‘Irreversible Damage’ Caused To Woman Who Spent Life Savings On Dental Surgery Abroad

Inquiry Found Dental Treatment In Budapest Caused Irreversible Damage To Healthy Teeth


Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell stress the importance of seeking early legal advice after a woman spent her life savings on dental surgery abroad that has now ruined her healthy teeth.

Jackie Stokes, from Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, said she had spent £9,500 on implants in Hungary, but an inquiry found the treatment caused "irreversible damage" to healthy teeth.

Mrs Stokes told the BBC that she was advised by an NHS dentist to have implants, but because the treatment wasn’t available on the NHS, she went to Hungary for the surgery as her friend had previously been there.

Mrs Stokes had implants in her upper jaw and crowns on eight teeth in her lower jaw, over two trips to Budapest, and on her second visit in June 2013, she said she was left with a "bulldog bite" - a gap between her gums and upper teeth through which food would seep.

The implants failed and were later removed - she now has to wear dentures. In total, Mrs Stokes said she had 27 visits to the dental group over four years.

Dentist Dr Zsolt Csillag, who carried out Mrs Stokes’ surgery, was given a one year supervision order by the General Dental Council.

The General Dental Council found Dr Csillag should not have put crowns on her eight lower teeth because they were healthy.

In relation to Mrs Stokes and another patient, his treatment plan for them included "irreversible damage to otherwise healthy teeth", the investigation found.

However, restrictions placed on Dr Csillag can only be imposed when he is working in the United Kingdom.

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, international personal injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“What happened to Mrs Stokes is truly awful. I have first-hand experience in dealing with complaints of negligent cosmetic and dentistry procedures abroad and the results can be particularly traumatic.
“Although having surgery abroad can be a tempting cheaper alternative if a procedure is not on the NHS here, we must stress the importance and worth of your health. With treatment overseas, it is particularly important to seek early legal advice if things do go wrong, to ensure you can receive the specialist legal advice and compensation that is rightfully deserved.

“To raise awareness of the implications of going abroad for surgery, we have put together a top 10 guide on what to consider before you have any cosmetic procedure abroad such as meeting with the practitioner beforehand, and making sure to ask what aftercare is involved. We hope that this simple guide will prevent such shocking cases such as Mrs Stokes’ in the future.”
Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, Associate

Cheryl Palmer-Hughes will be talking about the dangers of undergoing surgery abroad at The Anti-Ageing Health and Beauty Show in London on May 14 and 15 as a guest speaker.