A rise in complaints about dodgy dental procedures is being blamed on surging demand for the kind of perfect gnashers flashed by Love Island contestants.
On Monday, Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti, both 27, were all pearly-white smiles as millions of fans saw them crowned the winners of the reality dating show.
But trying to look like the buff residents of Love Island has left some people feeling down in the mouth – with a legal firm reporting a sharp increase in complaints about botched veneers and teeth whitening.
The Dental Law Partnership has seen the number of cases double to 202 in a year and boss Chris Dean said: “In the past few years we have seen a large percentage increase in claims for cosmetic dental treatments which have gone wrong.
“No doubt reality shows like Love Island, amplified by social media, have contributed to the dramatic increase.”
The company received 4,816 complaints about poor dentistry in the year to March – up 221 on the previous year.
Grievances to watchdog the General Dental Council rose from 1,134 in 2020 – even though many dentists were closed due to the pandemic – to 1,349 last year.
By the end of 2021, the GDC had 991 active cases, an increase of 51% on 12 months earlier.
Mr Dean said the GDC’s complaints process can be “very slow to reach a resolution” and called on the watchdog to work to speed it up as cases mount.
The GDC has recruited 20 more staff to boost the process and a spokesman said: “We know that fitness to practise cases often take too long to resolve.”
He said this is largely caused by “outdated and prescriptive legislation” and the Government should reform rules.
Last week, a dentist was struck off after a disciplinary panel found he had treated patients for six years without declaring a criminal record.
Majid Kootval, 56, failed to tell the GDC he was convicted in an Australian court in 2016 of attempted fraud, a hearing found.
Previously, he received a five-year ban in Britain in 2009 for practising without insurance cover before working in Australia.
The GDC Committee made “serious findings of dishonesty” against Mr Kootval, who had worked in clinics in Hertfordshire.
Others banned by the watchdog in the past 18 months include Mohammed Amir, a London dentist who claimed on his website that he could cure multiple sclerosis and other serious health conditions through dental treatment. He was ordered to be struck off in December.
Rekha Photay worked at a string of dental practices before she was struck off in May after botching the care of 28 patients. She was found to have carried out poor root canal treatment and wrongly noted she had screened someone for cancer. Ms Photay has launched an appeal against her ban.
Orthodontist Beatrice Luciola received more than £8,500 from two patients in 2017 for treatment – then cancelled the appointments and failed to provide refunds.
Ms Luciola abandoned her patients and returned to Kenya in 2018, where it was believed she was living and practising under her maiden name.
She was initially suspended by the GDC in 2018 but was struck off the dental register for good in May 2021.