Dangers of visiting non-certified 'dentists'

A woman nicknamed 'wheelie bin teeth' by bullies has got her smile back after a dentist flew her to Turkey for life-changing surgery - when they spotted her on TikTok - forming part of a new trend of UK citizens flying to Turkey for dentistry; known as 'Turkey Teeth'.

Paige Griffin, 26, had been teased for her 'yellow, black and brown' teeth since primary school and the nasty comments continued as an adult.

The mum-of-one struggled to work as a sales consultant due to fear of showing her teeth during sales and would never smile with her teeth on show.

Over the years she went to various dentists who couldn’t find a cause for her stained teeth, and the trolling followed her onto social media when she set up a TikTok page.

Paige’s social media was bombarded with nasty comments – including, ‘yellow teeth’ and ‘wheelie bin teeth’ - but some sympathetic followers suggested she set up a GoFundMe page for dental support and Paige successfully raised £400.

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Woman bullied over 'wheelie bin teeth' has credited TikTok trend for saving her smile Woman bullied over 'wheelie bin teeth' has credited TikTok trend for saving her smile

Paige had almost given up hope when she received a message from SmileDental in May 2022 – a dentist in Turkey – who offered to give her a new set of crowns and porcelain veneers for free – saving her £5,030 to give Paige her smile back.

She flew over for the life-changing surgery with her partner, Rhys, 21, an ex-army officer, drainage enigneer, on the 31st May 2022 – where she also had nine fillings and two teeth taken out.

The Turkish dentists informed Paige that the real cause of the stained teeth was due to gum disease, which had been neglected by Paige’s previous dentists.

She is now overjoyed with the results and said she is finally able to smile with confidence for the first time in her life.

The stay-at-home mum, from Walsall, Birmingham, said: “I was blown away that a stranger could offer such kindness.

"I feel like I've finally got my smile back.

"I've refused to smile with my teeth on show my whole life but now I can't stop beaming.

“I’ve never had a single ounce of good luck, so at first, I didn’t believe them when they reached out.

“It’s completely changed my life.”

After joining Tiktok in April 2021, hate and 'nasty comments' about her teeth flooded her profile.

Paige said: “For years, people said I had wheelie bin teeth - because I had one black, one brown and one green.

“I just wanted to be loved and liked, and my teeth prevented me from finding love and friendships.

“I was tormented and resented myself.”

In May 2022, Paige got a message from SmileDental, a dental practice in Turkey, who offered to give her a new set of crowns and veneers for free.

SmileDental acknowledged the suffering that Paige was enduring online, and wanted to help as much as they could.

Despite being reluctant at first, thinking it was a scam, she soon felt confident to accept the offer after checking their 69.7k Instagram following and realising it was legitimate.

Paige was told the entire cost was around £5,030 and that ‘she didn’t need to worry about a thing.’

She said: “I never thought that I would ever be able to afford such an expensive surgery.

“I was shocked by how much the whole procedure would’ve cost.”

In May 2022, Paige flew to Turkey with partner, Rhys, and was greeted at the airport by one of the driver or the dentist.

“I felt like a celebrity - they had a sign and everything,” she said.

The TikToker said she had nine filings and two teeth extracted before the process began.

She said: “My teeth were filed down, and I was given veneers a day later.”

Paige returned home on 8th June 2022 and surprised her followers on TikTok live with her new smile.

She said: “For the first time, the haters were drowned out by positive support and compliments.

“I never thought I could be considered ‘beautiful’ and now I am.”

A comparison of Paige's teethSWNS

After a couple of weeks back in the UK, Paige highlighted the noticeable change in her confidence.

“I can smile at strangers in Tesco with confidence,'' she explained.

“I can take photos and smile with my son for the first time.”

We followed up with SmileDental Turkey for a comment on their experience with Paige.

The Senior Patient Coordinator, Hasan Sarıtekelir, organised the flights, surgery and hotel for Paige.

He said: "We had an incredible experience, so did she.

“We strived to empathise with her.

“The process started with a coincidence in fact, and being very parallel to our goals as an enterprise.

“We simply wanted to be a figure in her life, a part of her wonderful smile."

SWNS reporting by Finley MacKenzie

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