The Brits pulling out their own teeth because they can’t get an NHS dentist

People are pulling their own teeth out (Image: SWNS)

Figures released yesterday by Labour found 54% of surgeries aren’t accepting any new patients.

82% are refusing to take on adults and 71% aren’t taking on children as patients any more

Dad-of-one George Glinos, 68, pulled out 11 of his own teeth with pliers when he couldn’t get a dentist appointment.

He says he lives on soup due to having only one incisor on his bottom jaw, and four “stubs” on his top jaw.

George, a retired builder, gave up his old dentist four years ago as he was unhappy with the practitioner.

He was unable to find another practice and so he dealt with a gum infection by pulling out infected teeth with pliers, last year.

He eventually managed to get an emergency dentist appointment, but said as he has no loose or infected teeth it didn’t achieve anything.

George, from Childwall, Liverpool, cannot afford private dental care as he is on a state pension.

He says NHS England told him to call 111.

George said: “I’m at my wits’ end.

“I don’t have any teeth, and I need teeth.

“They just list all the things they can’t do.

“I have one tooth on my bottom jaw, an incisor, and on my top jaw, four stumps which were filed down for caps.

“It takes four hours to eat a meal, or a minimum of two hours.

“If I eat too fast, I swallow big lumps.

“It makes my gums sore.

“If I eat with my daughter and grandson, I get left on the table.

“Most of the time I just don’t finish it so I’m hungry all the time.

“If this bottom tooth goes I’ll be on baby food.

“I’m not in a position of being able to afford implants.

“If they took the teeth out I’d have no teeth for several months.

“It just keeps on going.”

George Glinos and the teeth he extracted.

George Glinos and the teeth he extracted. (Image: George Glinos/SWNS)

Richard Howe, 58, was forced to travel to war-torn Ukraine for dental treatment – after he failed to get an appointment with the NHS.

He developed an abscess under his tooth last month, which was causing him severe discomfort.

He called his local NHS dentist to book an appointment, but he was not registered, and was told he’d have to go private to be seen – at considerable cost.

So, Richard decided to travel to Kyiv, where he lived before the war, to get the work done at his old dental practice.

And it was HALF the price quoted in the UK, including travel costs.

Dad-of-three Richard, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, said: “I was in loads of pain, but I was told outright there was no chance of me getting an appointment with the NHS.

“So, I got one in Ukraine, straight away, for a fraction of the cost. It just shows how much of a mess NHS dental care is over here right now.”

Richard, whose wife is Ukrainian, grew frustrated after being fobbed off by his local NHS dentist.

The quote to have his abscess removed privately was a minimum of £875, plus a £75 emergency fee.

Don’t miss… Universal access to NHS dentistry ‘likely gone for good’ as millions struggle

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Richard spent 12 years living in Kyiv with his wife and family and returned back to the UK a month before Putin’s brutal invasion.

He still has contacts at the Clinic of Modern Dentistry, the Ukrainian practice where he used to visit, so he rung them up to book an appointment.

They told him they could see him immediately, prompting Richard to fly to Poland on February 28, 2023, and catch a 13 hour train across the border to Kyiv.

Within the space of one week, he had his abscess drained, and extra work done, including three root canals and a filling, for a bargain £220.

Richard said: “When I arrived at the clinic, they drained the abscess, killed the infected roots and cleaned up around my tooth.

“I took the opportunity to have a full check-up while I was there, and found out I needed root canal and a filling – so he did that for me to.

“And, when I saw the bill, I knew it had been worth it.”

Richard had four separate appointments in Ukraine, and then made his way back to Cambridgeshire.

Lucy Bodycote, 44, was forced to resort to DIY dentistry at home following ‘years of neglect’ at her local practice – and eventually won £15,500 compensation.

She was left with a massively swollen face after having to drain fluid from her infected gum herself when she couldn’t see a dentist during lockdown.

She claims multiple errors were previously made with her treatment over several years after seeing nine different dentists between 2004 and 2017.

Ms Bodycote said on one occasion she was left crying in agony when an anaesthetic failed to work as one dentist pulled out her tooth.

And, unable to get a dentist appointment, she was left draining a lump on her gum herself.

As a result of the blunders, Ms Bodycote was left with untreated decay in five different teeth, required multiple root fillings and lost several teeth.

Ms Bodycote decided to take legal action against the dental surgery in Enderby, Leics., which have now paid her £15,500 in an out of court settlement.

Ms Bodycote, an administrator, of Huncote, Leics., said the problems came to light following one horror treatment for an infected tooth.

She added: “I was in so much pain and after multiple emergency visits and rounds of antibiotics my tooth pain still prevailed.

“Eventually, I told the clinic I could not take it any longer and needed the tooth out.

“I had to beg for them to take my tooth out as I felt that was the only option. I had anaesthetic injections for the procedure, however, I could still feel everything.

“I was informed that I couldn’t have any more anaesthesia and remember leaving in floods of tears from the pain without so much as a follow-up call to check if I was OK.”

The dentists involved did not admit liability but paid £15,500 in an out of court settlement.

Fay Rayward, 44, tried to pull her own tooth out with a pair of pliers after she was unable to get a dentist appointment – and filmed it.

She had tried to get a dentist appointment and even called 111, but says she was told she wouldn’t be seen unless she was struggling to breathe.

But Fay resorted to painful DIY dentistry after a filling came out – exposing the nerve in her lower molar which was split in half.

Fay, of Telford, Shropshire, posted a stomach-churning video of herself trying to yank the tooth out to illustrate the dentistry crisis.

She said: “The pain for me was worse than childbirth. I have never experienced pain like it, it was searing through the side of my face.

“It was just awful. I’d posted an appeal on Facebook begging for help and advice after I was unable to get a dental appointment.

“I realised that the only way would be to pull out my own tooth. It was agonising and I only managed to make it wobbly before I had to stop.”

Fay Rayward with the pliers that she tried to use to remove her tooth at home

Fay Rayward with the pliers that she tried to use to remove her tooth at home (Image: Adam Hughes/SWNS)

She woke up in agony after a filling came out on May 5, 2020, revealing her tooth had split in two.

She rang her local dental surgery which had suspended routine services following the lockdown who referred her to another practice.

Fay – who works with children with special needs – was offered antibiotics which she took but the pain continued to get worse.

Finally, on May 11, Fay took matters into her own hands and tried to wrench the tooth out herself.

The day after she tried to remove the tooth herself she finally got an emergency appointment.

She had the tooth removed on May 13.

She says the delays in getting emergency appointments is causing people to suffer in silence.


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