Brits Pulling Own Teeth
One in seventeen Brits have resorted to fixing their own teeth because the government health system provides inadequate dental care.
Some English people have resorted to pulling out their own teeth because they cannot find — or cannot afford — a dentist, a major study has revealed.
Six percent of those surveyed in an English study said they had resorted to dental “self-treatment.” Six percent of those questioned in a survey of 5,000 patients admitted they had resorted to self-treatment using pliers and glue, the UK’s Press Association reported.
England has a two-tier dental care system with some dentists offering publicly subsidized treatment through the National Health Service and others performing more expensive private work. But more than three-quarters of those polled said they had been forced to pay for private treatment because they had been unable to find an NHS dentist. Almost a fifth said they had refused dental treatment because of the cost.
One would be tempted to note surprise that the number is so low, given the infamy of British dentistry, were the human tragedy not so high. Then again, the pairing of this news with a story headlined “Pros and cons of DIY dentistry” at BBC has to bring a smile.
The obvious political fallout of this report will be some Aha’s from the opponents of socialized medicine. The problem, though, is that there is no comparative data for the U.S. system, let alone some of the more well-regarded state-run models. Certainly, coverage for dental care is rather mediocre in most American health plans.