How I WhatsApped my way to a Hollywood smile!

A Hollywood smile… a new set of teeth… 4 on 4, zirconia crowns and titanium implants… you may be familiar these terms, especially if you are looking for a complete dental makeover. These are all terms I was searching for in my quest to ditch my dentures.

To be honest I wasn’t necessarily looking for a Hollywood smile, I just wanted functional teeth that would be halfway decent! And, most importantly at a price I could afford. Today I am so delighted with my new smile that I can’t help sharing the process with others looking for a similar result.

Holywood Smile. Al Gibson Turkey Teeth before and after

With several missing teeth I realised I had to do something to fill the gaps in my mouth. I visited my local dentist in Exeter who recommended implants. This led to me going to see an implant specialist. He was concerned about whether I had sufficient bone density. I was concerned about what it would cost. Thousands per tooth I imagined and I was right. However with the offer of an easy payment plan, treatment was at least doable.

However fixing one or two teeth wasn’t going to help that much. I figured if I was going to have implants I should go all out.  I discovered there are dental surgeries in the UK that provide a full mouth solution or a Hollywood smile as it has come to be known. This is the process of treating all teeth in one’s mouth so there is nothing missing and the teeth are all the same colour ie – perfect white teeth as one would expect from a famous actor. 

This sounded like a dream come true. The allure of having a Hollywood smile was quite tempting never mind the cost. And cost they do in Topsham where I was quoted £38 for both jaws. I couldn’t justify that in comparison to other priorities, so I spent weeks searching for the best possible package at the most affordable price.

A tempting offer was to achieve this Hollywood smile in a day… an 8-hour+ appointment when teeth are removed, implants inserted and teeth are fitted. It sounds too good to be true and that probably is the case! Fortunately I discovered another way and funnily enough the whole process was negotiated and delivered by WhatsApp. But more about that in a minute.

A local Devon dentist was advertising a Hollywood smile on a special deal. I went along to see. £20 K per jaw however a saving of £2K if you did both jaws. This translated to a colossal £38K, a fortune that I could not justify spending on myself. Just think what that could do for my children / grandchildren if I had that kind of disposable income to spend on them. I didn’t and certainly would not spend so much on myself.

A Hollywood Smile by WhatsApp

I had heard about ‘Turkey teeth’ but mostly horror stories of pain, ill fitting teeth etc. one day seeing a Hollywood smile advertised on social media. I decided to at least make an enquiry. All I had to do was send a WhatsApp message…

Following a friendly trans-continental reply I sent selfies of my teeth through to Türkiye to get a quote. It was great to have a contact person who I could chat to and discuss all the options, messanging backwards and forwards to get answers to my many questions.

They were also having a New Years’ special with a limited time offer. The amount was far, far less than anything I had been quoted in the UK. In fact it was less than a quarter.  And surprisingly enough it included hotel accommodation. All I had to do to clinch the deal was to provide a 10% deposit.

I couldn’t believe the passibility of having a Hollywood smile if I was prepared to take a risk and travel abroad . Of course there was no guarantee, but I was reassured by reading several reviews and seeing loads of before and after pics. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and send through my deposit.

I figured I could have a holiday in a country I’d never visited before and experience a different culture, cuisine, etc all while transforming my mouth. A no brainer really to kill so many birds with one stone!  

So I paid the deposit to secure the deal at the special discounted price. I wasn’t quite ready to travel due to various factors. I thought I’d leave it to the summer not realising the plane tickets would be more expensive at that time. I finally secured dates in October. An ideal time to go and extend one’s summer with a bit more sunshine.

Holywood Smile. Al Gibson Turkey Teeth holiday

Funny thing I never spoke to anyone – it was all arranged through WhatsApp. From payment through to travel arrangements to airport pick up. I was assigned a liaison personal who kept in touch with me throughout the process taking care of every arrangement. There was a bit of a language barrier of course however it was well managed with everything being overseen by my contact person.

