The Daily Telegraph
Dental tourists warned over ‘shot in the dark’ after death in Turkey
DENTAL tourists have been warned not to take a “shot in the dark” based on social media smiles, following a death in Turkey.
It is understood a British man died at the weekend, and two others were admitted to hospital, after travelling to Turkey for teeth-whitening treatment.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it was “supporting the family of a British man who has died in Turkey and are in contact with the Turkish authorities”. However, the cause of death remains unclear.
Hundreds of thousands of people from the UK travel overseas for medical treatment each year, with Turkey a popular choice.
Prof Damien Walmsley, a scientific adviser at the British Dental Association, warned people considering such “dental tourism” that they need to be confident that their practitioners are well qualified.
“Word-of-mouth recommendations are invaluable,” he added. “It’s important not to take a shot in the dark based on some of the Photoshopped smiles that do the rounds on social media.
“Many patients who have headed abroad have faced real issues with continuity of care. If things go wrong, you need to know there are safety nets in place, and problems will get sorted.”
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said getting treatment in the UK from a dentist registered with the General Dental Council was a “guarantee of quality and safety”.
He added: “Treatment failure, issues around communication, cross-infection control and regulations around treatment can all vary considerably when getting treatment abroad.”
There is no suggestion that treatment undergone by the British men, or any associating medication, was the cause of death. According to reports, Richard Molloy, 33, from Belfast, died on Saturday and two friends were found unconscious in the Mugla region of Turkey.