DIY dentistry12th February 2009
A new survey has indicated that millions of people in England have resorted to DIY dentistry.
The findings, by consumer magazine Which?, come amid concerns about patient access to NHS dentistry since the introduction of the new dental contract in 2006.
Which? polled 2,631 adults and found 8% had tried to fix their own dental problems while a similar number knew somebody who had tried their own dentistry.
Of those who had tried the DIY approach, one in four had tried to pull their own teeth out using a pair of pliers. Others had tried to extract a tooth by tying string to a door handle.
Other DIY procedures included, using household glue to stick down a filling (11%), popping an ulcer with a pin (19%), trying to mend dentures (8%), trying to stick down a loose filling with chewing gum (6%), whitening teeth with household products (30%).
Which? health campaigner, Jenny Driscoll, said: "This research shows the desperate measures people will resort to. Everyone should have access to good quality dental treatment so it's worrying to see so many people resorting to doing it themselves."
The British Dental Association said it was not advisable for people to resort to do-it-yourself care.
England’s chief dental officer Barry Cockcroft rejected the findings.
He said: "It is ludicrous to suggest that three million people are doing DIY dentistry. DIY dentistry is dangerous and unnecessary. Thanks to our investment of over £2bn in NHS dentistry, there are now lots of new NHS dental practices expanding and opening around the country."
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