Dental veneers, crowns, smile make-overs.

Does it matter what you get? It’s all the same isn’t it? How do you know what’s best for you, and what’s a good deal?

It can seem really tempting to travel abroad to far flung shores for a ‘dental holiday’ and be put up in a swanky hotel with some dental treatment thrown in.

They’re great! Right?

‘Turkey Teeth’ is a new phrase to describe super-white, super-square teeth which millennials in particular are keen to get. Social media influencers are going abroad because they are impressed by slick looking clinics and cheaper prices. But is it all as it seems?

Often patients think they are getting veneers, when most of your tooth is still there, only a tiny bit is shaved off- (ie, taking half a millimetre off just the front of the tooth). But often, what they actually get is crowns, which needs the tooth shaved down to little pegs, or ‘shark teeth’ as the social media influencers call them.

Katie Price’s ‘veneers’ which are actually crowns.

So what’s the harm in having crowns instead? They look great!

The problem is, when you’re very young and have all this work on your teeth, it can damage the nerve underneath, but why should you care?

Because, if you have 8 new crowns on the top, and 8 new crowns on the bottom in your 20s, that’s at least 2 teeth which will have died by the time you’re in your 30s.

The only options available to you after that is either removal of the entire tooth or having root canal. And the same again in the next 10 years and on, and on. Not such a great idea now?

Crowns/Veneers need replacing every 5 to 15 years. So if you live to 80, that’s a lot of replacements. And every time, it costs more money, and takes more tooth off.

In the UK, patients are protected by medical negligence laws and regulations. In the UK, dentists will not shave healthy teeth off in this way because of the damage it does long term. Only if the tooth is damaged will they consider it. The same isn’t true abroad. So what does that really mean?

So when you come back to the UK, what happens if you have a problem? Would it surprise you to know that about 75% of patients need to see a UK dentist to sort out an issue?

That also costs extra money despite the offer abroad for free replacements. And since Covid, you can’t even fly abroad to take them up on their offer.

Regardless of where you have decided to have either crowns or veneers, it is extremely important to be able to clean around these structures to keep them in tip top condition to prevent any gum disease which will further damage the tooth.

So make sure that whoever fits them shows you how to clean them with floss, little brushes, waterflossers and other essential products.

It’s essential to properly clean around crowns and veneers

Get regular appointments (every 3 months initially) to see a Dental Hygienist/Therapist who will clean where you can’t, and help you clean better at home.

Maintenance is an ESSENTIAL part of having cosmetic work done, so that they last as long as possible. Do LOTS of research before you make any decisions about who you trust and where you go.

Discuss all options, and take time to think it through. These teeth have got to last you til you’re 99, and once the tooth is shaved off, it can’t be undone.

There are lots of other options for healthier straight, white teeth. And you’ll still look great.