Thousands of dental patients in the U.K. have resorted to repairing their own teeth to avoid the cost of seeing a dentist, according to a new study.
Of 5,200 patients interviewed in a study by the Dentistry Watch Survey, 19 percent admitted they had skipped getting dental work due to the cost and 6 percent resorted to amending the problem on their own because they could not locate a dentist.
One patient from Lancashire said he had used a pair of pliers to extract 14 teeth. Others have used glue to fix broken crowns.
Health care in the U.K., including visits to a dentist, are supposed to be provided for free by the National Health Service. But in many cases, long waits for the free treatment force people to either see a private doctor or take other measures.
Free dental treatment for everyone in the U.K. is a myth, Health Minister Ben Bradshaw told Sky News.
Bradshaw said people in urgent need should always be able to get National Health Service care, but it would only be free for children, pregnant women, and people receiving benefits.