Turkish clinic reports surge in Britons seeking dental treatment


he number of Britons travelling to Turkey for dental treatment has soared amid long waits on the NHS, according to figures from a Turkish provider.

Dentakay, which has four dental hospitals in Istanbul, has reported an almost hundredfold increase in the number of British patients in four years.

In 2019, the provider treated just 15 patients but treated over 1,400 by the end of 2022.

The clinic fitted 195 crowns to UK patients in 2019, a figure it expects to top 23,000 this year, and 18 implants in 2019 compared to over 3,800 this year.

Last year the Standard reported how Londoners and those living in the commuter belt were the least likely to have seen an NHS dentist in the past two years. Nine of the ten areas with the fewest number of adults to have seen an NHS dentist in the two years to June 2022 were in the capital, according to NHS dental statistics.

Separate figures analysed by the Liberal Democrats found that there are just 4.6 NHS dentists per 100,000 people in London.

With only NHS 4,179 dentists serving over 9 million Londoners, the party estimates that each practitioner therefore now has over 2,100 patients under their direct care.

Dentakay is planning to open a consultation centre in London in response to the rise in British patients using its service.

It will offer face-to-face assessment as well as X-rays and any other necessary examinations eeded prior to treatment. Patients will be treated in Turkey but receive aftercare in the UK.

Dentakay’s founder Dr Gulay Akay said: “We have seen an extraordinary growth in British patients coming to Turkey for dental treatment in recent years – a hundredfold increase since 2019.

“This is driven by a growing awareness of the high quality of treatment available here, the cost savings that can be achieved during a cost of living crisis, and the problems people have in accessing NHS care.”

The trend of “Turkey teeth” has exploded online with Britons turning to the country for cheaper treatment – though some have reported serious complications following their treatment. These have occasionally resulted in patients seeking treatment in the NHS for their damaged teeth.

However, no patients using Dentakay have reported any dental issues subsequent to their treatment.

Dr Akay said the London centre would offer “high quality Turkish dental treatment and prices of up to 50 to 80 per cent less than UK private clinics”.


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