DIY Dentistry Boom As Patients Struggle To Afford Dental Fees
There has been a boom in DIY dentistry, as more and more people struggle to afford dental fees.
According to recent figures, there has been a significant increase in sales of DIY dentistry kits, including home whitening treatments, and the number of patients missing out on routine dental check-ups has increased. It is estimated that around 200,000 people are trying to fix their own dental problems every year in the UK.
Figures also suggest that a third of UK adults do not have an NHS dentist.
Ian Boynton, a 43 year old Gulf War veteran from East Yorkshire, extracted 13 of his own teeth using a pair of pliers after he was unable to find an NHS dentist, while a 46 year old man from Wandsworth needed major surgery after he tried to cure dental pain by using superglue to stick a crown, which resulted in rotten bone underneath the gums. Other examples of DIY dentistry include using bleach to whiten the teeth and bursting mouth ulcers with pins.
Julian Perry, dental surgeon, said that DIY dentistry is very dangerous and added that DIY treatment is likely to increase dental costs in the future. Mr Perry advised dental patients to visit their dentist every 6 months for a check-up so that any problems can be addressed as early as possible; check-ups are also important because they allow dentists to spot warning signs for potentially life-threatening diseases, such as oral cancer and heart disease.
Dr Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer for England, said that thousands of people in the UK are eligible for free treatment on the NHS and fees are heavily subsidised to make treatment affordable. More than 1.2 million more patients are seeing NHS dentists now compared to May 2010.
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