LBC’s Tom Swarbrick heard from a man who travelled to Bangladesh to receive treatment on his teeth after losing patience with the NHS waiting times. The man told the radio presenter how he had saved £2,000 by flying to Bangladesh and avoiding “huge” private dentist fees in the UK.
“You just turn up,” the caller told LBC.
“Rock up on the day, if want all 32 teeth taken out and only one put in they will do that within 48 hours.
“Believe it or not it has probably cost £1000 to have all 32 teeth taken out and put back in.”
Asked how by Mr Swarbrick how much money he thinks he saves, the man replied: “After my ticket, my expense, my parking, I probably saved myself two thousand pounds.”
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People have been turning to “DIY dentistry” if they are unable to get an appointment, the national director of Healthwatch England has said.
It comes after a survey by the British Dental Association (BDA) and BBC found the majority of NHS dental practices in the UK are unable to offer appointments to new adult patients.
Louise Ansari told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the research really does confirm and amplify what we’ve been saying for a couple of years and the situation is pretty dire, isn’t it?
“So many people can’t get an NHS dentist appointment, they’re in pain, they’re anxious, some people can’t eat or speak properly.
“And suddenly, indeed, it’s not unusual for us to hear stories of DIY dentistry, things like making teeth out of resin and sticking them into their gums with superglue, which is an absolutely desperate situation for somebody to be in.”
Asked if she had heard of people pulling out their own teeth, Ms Ansari added: “Yes, absolutely.”
Across England, 91 percent of NHS practices were not accepting new adult patients, 4,933 of 5,416, rising to 97 percent in the East Midlands, and 98 percent in the South West, North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber.
Of those practices not taking on adults in England, 23 percent (1,124) said they had an open waiting list, and 16 percent (791) said the wait time was a year or longer or were unable to say how long it would be.
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