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The Oral Health Foundation has recently launched its Safe Smiles campaign, shining a spotlight on the dangers of opting for cosmetic dental treatments abroad, or attempting DIY methods at home. The scale of the issue and reasons driving people to take dental treatments into their own hands is alarming.

Ultimately, it’s cost savings that make these options seem like attractive alternatives. But the truth is, the only safe and sensible route for dental care is with your trusted UK dentist. Here, we look at the problem and some solutions to help you make the right choice.

Safe Smiles, please
The aim of the Safe Smiles campaign is to highlight that, although cosmetic treatments are safe when carried out by the right professional and in the right environment, very often safeguarding measures are not in place in the same way if you opt for DIY dentistry or treatments abroad.
Among other essential advice, the campaign points out that any cosmetic treatment should be carried out:

  • By someone who is registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) (which is mandatory for qualified dentists in the UK). Only then are they legally able to treat you.
  • With the proper, professional advice around tooth colour, tooth alignment and expected results.
  • Using products sold within your registered dental practice, on your dentist’s advice.

Let’s talk Turkey teeth
You only need to see the stories from victims of procedures gone wrong to understand why the Safe Smiles campaign has been launched. The news is awash with people talking about their “Turkey teeth”, from ending up with a full set of super-white crowns to not being told of the risks and upkeep required.

There are real dangers to consider too. In a survey by the British Dental Council 86% of dentists reported that they have treated patients with complications after travelling abroad for treatment. One in five also said that treatment had cost individuals over £5,000.

These issues are the result of several things. Often, people opting for treatment abroad don’t receive all the information, and in some cases have even been mis-sold treatment plans. Lower hygiene standards abroad may also lead to nasty infections and complications, and the procedure itself may be painful. And ultimately, if things go wrong, there’s unlikely to be any recourse to the foreign clinic, either to correct the issue or get reimbursement.

Your dentist is your safe place
It’s true that cosmetic treatments under the care of UK dentists often do cost more compared to these alternatives, but there are very good reasons for this. The UK sets high standards for dental professionals and they are accountable for your wellbeing.

A qualified dentist, registered with the GDC and monitored by the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC), is obligated to have measures in place to keep you safe, such as stringent infection control procedures, and is also required to complete annual learning activities to develop their knowledge and skills.

All dental practices are also legally obliged to have indemnity or an insurance policy in place just in case something should go wrong.

Budgeting for dental care
Your teeth are an investment for life. It is important to understand that every treatment plan we put together at Ringley Park Dental Practice is uniquely tailored with each patient’s specific needs taken into account. We consider your desired outcome, budget and time expectations.

Within reason, we can discuss various options and adapt your treatment accordingly, or even assist with the cost by budgeting over a period of months while you are under treatment with us.

Don’t assume that your dream smile is out of reach. Call us today to find out more about your options on 01737 240123.