I was left with horrific teeth after being too scared to go to the dentist for 20 years | The Sun

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR who had "horrific" teeth and was unable to close her mouth for decades has finally found confidence after travelling to Turkey for dental treatment.

Leona Clarke, 41. was subject years of bulling over her mouth to which people would call her "horse teeth".

On top of this, the stay-at-home mum was terrified of the dentist meaning she avoided getting her teeth seen for 20 years.

"I remember hearing the drill as it went through my body like someone scratching on a board, I was petrified and in a lot of pain,” she explained.

After suffering with gingivitis – a common and mild form of gum disease -Leona, from London had to undergo an intense deep cleaning.

The mum claims the clean receded her gums and caused her front teeth to stick out.

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In a bid to fix her smile, in 2020 Leona spoke to UK dentists who said she needed "all fours" fitted – otherwise known as implants and crowns. 

Medics quoted her an eye-watering £22,000 for the procedure.

That's when the mum came across a practice in Turkey offering her implants, a bone graft, sinus lift and crowns at £6,000.

"My teeth were horrific, they were big, bulky and embarrassing,” Leona said.

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The mum was put off visiting the dentist after several “bad experiences” as a child which “traumatised” her. 

“I have been terrified of drills and dentists for decades,” she explained.

"However, I had never actually thought about getting my teeth fixed until my step-sister mentioned it," she said.

The mum said she had "zero confidence" and would avoiding smiling in photos.

"I was referred to as having horse teeth which stuck like glue in my head and even started seeing this myself when I looked in the mirror," she explained.

"Since my surgery, everything has been great and I can eat what I like, as well as never having toothache again.

"The Turkey clinic said I would need quite a lot of work, as I had bone loss and that I'd need two visits, with a 10-day stay for each," she said.

In March that year, Leona made the lengthy journey and underwent the eight-hour procedure – where doctors removed all but four of her teeth.

She said: "Sitting in the chair was actually okay, and not understanding what the surgeon and nurse were speaking about kind of helped.

"I was excited and anxious at the same time, excited for the outcome but anxious about feeling or hearing anything."

She added: “They removed all my teeth, apart from four which they left in for a frame and they ground my own teeth into a paste.

"They used this to rebuild my bone for the graft and I also had 12 implants, as well as a sinus lift in the first surgery.

"I was very confused as I woke up and the next few days were tough, as I was quite swollen and I couldn't eat anything."


So-called “Turkey teeth

Turkey teeth is the a trend where people are travelling to Turkey to get crowns.

It involves shaving the teeth to almost 70 per cent to get that perfect smile.

In Turkey the treatment comes at a much cheaper rate compared to similar dental procedures in countries like UK.

Leona also had four root canals and was sent home with temporary teeth and told to return five months later for her second round of treatment.

In August 2020, her temporary teeth, as well as the remaining natural ones were removed, before caps were placed on the implants.

She said: "The healing process took three months, so eating was quite hard. 

“I had to purée my food for the first six weeks,” she explained. 

"I remember taking my children to McDonald’s, and all I wanted was a French fry, so I sucked the potato out and discarded the crunchy outside."

Now, Leona is overjoyed with her new look and says it has boosted her confidence.

She added: "I have personally sent others to my surgeon for the same treatment, one being my cousin who has finished and another two of my friends. It's like a domino effect.

"I would say to anyone thinking of having it done, to really research the clinic and ask to speak with patients who have had the procedure.

"I'm so happy – and my smile shows this."

Leona’s four children are also thrilled to see their mum finally confident with her smile.

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She said: "They actually came on the half of my journey with me in August. 

My older two told me how I looked so different, how my whole face had changed shape, ‘mum you look so different your whole face has changed shape, they look so good’.

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