North West Lives Dominated by Appearance of Teeth

Cosmetic concerns have left one in 20 in tears over their pearly whites


THE DRAMATIC extent to which North West lives are adversely impacted by the appearance of their teeth has been revealed in a new survey.


The shock findings show that 18.6% people in the North West are unhappy with their overall smile, a figure that rises to 25% who are unhappy with the condition of their teeth. Almost one in 20 (4.5%) have been reduced to tears because of their teeth.


Perceived dental deficiencies are causing a host of anxieties that affect day-to-day life in an era dominated by Instagram and other photo apps and the survey found that 22% of people in the North West never show their teeth in photos. Even among North West folk who do smile for the camera, nearly one in 20 (4.1%) have used apps to edit the appearance of their gnashers.


Overall, the startling results reveal that image-conscious people in the North West spend huge amounts of time fretting about the appearance of their mouths – an average 45 minutes per week wishing they had better teeth and 40 minutes worrying what other people think of their pearly whites.


The research – which included across Carlisle, Liverpool and Manchester – was commissioned by a leading European dentist, Dr Martina Karlo, who has seen an influx of British patients in the wake of negative reports about failed cosmetic dentistry abroad, dubbed “Turkey teeth”.


Dr Karlo’s hi-tech Dentelli clinic in the sunshine resort of Split, Croatia, is governed by strict EU dental regulations and she said: “It is clear that many Brits are in limbo, unable to get the treatment they want and that has a drastic, negative impact on their lives.


“Our UK patients regularly tell us how they now see themselves through social media and video calls. Likewise Love Island and celebrity culture has changed perceptions of how the ‘ideal smile’ looks.


“I’d say without any hesitation that Britons are more conscious of their teeth than ever before, something that is backed up by these findings.”


The detailed research was conducted by Opinion Matters, among a sample of 2,011 nationally representative UK respondents aged 16 and over – with findings also delving into how dental aesthetics affect an individual’s chance of finding love.


More than 19% of those asked admitted they would not date someone with teeth they considered bad. Meanwhile one in 10 (10.5%) admitted they automatically reject people on dating apps because of their teeth.


Meanwhile, the positive impact of an improved smile was found to be huge, with 46% of respondents admitting they would feel “much more confident” if they had better teeth.


Dr Karlo added: “Every year we see more patients from the UK. Most want treatments they can’t afford at home. We transform their smile, bite, and oral health and that literally changes their life for the better, bringing increased happiness and confidence.”


Visiting Croatia is significantly cheaper than comparative treatment in the UK and crowns, veneers and dental implants are the most popular procedures, with British patient spending on average of £5,320 (€6,000) on treatments at the clinic.


Yet, the survey found that while nearly one in 10 in the North West had considered flying abroad for treatment, various worries prevented many from following through. More than a third (35.5%) are worried about costs, while one in seven (16.8%) are concerned about healthcare standards abroad and more than one in 10 (12.7%) fear results would not look natural.


However, Dr Karlo added: “Our UK clients are reassured by the exacting medical standards and consumer protections offered within EU countries, which are among the most rigorous in the world.


“Unlike some of the cheaper dental tourism hotspots, Croatia is bound by incredibly strict EU laws and regulations. Safety and standards are paramount, which gives patients peace of mind they simply cannot get in places like Turkey.”


Dr Karlo has invested more than a million Euros in her state-of-the-art practice. Dentelli was founded in October 2019 and has an annual turnover of €2 million (£1.78m). The clinic carries out 17,000 procedures each year and most of its 28-strong team – from dentists and nurses to technicians and hygienists – speak fluent English.


In 2022, Split airport welcomed around 500,000 British passengers, more than 17% of its total visitor count which made the UK its second biggest market last year. Direct flights to Split start £111 at Leeds Bradford Airport and £99 at Manchester Airport throughout the summer with an average flight time of around three hours via Jet2.


Most patients work with the clinic to carefully plan their treatment procedures, so that they can enjoy the tourist experience of Split and the surrounding area.

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