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.
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.
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.”
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