I was instantly impressed when I arrived at the dental surgery in Izmir. Of course I had seen photos of the facility but it looked even better in person. It was more like a spa than a medical facility.  Everything was slick and span with glistening marble floors. Spotless facilities and a comfortable waiting room that was more like a cafe! All this indicated a very high level of service. 

Holywood Smile. Al Gibson Turkey Teeth Dental Surgery

My initial consultation went well and after my X rays had been taken I had some surprising results. At age 60 I was planning to have all my teeth out, implants inserted with a complete denture for each jaw. However my dentist didn’t think that was ethical. She wanted to preserve my natural teeth where possible. Her diagnosis was for me to have an extraction, six implants, three root canal treatments and 18 crowns. 

It was going to cost a bit more than I was quoted but I decided to trust the process and go with her recommendation. From the start it was clear that this was not a place where any corners were going to be cut and that I would receive a high level of treatment.

Treatment would begin that afternoon with a maxilla facial surgeon taking care of the implants. He would also do the molar extraction. This turned out to be something of an ordeal. Not with regard to the implants which was comfortable enough. I just had a very stubborn deep seated molar that wasn’t moving for anything. After a few top up injections and some unpleasant clinching it finally gave way. I left the theatre feeling like my mouth had been hit by a bus. I am not going to lie, at that point I felt so sorry for myself, I wondered why I had ever agreed to the treatment. But these feelings were short lived. I was given ice packs a box of formidable pain killers and 1000 mg antibiotic to ensure there was no infection. 

The worst was over – and I could spend the rest of my week in Turkey relaxing. Exploring the beautiful waterfront in Izmir and going on historical excursions. I discovered it is actually the ancient city of Smyrna with Ephesus and Pergammon as neighbouring cities  These are mentioned in the Bible as some of the 7 Churches of Revelation. So my autumn sunshine holiday became a bit of an archeological excursion as I visited several historical sites.

I went home with my original teeth minus one and as well as my existing denture and was instructed to come back in six months once the implants had healed. A long wait I know, but I realise now so much better than the Hollywood smile in a day option. I was doing things properly and the result would be worth waiting for.

I have just returned from my second trip with a brand new set of teeth and I am delighted with the result. Once again everything arranged by WhatsApp from booking the treatment to the airport transfers and the daily shuttle between hotel and dentist.

Again there were unpleasant times sitting in a dental chair for hours at a time. But they did everything they could to make me feel as comfortable as possible topping up local anaesthetic as needed.  I wouldn’t say it was painful, but a couple of times I did want to run. A bit like ‘I am a celebrity get me out of here.’

Ok I am not a celebrity although I now have a Hollywood smile because I persevered through the tough bits. ‘No pain no gain’ they say and that is true.  Ultimately it was 100 percent worthwhile.

After shots by Martin Bartnicki Brand Photography

My Turkish dentist spoke little English but she was a perfectionist who was meticulous in ensuring that my new set of teeth fitted exactly. This required three sets of ‘rehearsals’ where my bite was checked what seemed like hundreds of times. 

This was done in conjunction with a dental technician who was constantly working on getting the crowns right. ‘Enough already’ I thought but I am glad they took the time to ensure they got the bite right! And incidentally I didn’t go for the bright white Hollywood smile. I rather chose a colour more natural to my age. The dentist was pleased that I decided to be different- as they now have before and after photographs that show a less dramatic but still amazing set of teeth.

If you are considering the Hollywood Smile route and need some first hand reassurance then email me at hello@devonbusiness.news and I would be happy to put you in touch with the service I used as I can vouch for their high standard of service and value for money.

Al Gibson recently travelled from Devon to Türkiye as a dental tourist. He shares his experience and how he returned with a Hollywood Smile! If you would like to know more, Al can be contacted via email at hello@devonbusiness.news

Also read: 10 FREE things you can do right now to promote your business in Devon

Al Gibson

The founder of Countdown Creative, Alistair Gibson is an expert communicator who has learned how to harness principles of traditional journalism with the power of today’s digital media platforms. He has lived in Devon for 15 years and worked in Plymouth and Exeter.

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