, dentists filed Amanda’s teeth down to the root, and sent her back to her hotel.
Amanda was in severe pain, and she later learned that she should have been given ‘temps’ to protect her natural teeth before leaving the clinic.
Three days later, she returned for the dentists to fit her 28 crowns.
But when she arrived, they had prepared six bridges, which are used to span the space where teeth are missing.
She said: “They started putting this stuff on the bridges and they put them in my mouth, I was saying, what’s going on?
“It was so sore, the girl had a camera down my throat taking pictures, saying ‘this will be perfect’.
“I said ‘you’re not doing what I asked. This isn’t what I paid for’. I said ‘you are giving me a cheaper option than what I paid for.’
“I could feel the teeth weren’t even in properly, they had this cement in my teeth, and my own teeth underneath were in excruciating pain. It’s a pain I have never imagined in my life.”
All six bridges were fitted during the traumatic ordeal and Amanda returned to her hotel, utterly shell-shocked.
She said: “When I went back to my hotel, I felt more comfortable texting them about it, because I was on my own, at the clinic. I said ‘you gave me a treatment, I didn’t want.
“They said your teeth were not suitable for that treatment, but I said ‘that was a decision for me to make’. So now I have a warranty and a receipt for a procedure I didn’t even have.”
ASKED TO LEAVE
After many heated texts back and forth, Amanda says they then contacted the hotel and told them that they would no longer be paying for her accommodation.
She was left with no choice but to go to the airport, where she took the first flight to Dublin the next morning.
Since the procedure, Amanda has not been able to eat properly as food aggravates the nerves of her mouth, where the bridges have not been fitted correctly.
She has now warned others of the dangers of getting your teeth done abroad and sharing the daily pain she has to live with.
‘WHAT YOU SEE ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU GET’
She said: “People are saying to set up a Go Fund Me but I have no intention of doing that, I am not asking the public to pay for my mistakes.
“I want the dentist who did this to me, to correct their mistakes. And I want the public to be aware that what you see is not always what you get.
“If I can help one person think twice, and avoid the bad choices that I made, then I will be happy.
“I cannot blame anyone else but myself. I made this choice and I have to suffer the consequences, i’m just glad I’m home, safe, with my family again.”
Turkey is the number one destination for Irish people having dental treatment abroad followed by Hungary and Croatia.
And three out of four dentists in Ireland have dealt with problems arising from treatment people had received overseas.
The Irish Dental Association have warned of the dangers of having treatment abroad and told people to be “more discerning” and to do their homework about what dentist they go to in another country.
Last month Louth man Tony Rogers died suddenly while having dental treatment in Turkey.Cabbie Tony, 66, flew to Istanbul for an emergency procedure and passed away after he received anaesthetic in the dentist’s chair.