Aesthetic Dentistry Expert – the ‘dark side’ of crowns

With the issue of Turkey Teeth being a hot topic at the moment, Manrina Rhode discusses the complications of dental crowns that every patient needs to be aware of.

Welcome back to part two of the ‘dark side’ of cosmetic dentistry.

And keeping in line with porcelain veneers, crowns and smile makeovers, and moving on from composite bonding to what what a lot of patients are going to end up going forward. Obviously,

I don’t know how many of you saw the Turkey Teeth documentary I was part of, a documentary on BBC – it’s still on Iplayer.

It’s a brilliant documentary. I was on there as the veneer expert and and it was shocking.

You can see how shocked I am. I come in at 16 minutes and I didn’t know the results until they were filming. It was just crazy.

This presenter – she’s also a dentist and she has these beautiful teeth. She sent her pictures to all these clinics in Turkey and the number of them that recommended she has 20 zirconia crowns!

So they wanted to cut down this young dentist, I think she’s 25 years old, with a perfect smile for 20 zirconia crowns.

Restorative spiral

In my experience, patients who have come in to see me who have gone for these treatments, they often go to Turkey for discount deals. It could be £2,500 or £4,000 with transfers and hotels included.

They end up getting their teeth drilled down to pegs. Sometimes they don’t even get temporaries – they wait for a day or two and then they get these crowns put on for them.

With the work that I’ve seen, there’s a high number of root canals that these people have needed afterwards with the amount of ledges that have left. They’ve developed gum disease or periodontal disease because of the treatment that they’ve had done.

That is a really serious pandemic in itself.

How long is it going to be before they go down this restorative spiral and their teeth aren’t restorable anymore?

And then what’s going to happen? Are they going to take the teeth out? If we take the teeth out, what are we going to replace them with? So again, we come back.

I often talk about how in my grandparents generation, it was quite common for people to have periodontal disease and lose their teeth due to that disease and end up needing dentures.

I think that’s less common now. Certainly in my parents’ generation, people were better educated, they were cleaning better, and less likely to lose their dentition.

What do we do?

But I feel like life has taken a spiral like so often it does. And now people are going and getting these small makeovers done, usually abroad.

This is because we’re really heavily regulated in the UK so that you’re less likely to have a treatment plan for 20 zirconia crowns on a perfect mouth in the UK.

But they’re going to get these treatments done. And then by their 50s they’re going to lose their teeth. And then what are we going to do?

Are we going to go back to dentures? I don’t know that they’ll be able to afford implant retained prostheses at the moment – that’s a really expensive treatment to go through for anyone.

These are all the things to think about the dark side of cosmetic dentistry.

Catch up with previous Aesthetic Dentistry Expert columns:

  • The dark side of composite bonding
  • Making the most of aesthetics in 2023
  • What is the Hollywood Smile?
  • ‘Turkey teeth’, Jack Fincham and the realities of discounted treatments
  • Can veneers fix crooked teeth?

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