October 23, 2016, 12:18 PM|On October 23, 1814, 202 years ago today, London doctor Joseph Carpue performed what is widely…
A man has said he had to replace a broken crown using a £3.99 dentistry kit bought on the internet.
Antony Watson, from Bridlington, is not registered with an NHS dentist and said he cannot afford private treatment.
Meanwhile, Alex Gray, from Lincolnshire, said he had now pulled out six teeth with pliers after failing to find an NHS dentist.
A Department of Health spokesperson said the government was committed to improving access to dental care.
Mr Watson said his tooth broke over 20 years ago. It was crowned, but broke again when he bit into a cookie, he said.
He said he “definitely couldn’t afford” to pay for private treatment “on the spot”, forcing him to look elsewhere for a solution.
In Bridlington, two dental practices have shut down in the past three months, leaving the town with only one NHS practice – although it is not taking on any new NHS patients. For those who are able to afford private treatment there are waiting lists.
Mr Watson said he did a search on the internet and there were a range of home dentistry kits on offer. “I picked the best one for me, which was probably one of the cheapest but also one of the easiest ones to do, and I thought yup, next day delivery, I’ll have that.”
The kit contained a 20g bag of plastic beads.
Explaining the steps he took, Mr Watson said: “You boil a kettle, you put the beads into the water. The beads then go together and go real soft and clear. You then shape it around your tooth and let it cool down.
“With the size of my tooth, it took five beads.”
Mr Watson said he used super glue to secure it in place.
Despite accidentally gluing a finger, Mr Watson – who said he had fallen off the books of an NHS dentist several years ago after missing “a couple of appointments” – insisted he would not hesitate to repeat the process.
Meanwhile, retired roofer Mr Gray revealed he has resorted to pulling out six of his own teeth, using pliers and painkillers.
“Teeth don’t last forever,” said Mr Gray. “I can’t be the only one who has to take out their own teeth but what else can I do?”
He explained that when a tooth “starts to fall out” he takes painkillers and “waits until it goes numb”, before using pliers to extract it.
He told the BBC he has been unable to find an NHS dentist after moving to Lincolnshire six years ago.
“I paid my National Insurance all my working life and I can’t see a dentist?” said the retired industrial roofer.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are determined to make sure everybody seeking NHS dental care can receive it when they need it, and we have recently implemented dental reforms to deliver this, with the GP Patient Survey showing over 75% of patients who tried to get a dental appointment in the last two years were successful.
“The number of dentists practising in the NHS increased by over 500 last year and we are continuing work to improve access to dental care – backed by more than £3bn annually.”