I had wanted to get my teeth knocked into shape ever since I watched the Channel 4 series Ten Years Younger. Fellow viewers will have learned that the state of your teeth ages you more than any amount of wrinkles and that the solution is just a set of pearly white tooth veneers away.
The pull of a nice smile was compelling, but for a long time I was put off by the UK price tag. At £800 a tooth it was just too much to swallow. So rather than break the bank, I decided to join the growing band of Dental Jet Setters.
A little research uncovered a host of cosmetic dentists from Hungary, Poland, Cyprus and India whose per tooth charges range from £150 in Poland to £250 in Cyprus. At that price, I reasoned, I could enjoy a holiday and the dental treatment at the same time.
Out of the four destinations, India wasn’t really a consideration, it seemed too far away. Hungary and Poland seemed to have potential, and offered treatments at the lower cost scale. However, I had been to Cyprus before – a romantic retreat through the town of Paphos tracing the steps of love goddess Aphrodite, and was harbouring fond memories. I could still mentally collate collages of ancient ruins glowing in the sun, mountain peaks coloured with spring flowers, and the fragrance of vineyards and olive groves in old stone villages. Lovely; but back to reality, the deciding factor for me was that no matter how distinctive the Cypriot ethnology is, they have warmly welcomed European culture and more than that, they speak English.
I plumped for the Nicosia Dental Polyclinic clinic based in Cyprus’s capital Nicosia located around 30 minutes from the charms of a Limassol beachside resort, my chosen abode for the week. I had two appointments. My first included a lengthy consultation, x-rays, preparatory work and the placement of temporary teeth. Mario explained the procedure he was about to undertake: “we remove the thin layer of the enamel of each tooth, take an impression and then we create thin porcelain facings which we cement permanently on your existing teeth so that they look bright, in position and close any spaces”.
As the preparatory work progressed Mario attentively asked questions while I sat in the dental chair, mouth wide open, anxiously cradling a saliva hoover, and a dental mirror and numbing-up nicely after the pre-op injection. All I could do was gurgle the odd “ah-ha”, in acknowledgement of his verbal feelers. Three hours later I left the clinic with temporaries in place and set off to enjoy the allure of the fine Mediterranean beaches.
Five days later I returned, a little more tanned and certainly more relaxed, for my second appointment to have the veneers installed. Within two hours I had undergone the smooth transition from ragged to a neat set of front incisors. But it was not completely painless as I had to contend with some tenderness and soreness, a little like a bruise, around the surrounding gums. This lasted for a week or so.
Still, chilling out around a pool enjoying the last two days of Cypriot hospitality helped the healing process no end, so I wasn’t really too down-in-the-mouth to enjoy a cocktail.
What it costs
|Accommodation||£0||£615 double room 5*|
Choosing a dentist abroad
- Before embarking on any trip find out about qualifications and speak to the practice before you even consider going ahead. A good practice should be able to put you in touch with former patients happy to talk to you. Ask to see before and after pictures.
- Check on other costs, such as consultation fees.
- Make sure you have a full check-up before undertaking any treatment.
- For a veneer or bleaching, a good dentist should complement the shade with your skin tone using a colour chart.
- Ensure you allow enough time for treatment. Having treatment within the early part of the holiday will allow you to have a consultation before flying back and ensure there is enough time for any further minor treatment if required.
- Ensure that the dentist gives you a full report on the dental treatment carried out.
- Do have a look at the clinic before being treated, it is important that you feel comfortable before proceeding with the treatment.
- If you are able to get an OPG (x-ray of your mouth) from you local dentist (between £25-£75), most dentists abroad will be able to give you an accurate cost on the dental treatment required.