Protecting your smile: What to know about dental tourism

Written by: Dr Sheraz Aleem
Edited by: Sophie Kennedy

With dental tourism on the increase, the importance of selecting a safe destination to undergo treatment cannot be overstated. In this informative guide, Dr Sheraz Aleem, a renowned cosmetic dentist and founder of the highly esteemed TKC Dental Clinics, urges individuals to be cautious about the potential risks associated with allowing dentists shave and damage their teeth in veneer treatments.

What is dental tourism?

Dental tourism, travelling to undergo dental treatment, has gained immense popularity, drawing people seeking to improve their smile to various destinations including Turkey, Eastern Europe, and even London for dental procedures. My clinic, which is based in London, attracts between 30 and 40 per cent of patients from across the globe. However, there is great need for careful consideration when choosing a destination and practitioner to undergo your treatment.

Why do some dentists shave down teeth, even though it is a potentially harmful practice?

Personally, I advocate for awareness about alternative, non-invasive techniques that do not require any cutting of teeth. This is crucial as patients often find themselves unaware and uninformed about the available options during dental procedures.

There are significant downsides of teeth shaving, including potential long-term complications, such as root canals and tooth loss, as well as the expenses that patients may incur in resolving these problems. Conducting thorough research to ensure you are well informed about the wide range of safe and non-invasive dental procedures available is key. The high rate of post-procedure issues, particularly resulting from treatment from popular dental tourism destinations like Turkey, is very frustrating to see.

There are a number of reasons why some practitioners continue to perform procedures involving teeth shaving, including key factors like experience and ceramist limitations, as well as a quick turnaround of patients, low price points and pursuit of higher profits.

Quality dental treatment requires time and attention to detail in order to achieve natural-looking results, and unfortunately, this level of dedication may be compromised in high-demand, low-cost dental clinics.

How is the trend of dental tourism evolving?

Patients seeking quality dental treatment are becoming increasingly aware of the key risk factors, and therefore are seeking reputable clinics in destinations like London to undergo dental care. In my own practice, I provide non-cutting veneers, a procedure that involves zero cutting or shaving of the teeth, ensuring a reversible and damage-free outcome. As an experienced practitioner, it is easy to observe the stark contrast between the craftsmanship of a master ceramist, as seen in my clinic, and the machine-made, low-quality alternatives found in some dental tourism destinations.

I encourage my patients to appreciate the natural beauty of their smiles. For those wishing to undergo treatment, I believe a personalised approach to smile design is key. This takes time and meticulous planning so as to achieve both aesthetic appeal and functional efficiency of your teeth going forward.

Dental procedures are a long-term investment in your wellbeing. While many people may find the low cost of treatment in other countries appealing, the longevity of high-quality veneers make them a worthwhile investment. For those wishing to improve the appearance of their smile, I strongly recommend seeking a consultation with a confident, experienced and recommended dentist who prioritises patient wellbeing over a mass-production approach.

Dr Aleem practises at two highly respected clinics in London, which he himself founded - TKC – The Knightsbridge Clinic and TKC – The Kensington Clinic.

To schedule a consultation with Dr Aleem, visit his Top Doctors profile today.

By Dr Sheraz Aleem

Dr Sheraz Aleem is a highly respected cosmetic dentist based in London. He is renowned for his expertise in porcelain veneers and dental implants, including all-on-4/6 dental implants. He additionally performs orthodontics, Invisalign, fixed braces and general dentistry treatments.

Dr Aleem qualified in dentistry from Kings College London in 2003 before going on to complete further training at internationally esteemed centres in both the UK and the USA. This included both the highly revered Pankey essentials continuum in Miami and a three month aesthetic continuum at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has also obtained certification in restorative dentistry from University College London’s Eastman Dental Institute and is highly skilled in implant dentistry having trained at the renowned Tatum Institute. Additionally, Dr Aleem has undertaken extensive training in smile design, Invisalign and orthodontics. With his many years of experience, clinical expertise and continuous professional development, he is highly skilled in employing state-of-the-art techniques and technology to achieve excellent results for his patients. He regularly takes on complex cases, with patients travelling from far and wide to undergo his expert dental care.

With a passion for excellence in tailor-made dental treatment at the heart of his practice, Dr Aleem founded TKC – The Knightsbridge Clinic and TKC – The Kensington Clinic in central London. Offering cutting-edge dental treatments with world class patient care, the highly esteemed clinics are widely revered for their quality service and the superior and long lasting results achieved using non-invasive techniques.

Dr Sheraz Aleem is mostly known for the non-cutting veneers he offers, which cannot be found anywhere else in the UK. The veneers do not damage the teeth and provide exceptional natural finish. Thanks to his exclusive partnership with a world renowned master ceramist in California, USA, Dr Aleem is able to offer this treatment.

A keen proponent of dental innovation, Dr Aleem is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and regularly attends key international conferences of fellow experts. In recognition of his skill and dedication to his practice, he was shortlisted for a Smile Award in 2012.

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