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Just as the coronavirus lockdown led some people to remove their own moles and skin tags, some are now taking their dental woes into their own hands — like a 33-year-old dad in the United Kingdom, for instance.
Billy Taylor told news agency South West News Service (SWNS) that he removed an infected tooth with a pair of pliers after his routine dentist reportedly denied him an emergency dental appointment. The dad of two — who said he’s had trouble with the particular tooth for the past two years, previously undergoing a root canal — also claimed he called 111, the emergency services number in the U.K., but was told to not leave his home “until it was restricting my breathing,” he said.
"It got really bad that night and the swelling was getting worse. I was pretty wound up,” he told SWNS.
Unable to take the pain any longer, Taylor decided to remove his own tooth. He said he looked at YouTube videos and searched online for “any possible complications” before he downed a couple of shots of whiskey to prepare himself, telling his 11-year-old son, Leo, to monitor him in case he were to pass out.
After an hour, Taylor managed to remove the tooth.
“The process was bloody painful,” he recalled. “It was hideous.”
"I probably wouldn't recommend it, unless you know what you are doing. You could crush the whole tooth,” he added.
Dental offices in Britain have been advised to close as the pandemic continues, with the British Dental Association (BDA), citing guidance from the country’s National Health Service (NHS), urging dentists to cancel all “routine, non-urgent dental care” at this time. In the U.S., the American Dental Association (ADA) is following similar guidelines.
Mick Armstrong, the chairman of the BDA, warned that it’s “inevitable” that some patients will take to do-it-yourself (DIY) dentistry as the lockdown continues.
"Whenever access problems emerge, people with [a] toothache take matters into their own hands,” he said, according to SWNS. "It’s inevitable [that] many desperate patients will resort to 'DIY dentistry' unless we see rapid action from the government."
The NHS is still working to set up urgent dental care facilities across the country, according to the outlet.
In the U.S., the ADA has warned against treating any dental problems without first consulting a dentist. “Before you start any DIY dental treatment, it’s important to speak with your dentist about the potential risks and benefits,” it states. The association has also issued interim face mask and shield guidelines as some states consider easing stay-at-home restrictions.
A spokesperson for the ADA did not immediately return Fox News’s request for additional comment on the dangers of DIY dentistry.