Brits ‘pull out own teeth or visit Ukraine for treatment’ due to dentist refusal

Many Brits have been forced to take their tooth problems into their own hands after a survey revealed many NHS dentists in England won't take new grown-up patients.

Labour's numbers from yesterday (December 18) say 82%, won't take grown-ups and 71% say no to kids needing a dentist. The refusal has prompted some Brits to turn to removing their own teeth and even heading abroad to places such as Ukraine.

George Glinos, 68, took out 11 of his own teeth because he couldn't see a dentist. He now mostly eats soup because he's only got one front tooth left and some bits of teeth on top.

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He stopped going to his old dentist four years ago because he wasn't happy with them. He tried to find a new dentist but ended up pulling out bad teeth himself last year.

George, who lives in Childwall, Liverpool, can't pay for a private dentist because he only gets a state pension.

He said: "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."

In distress from an abscess under his tooth, 58-year-old Richard Howe found no relief with the NHS. Unable to secure an appointment, he was forced to fly to Ukraine for dental treatment.

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

Richard returned to his old dental practice in Kyiv and at half the price quoted in the UK, including travel costs. Beyond relief, Richard voiced his frustration over his experience saying: "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."

A private removal of his abscess back home would've cost him a minimum of £875, piling on a £75 emergency fee.

Richard, who lived in Kiev for 12 years with his family, returned to the UK just a month before Putin's harsh invasion. He still had friends at the Clinic of Modern Dentistry in Ukraine, so he called them up and booked an appointment.

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They said they could see him right away, which led Richard to fly to Poland on February 28, 2023, and then take a 13-hour train ride to Kyiv. In just one week, he had his abscess drained and additional dental work done, including three root canals and a filling, all for a mere £220.

Meanwhile Lucy Bodycote, 44, was forced to do her own dentistry at home after 'years of neglect' at her local practice. She ended up winning £15,500 in compensation.

Lucy was left with a hugely swollen face after having to drain fluid from her infected gum herself when she couldn't get a dentist appointment during lockdown. She alleges that multiple mistakes were made with her treatment over several years, having seen nine different dentists between 2004 and 2017.

Ms Bodycote, an administrator from Huncote, Leics., revealed that the issues came to light after a dreadful treatment for an infected tooth. "I was in so much pain and after multiple emergency visits and rounds of antibiotics my tooth pain still prevailed." she said.

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"Eventually, I told the clinic I could not take it any longer and needed the tooth out." she added. Despite having anaesthetic injections for the procedure, she 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.

In another shocking incident, Fay Rayward, 44, attempted to pull her own tooth out with a pair of pliers because she couldn't get a dentist appointment – and she even filmed it.

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Fay, a mum from Telford, Shropshire, had to resort to DIY dentistry after a filling fell out, exposing a nerve in her split molar. Despite trying to get a dentist appointment and calling 111, she was told she wouldn't be seen unless she was struggling to breathe.

She posted a video of herself attempting to pull the tooth out on social media, highlighting the current dentistry crisis. "The pain for me was worse than childbirth. I have never experienced pain like it, it was searing through the side of my face." Fay said.

"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." she added. She decided to pull out her own tooth, but could only make it wobble before stopping due to the excruciating pain.

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After waking up in agony on May 5, 2020, when her filling came out, she contacted her local dental surgery. They had suspended routine services due to lockdown and referred her to another practice.

Despite being offered antibiotics, which she took, the pain continued to worsen. Finally, on May 11, Fay tried to remove the tooth herself. The day after her DIY attempt, she managed to secure an emergency appointment and had the tooth removed on May 13.

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

* This article was crafted with the help of an AI tool, which speeds up Daily Star's editorial research. An editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]

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