Man, 45, pulls out own tooth with pliers after months waiting for dentist appointment
A man was forced to pull out his own tooth with a pair of pliers after waiting months for a dental appointment because of lockdown.
Matthew Simpson, 45, says that Covid-19 has meant he has been unable to sign up to a surgery in Hull, West Yorkshire.
This is despite having chipped teeth, a missing filling – and even “yanking” out his own molar when he got particularly desperate.
Matthew, a full-time carer for his wife, told HullLive he has struggled through two lockdowns as he has been unable to get an NHS date.
This has left him having to “learn the safest way to eat” – with it claimed he might not be seen by a dentist until October.
He acknowledges he could go private – but said he refuses to pay more “out of principle”.
Matthew said: “Once we hit lockdown the dentist wouldn’t touch anybody.
“When we unlocked I tried again but they were still saying the same thing that they weren’t taking on any NHS patients.
“I tried again this week since more restrictions were lifted and with more shops opening and people going out, I thought I might have a chance but I keep on getting told the same things.
“I could afford to go and get a dentist but it is out of principle, why should I go and pay £60 for a dentist plus more treatment on top of that.
“It is going to cost hundreds of pounds to get my teeth sorted out but I shouldn’t have to pay – they should be taking on National Health Service patients.
“What is the difference between taking on a National Health Service patient and a private one?
“If they can fit you in within in a week if your willing to pay – why can’t they fit you in for an NHS appointment?”
Mr Simpson fears that waiting until September to register will delay his treatment further, concerned that many others will have been told the same thing and overload the system when the dentists are able to take on new patients.
“It could even be next year because you know what’s going to happen – everyone is going to start ringing up if they are telling that to every person that rings,” he said.
“I don’t mind waiting a month or two for my treatment but I think it’s ridiculous that it is September, October time before you sign up.
“I don’t understand, I have noticed that dentists and doctors are all using this Covid as an excuse.
“You can’t get in to see a doctor, you get fobbed off. You can’t get in to see a dentist – they are using Covid as an excuse and to me it’s just an excuse.
“Things are getting back to normal now the numbers are coming down in Hull – I don’t understand why they can’t start taking on NHS patients.
“It is just general wear and tear and because I am diabetic type 2 you can have problems with your teeth.
“I couldn’t be bothered ringing around for a dentist with the NHS – my tooth was that loose and that cracked.
“When I was going into town I felt half the tooth come out in my mouth then when I came back it was a bit loose so I just got a pair of pliers, closed my eyes and just yanked it and it just came straight out.
“It was over within seconds, I didn’t feel any pain. I still have half a tooth there that needs removing and then there’s a filling next to it which has fallen out.
“It happened about three weeks ago actually, I felt a bit of tooth come out of my mouth and I didn’t realise until I swallowed it and then when I looked there was a big gap between two of my teeth on the upper right hand side.
“I’m in a little pain where my little chipped tooth is, if I eat on that side it irritates the gum so I try not to eat on that side but then I’ve got big holes on the other side so it is a no win situation at the moment.
“This is why I am trying to get into the dentist to get all this repaired but all they are doing is dragging it out – by the time I do go in there is going to be months of work to be done on my teeth.
“I have started to learn where about to eat my food so if there is anything hard I have to eat in the centre of my mouth but if it is something soft then I can eat it on my left hand side with no problems.
“I can’t eat anything hard on the left hand side because I am worried it is going to break the half a tooth that is there.
“I have had to learn in the past 12 months the safest way to eat which I shouldn’t have to. “
A spokesperson for NHS England said: “As a result of safety measures put in place to provide treatment in a Covid-safe way, regular and routine dentistry remains limited compared to levels of provision prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Progression to resume the full range of routine dental care is taking time and practices continue to prioritise seeing patients who have an urgent dental treatment need.
“Anyone with an urgent dental issue should contact their local dental practice or NHS 111 for advice during normal Monday to Friday working periods.
“Where patients have an urgent dental care issue out of hours they should contact NHS 111.
“If after a telephone triage the clinician decides the issue is not urgent, you may be given advice on how to self-manage the dental problem.
“You will be advised to make contact again if your situation changes/worsens.”