Single mum, 47, left with a permanent ‘resting bitch face’ after having teeth knocked out by an abusive ex claims she can finally date again after getting them fixed in Turkey for £11k
- Zoe Greenfield was punched by an ex-partner knocking out her bottom teeth
- The 47-year-old was initially quoted £30,000 to have them fixed in the UK
A single mother left with a ‘resting bitch face’ after having her teeth knocked out by an abusive ex-boyfriend claims she’s finally comfortable enough to date again after getting her smile fixed in Turkey.
Zoe Greenfield, from Leeds, already had dental crowns fitted after chipping her two front teeth as a child on a stone step.
But the 47-year-old lost her bottom two six years ago after being punched in the face by an ex-partner.
Her back teeth were also loosened, causing gaps to form.
Despite having dentures fitted, the mum-of-one felt so self conscious that she would cover her mouth or refuse to even smile.
Zoe Greenfield, from Leeds, already had dental crowns fitted after chipping her two front teeth, around the age of nine on a stone step. But the 47-year-old lost her bottom two teeth six years ago after being punched in the face by an ex-partner
But after being quoted £30,000 to have her teeth fixed in the UK, the primary school teaching assistant instead chose to jet off to Turkey to undergo the procedure for a third of the price
Ms Greenfield said: ‘The main concern, which was why I had them done, was because my two bottom teeth got knocked out when I was punched.
‘I’ve never suffered any form of violence from a partner before but just the one time an ex-partner hit me and knocked out my two bottom teeth and loosed my top back teeth.’
She claimed after she was assaulted that she spent hours in hospital as staff tried to salvage her teeth, before visiting a dentist.
She added: ‘They [the teeth] eventually fell out and it made the other teeth spread, so there were a lot of gaps. I had to wear a plate all the time, so it’s like a small denture with two teeth.
‘That made me really paranoid and it’s not nice to have something like that in, you have to take it out, clean it, and put it back in.’
How much does NHS dentistry cost?
There are 3 NHS charge bands. But NHS dental charges increased by 8.5 per cent, two days ago on April 24.
This is the largest single jump since the current system of charges was introduced in 2006.
Band 1: £25.80
Covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish, and planning for further treatment.
Band 2: £70.70
Covers everything included in Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions).
Band 3: £306.80
Covers all treatment included in Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.
For comparison, check-ups can cost between £20 and £120 at private dentists, according to the consumer group Which?.
Dentures and bridges can also cost up to £2,520, it says.
But after being quoted £30,000 to have her teeth fixed in the UK, the primary school teaching assistant instead chose to jet off to Turkey to undergo the procedure for a third of the price.
She said: ‘When you’re single and you’re older and you think about a relationship, it just really affected me, I just wanted some decent teeth.
‘If I went out drinking or socialising people would always say to me, “oh, just smile”. They thought that I had a resting bitch face and that I was just really miserable.
‘I probably did have a bit of a resting bitch face. I used to cover my mouth with my hand and things like that.
‘But I never wanted to smile because I hated my teeth that much.’
She added: ‘For the past six or seven years I’ve always been paranoid [about my teeth].
‘I’d never smile in photos, I just thought if I had the money then I’d get them done but I didn’t have the money.
‘I got some quotes in England and for the top and bottom you’d be looking at £28-30,000. I couldn’t get it done here as it was just too expensive so I just decided to go to Turkey.’
For decades, Brits have been warned against seeking cheaper surgery in places like Turkey, Eastern Europe, or South East Asia.
Turkey is not inherently more dangerous than other surgical tourism hotspots.
But cheap flights between it and the UK — as well as the rise of the trend combining cosmetic surgery with a holiday — have made it one of the leading destinations for Britons looking to go under the knife.
Yet dozens have required corrective surgery upon return to the UK, costing the taxpayer millions and taking up precious NHS resources.
The procedure in Turkey required Ms Greenfield to have her top and bottom back teeth completely removed and replaced with implants.
She travelled to Turkey last February where she spent a week for the first part of her treatment and had ten implants fitted.
After returning home, she travelled back to the country six months later in November to have them checked over before she had crowns fitted.
Ms Greenfield said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic. I love the result, I can’t complain.
‘It’s just such a confidence boost. I just think that it’s done now and I don’t have to worry about my teeth. I’m probably never going to get tooth ache again for a start.
‘It just makes me feel so much better. I don’t think women are ever 100 percent happy with themselves but it was the main thing that I thought about all the time and now I’ve had it done – it’s just brilliant.
She added: ‘When someone’s talking to me I’m not permanently thinking that they’re looking at the state of my teeth because I’ve got nice teeth.
‘I’ve been single for six years now, I’ve not had a date. I would like to date again but I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter and it’s difficult for me to get out and about and everything like that.
‘It’s just made me more confident about dating. I would definitely go out on dates now, whereas before I probably wouldn’t.’
Cosmetic procedures in Turkey often go at bargain basement prices compared to their British counterparts. Turkey and UK prices have been sourced from multiple websites (model is a stock image)
From ‘extreme’ liposuction to so-called ‘virginity-repair’ surgery, there are a number of cosmetic procedures British surgeons steer clear of. But the same, risky procedures are still offered abroad, including in Turkey
Since posting about her experience online she has also spoken others in England over the phone, who are also curious about undergoing treatment for their teeth in Turkey.
She added: ‘I think everyone’s got a right to be apprehensive [about getting their teeth done] because it’s not a 100 per cent success rate.
‘It might not work for everybody as it depends on the health of your gums and all sorts of different reasons.
‘But it’s so expensive in England to have anything done to your teeth that I think the option of going to Turkey is sometimes the only option that people have.
‘If your teeth are maybe just a little bit bent or not white enough, or really silly little things, I’d never tell anybody to go and get their teeth done because once you’ve filed them down that’s it, you can’t get them back.
‘But then there’s people that have maybe had drug use or those like me who’ve had teeth knocked out, with anything like that I just think that as long as you look into where you’re going, then I would tell people to go, I really would.’
It comes as millions of people in the UK are already struggling to see a dentist.
In recent months, desperate Brits have had to resort to using shoelaces and pliers to pull out their rotting teeth.
NHS dentistry has been in crisis for many years, with industry leaders saying the sector has been chronically underfunded.
But thousands of NHS dentists quit during Covid, and industry polls suggest even more are considering going fully private in the near future.
Dentists argue that under the current contract, it is no longer financially viable to offer NHS procedures because of a lack of Government investment.
Last month, the British Dental Association (BDA) also warned the decaying dental industry was ‘running out of road’ and called on the Government and other parties to ‘commit’ to action to reform the ‘broken’ service.
A ‘discredited’ contract system is fuelling the crisis, according to the BDA.
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