The Daily Telegraph

Den­tal tourists warned over ‘shot in the dark’ af­ter death in Turkey

- By Sam Mead­ows Con­sumer Af­fairs editor Health · Middle East News · Medical Treatments · Turkey · Commonwealth of Nations · Commonwealth of England · United Kingdom · Jimmy Carter · Belfast · British Dental Association · Health Foundation · Mugla

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.

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