Olive Bruce, 61, had issues with her NHS dentist near Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, and looked at alternative options before her daughter’s wedding in 2003.
She found treatment in Budapest, Hungary, was about half the cost of going private in the UK.
Mum-of-four Olive grew up so self-conscious of her teeth that she would never smile before a camera, and wanted her teeth to be fixed before wedding photos.
At primary school she had fallen against a water fountain and twisted a front tooth, causing the nerves to coil around the tooth, resulting in her having major surgery and being advised her top teeth would only last five years.
And she vetoed suggestions of a false tooth as the big day neared.
Olive discovered a clinic in Budapest, Hungary, which was offering treatment for UK patients at up to 70 per cent less than the prices for private dentistry in the UK, and was located above a garage.
Since then she has been out to Budapest on 12 occasions, totting up to 27,960 miles.
She travelled to Budapest with two pals and was initially daunted by the low-key set up - which has now expanded into two purpose built clinics.
But Olive said she had never seen a clinic so hygienic and now incorporates dental work into her holiday plans - and hopes to go back in February.
Olive said: “When I first went it was my husband who suggested it, he did a bit of research.
“I didn’t know what I was going into, it was a culture shock.
“It was above a garage but it was the most hygienic clinic.
“Peter has done all my treatment and he is fantastic.
“My friends and I make it a holiday between January and February, the flights are so cheap.
“It has been a year since I’ve been back.
“I decided to get a new bridge put in with seven teeth which cost £2,400.
“I got a private consultation in the UK and for four teeth, it was £4,000, that was 17 years ago.
“When I was little I would never smile in pictures.
“I always said if I had money I would get my teeth fixed.
“I put it on a credit card.
“I couldn’t stop smiling, because I had these lovely teeth.
“The first time I got married I didn’t smile in the wedding pictures.”
After Olive’s initial consultation a tooth was extracted.
She returned three months later, for ten days to have her dental reconstruction surgery and upper and lower bridge work.
She was delighted with the results, and so was her dentist back home who described it as “first class work”.
All in all the cost was £2,400, more than 50 per cent cheaper than she had been quoted in the UK.
The work had a five-year guarantee,but Olive was lucky enough to have it for 17 years.
Olive said: “When I got upstairs, it was totally different.
“The staff were fantastic making me feel relaxed, including my dentist.
“I couldn’t afford to have the work done back home privately, not with having four children and one getting married.”
She jetted off to Budapest regularly for a check up and also a weekend away.
Olive returned in January this year because she broke a tooth which was part of a bridge during the pandemic, meaning she had to go to a UK dentist instead, but was disappointed.
She said: “It was my own fault as I was eating a toffee, which I normally don’t do.
“It was costing a fortune and it kept coming off.”
In January 2022, when travel restrictions were lifted, Olive returned to Kreativ and got a bargain repair.
And she said the dentistry is so subtle anybody would think it was natural rather than blinding white teeth.
She said: “My Kreativ dentist fixed the tooth for a cost of £120.
“Even with the cost of the work, flights and hotel, it was still less than half of what it would have cost me back home.
“And as the original guarantee had been ten years, I thought I had done well.
“People say ‘you’ve got lovely teeth’.
“I’m delighted with them.”
Olive is planning her next trip to Budapest- for her yearly check up- even though she has no issues.
She added: “I’ve started to look up cheap flights as you can’t get a dental appointment here in Scotland for love nor money.
“When you get one it costs a fortune.”