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Dad pulls his own tooth out because he can’t get a dentist in lockdown

A dad who was refused an emergency dental appointment because of coronavirus has pulled his own tooth out using a pair of pliers.

Billy Taylor, 33, spent an hour working the infected teeth out with the help of his young son as the pain had become ‘excruciating’. He had tried to get a dentist and even called 111, but he claims he was told that he wouldn’t be seen unless he was struggling to breathe.

Dental authorities have warned that more and more people may start to take ‘matters into their own hands’ if strict lockdown measures mean surgeries stay shut.

Billy performed the procedure using a tool from work and a couple of shots of whisky as a sedative. He said the dodgy tooth eventually came out after much pushing and pulling, and the pain disappeared almost instantly.


But Billy, of Axminster, Devon, said he wouldn’t recommend anyone else trying it as they may cause more damage. He said: ‘I’ve had problems with that tooth for about two years. ‘I’ve been to the dentist over it four times. They recapped it, I’ve had a root canal.

‘I had toothache running up to the Bank Holiday weekend. It was getting worse and worse. The pain was excruciating. ‘Then, on the Tuesday after, my face was swelling and I had a migraine on that side.

I think it was an abcess. ‘I phoned a dentist but they weren’t very clear so I called 111. They said that I shouldn’t go in until it was restricting my breathing.

‘It got really bad that night and the swelling was getting worse.

I was pretty wound up. ‘I thought: “Why don’t I just do it myself?”’ The British Dental Association warned this week that the continued coronavirus lockdown could result in people taking drastic measures when suffering.

Chairman Mick Armstrong said: ‘Whenever access problems emerge people with toothache take matters into their own hands.

‘It’s inevitable many desperate patients will resort to ‘DIY dentistry’ unless we see rapid action from government.’ The NHS is in the process of setting up urgent dental care centres across Britain, it has said.