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Why I drove from England to Croatia in the middle of the COVID crisis!

This unbelievable story arose in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is proof that the Croats are among the world’s friendliest people!

It all began after setting the date of his wedding in Great Britain. The groom was determined to have a bright smile for the big day, and contacted our clinic in Zagreb.

The hero of our story, Patrick

However, after several cancelled flights, and his wedding date fast approaching, Patrick did not want to take any risks and be left without his dazzling smile. So he set off for Croatia. The minute they opened the borders, he decided on the spot to head off on an unknown route 2000 km long from England to Zagreb. As he says, it was the best decision of his life!

How did it all begin?

It all began when he decided he wanted to have a beautiful and healthy smile for his wedding day. It wasn't easy beating a fear of the dentist overnight. Fear is one of the main reasons why people avoid the dentist, and this was the case for Patrick. Since dental work is so expensive in Great Britain, Patrick decided to send out inquiries to dental clinics abroad, in order to compare prices and find out how long his procedure would take. He sent a very simple inquiry to our clinic:

“Hello! My name is Patrick and my teeth are really poor. I am 60 years old and getting married on July 25th this year. Can you give me a new smile for my wedding day?”

They say that the Croats are known far and wide as warm people, and he became convinced of this during the first telephone call, where he received a detailed explanation of the procedure and what he could expect.

“I was really frightened of going to the dentist, but I looked at all the pictures of patients who had been in a similar situation. They kept saying that the procedure was not painful, and had they known that earlier, they would have gone to Dentum earlier. That encouraged me to take the first step – I contacted the clinic. After a very friendly telephone call that completely calmed me, I booked an appointment for the procedure at the clinic in Croatia and booked my plane ticket in March. I decided that I would have a new opportunity and a new smile. I thought that nothing could stop me anymore from getting a new smile.”

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, taking the entire world by surprise and disrupting Patrick’s plans in the meantime. All air transport was cancelled, and it was no longer possible to travel to Croatia by air. All the EU countries began to close their borders, one by one, and the situation was not promising. Not only could he not come to Croatia for the procedure, but there was also a big chance that the wedding would have to be cancelled.

The airline offered him new flight dates, and every time gave him new hope that he could set off on the journey towards his new smile. But those dates were quickly cancelled too.

After several cancelled flights, Patrick did not want to wait any longer, and made the decision to drive more than 2000 kilometres from England to Zagreb to get his new smile!

Patrick arrived in Zagreb after a 2-day drive

Though no one believed that he would do this, he was decisive in his plan to come to Zagreb for his new smile. He spent a week at our clinic, where we made sure he had comfortable accommodations within the clinic. And that is how Patrick, after a 2-day drive and one week procedure, received his new smile and a priceless new experience.

Patrick with his dentist Andrej Božić

Patrick’s resolution and courage was inspiring to the entire Dentum dental clinic, and left a huge impact on our work.

This is what Patrick had to say before returning home to England.

“Thank you all! You have changed my life and I have never been as happy as I am today. My new smile looks fantastic and I have to admit that I cried like a baby last night out of happiness (even though otherwise I am not an emotional person). I am thinking of all you wonderful people and this place that has changed me forever, and which will always remain in my heart. <3. Thank you all!”

Patrick returned home safe and sound, touching base along the way with his new friends from Dentum, to tell us where he was and so that we would be sure he made it home safely.

Patrick at a rest stop in Germany on his way home

“Patrick, we just want to say ‘Thank you!’ We look forward to seeing the photos from your wedding, and seeing you again in September! The whole Dentum team will always remember this unbelievable situation!”

Dentum Clinic team

A good word goes a long way, and this story is just one of many about how respected our dentists are worldwide. Patrick proved that anything is possible, and just how important a beautiful and healthy smile is.

Watch the short video in which Patrick speaks about his grand adventure!