Style & ShowbizHealth

A ridiculously high number of people have tried DIY dentistry

HealthBy Sunday World
Don't try this at home...
Don't try this at home...

Two in five people say they have carried out DIY dentistry, with many explaining they felt it was cheaper to fix the problem themselves than to pay for a dentist, a survey has found.

One in 10 (10%) men even said they had tried to remove a tooth themselves, while 5% of women had done so.

Dental group Oasis Dental Care, which commissioned the poll, found that of the 38% who had tried to carry out a procedure on themselves, 26% said they did not feel the need to visit the dentist and 25% said it was because it was cheaper.

Meanwhile 22% said it was because they have a fear of the dentists and 19% said they simply did not have time.

Other findings include that 7% of the men questioned said their last dental appointment was more than 10 years ago, compared to 4% of women.

Current guidelines for adults recommend they visit the dentist between every three months and two years.

Meanwhile 16% of men and women said they are not currently registered with a dentist, while the same percentage said they do not regularly go for check-ups and generally only visit the dentist in an emergency.

Those in the 25-34 age group were the most likely to only go under these circumstances (25%).

Eddie Coyle, head of clinical operations and a practising dentist at Oasis Dental Care, said: "It's always very concerning to hear of patients performing their own dentistry whether its to take pain killers to control a tooth ache, re-attach crowns and perform at-home fillings, or remove a tooth all together.

"With regards to removing teeth, this is a lot more complex than you may imagine and should be left to professional dentists, who can remove the tooth in a clean, clinical environment using appliances that are fit for purpose.

"A tooth is a little like an iceberg, where around a third of the tooth is visible, and two thirds of the tooth sits below the gum line.

"Care needs to be taken to remove the whole structure, without damaging the neighbouring teeth and soft tissue. What often happens when adults remove their own teeth is that they end up snapping off the visible tooth.

"They then still need to go to a dentist to remove the remaining two thirds of the tooth, which is more complicated to perform now that the visible part of the tooth has gone."

The survey, which was conducted by YouGov and polled more than 2,000 adults in the UK, also found more than a quarter (26%) of people said they only brush their teeth once a day.

NHS guidelines state teeth should be brushed for two minutes twice a day at the least.

Mr Coyle added: "Healthy teeth and gums should not bleed and cause you pain. If you are suffering these symptoms, you should visit a dentist at the first opportunity to address the cause of the discomfort and to prevent further, more complicated and costly treatment being required in future."