Would you resort to DIY dentistry? 20% of people say they would pull their own teeth out because they can’t afford a dentist

One in five people have admitted they would pull out their own teeth, risking infection and other complications, because they can’t afford to go to the dentist.

The British Dental Health Foundation has issued a stark response to the findings, warning about the ‘senseless’ examples which have seen people pull out the wrong tooth and end up with infections as they resort to using doorknobs and string to yank out painful and infected teeth.

In the last two years 56 per cent of the population have had a dental examination – with a large proportion of patients avoiding trips to the dentist because they are worried about the spiralling costs of treatment.

A survey of more than 2,000 people by the British Dental Health Foundation revealed 17 per cent would remove the tooth themselves, and four per cent would opt for asking a friend to do so.

Almost 80 per cent of people responding to the survey said they would leave a problem with their teeth until they could afford to go to the dentist.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: ‘DIY dentistry is both dangerous and unnecessary.  There are too many senseless examples of people either pulling out the wrong tooth or ending up with an infection.

‘It is all too easy to make the problem worse, which could result in more invasive and expensive treatment, so I urge those considering self-treatment to think again.’

In the last two years around 69 per cent of children have been seen by an NHS dentist, but this has slightly decreased since 2006.

Experts believe the number of people visiting their dentist could rise with the introduction of ‘direct access’, where patients can now see a hygienist or therapist without having to see their dentist first. Under the new scheme hygienists and therapists can do fillings and other procedures, improving patient access to dentists and possibly reducing waiting lists.

Dr Carter added: ‘Direct access allows more patients to be seen sooner, so long gone are the days where somebody should be tempted to use a doorknob and a piece of string to remove a tooth.  In no circumstances should anybody resort to performing any kind of dental work themselves.’

The survey was commissioned by the British Dental Health Foundation ahead of National Smile Month, and aimed to assess the attitudes towards oral health across Britain.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show 39 million patients visited the dentist in the two years up to the end of 2013 – which represents 56 per cent of the total population.

In 2013 the British Dental Health Foundation estimated that businesses lost more than £36 million to people taking time off work because of problems with their teeth.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2640666/Would-resort-DIY-dentistry-20-people-say-pull-teeth-afford-dentist.html#ixzz33Y1bz9eT
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