The dangerous 'Turkish teeth' fad

Turkey has gradually become, over the last few years, the cradle of aesthetic treatments, thanks to the '...' services.low costthey offer. This 'fashion' started a few years ago with hair grafts, when they became popular due to their more attractive prices than those available in Spain and their complete 'packs' that included hotel and travel.

Turkey is a country where the state subsidises the 40% for health tourism, which is why it can offer these lower prices. However, as many experts explain, receiving this subsidy requires passing strict annual checks by the government, which not everyone passes. The problem comes when a clinic does not pass these controls, loses the subsidy and drastically lowers its prices in order to compete with the rest of the offer in its country. 

This is where the 'nightmare' begins for many, who due to lack of information, language-related problems and other types of confusion and deception, end up undergoing treatments that, far from complying with safety, health and control standards, end up generating complications of various kinds, some of which are truly serious. 

In the case of the dental aesthetics sector, we are already beginning to receive patients in dental clinics in Spain who have suffered these complications in their own mouths. Extreme sensitivity, very aggressive dental grinding on perfectly healthy teeth, decementation, abscesses due to infection, inflammation of the gum due to misalignment of veneers or crowns, difficulty chewing and eating normally... are just some of the long list. 

The current trend in dentistry, including its aesthetic branch, is to try to be increasingly conservative with patients in all treatments. For example, the carvings for the cementation of ceramic veneers in Spain, and in a large part of the world, are nowadays minimal, being between 0.3 and 1 millimetre depending on the specific case. 


On some occasions, as seen in videos on social networks, some Turkish clinics have sold and offered as veneers treatment what later turned out to be dental crowns, much more invasive and less conservative. Such aggressive carvings, in which the enamel is completely removed and the dentine - sometimes even the pulp - is exposed, are inexplicable from the point of view of dental ethics, because it condemns healthy (and in many cases young) teeth forever. 

The problem with what in part of Latin America is known as 'teeth grinding', as this practice of using crowns instead of veneers is also widespread in these countries, is that, in addition to unnecessarily 'mutilating' healthy teeth that had no problem beyond the aesthetic taste of those who undergo these treatments, this grinding can generate permanent health problems in some dental pieces. 

For example, they can cause sensitivity that in some cases becomes permanent, something that would condemn those teeth to a root canal. Basically, we would be emptying pulp, and therefore 'life', from perfectly healthy teeth. To understand these concepts, let us compare the aggressive grinding we are referring to with one of those carried out in Europe:

As can be seen, the teeth have lost their enamel and the dentine is exposed. 

A milling carried out in the clinic, conservative and without exposing dentine. 

The difference between the two is quite noticeable even without knowledge of dentistry. The problem is when people, uninformed, believe that they have contracted a veneer service, and in reality they are having this crown grinding done, sometimes because of a lack of understanding between the agencies where these services are contracted and sometimes because their lack of dental knowledge prevents them from knowing the differences between the two. 

That is why it is important to go to a qualified clinic, where we are attended by professionals whom we can understand and who explain to us all the procedures we are going to undergo, in any area related to health. It is this, above all, that leads European dentists to warn against this type of practice. It is a way of proceeding that deontologically is not conceivable for us. 

If a patient asked us to grind down a healthy tooth just for aesthetic reasons, we would refuse, just as a surgeon would never mutilate a patient just because he or she wanted to. 

Another point to note as a difference is the postoperative period. Veneers may be a minimally invasive treatment, but that does not mean that they do not require revision afterwards, and that is how we proceed in most countries in the euro zone. Imagine then the importance of check-ups after the placement of 24 crowns with such aggressive grinding. 

Because of this, there are so many cases of inflammation, abscesses, infections and other complications resulting from these interventions. 

All these points should convince us that it is better to undergo treatment here in Spain than in Turkey, where the only advantage is the price. If you have considered travelling there to undergo one of these treatments, we strongly advise you not to do so, especially for aesthetic reasons. It is better to accept yourself (or save money) than to subject yourself to these risks. 

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