A father refused an emergency dental appointment due to the coronavirus lockdown pulled out his own tooth – using a pair of pliers.
Billy Taylor, 33, spent an hour removing the infected gnasher with the help of his young son as the pain had become “excruciating”.
He had tried to get into a dentist and even called 111, but claims he was told he would not be seen unless he was having trouble breathing.
Dental authorities have warned that more people could start to “take matters into their own hands” if strict COVID-19 measures mean surgeries remain closed.
Billy decided to perform the procedure on himself using a work tool after failing to get seen by a professional – using a few shots of whiskey as a sedative.
He said the dodgy tooth finally came out after a lot of pushing and pulling – and the pain was gone almost instantly.
But Billy, from Axminster, Devon, said he wouldn’t recommend anyone else try it as it could cause more damage.
He said: “I’ve had problems with this tooth for about two years.
“I’ve been to the dentist four times. They recapped it, I had a root canal.
“I had a toothache until the bank holiday weekend. It was getting worse and worse. The pain was excruciating.
“Then the following Tuesday I had a swollen face and a migraine on that side. I think it was an abscess.
“I phoned a dentist, but they weren’t very clear, so I called 111. They said I shouldn’t come in until my breathing was restricted.
“It got really bad that night and the swelling got worse. I was pretty upset.
“I thought, ‘Why don’t I do it myself?’.”
An aircraft fitter by trade, Billy had a selection of tools he thought could get the job done – making do with a pair of vice grips.
He also researched YouTube and searched online for possible complications before deciding to go ahead.
Billy then had a few glasses of whiskey and asked his 11-year-old son, Leo, to watch in case he passed out.
He said, “I put the floss so that you floss. Once it was on, it wouldn’t come off.
“Me and my boy ripped it off – it took about an hour. The process was bloody painful. It was hideous. But I’m into motocross – I can take a lot.
“I probably wouldn’t recommend it unless you know what you’re doing. You could crush the whole tooth.
“I said to Leo, ‘If I pass out, you have to call 999’. He was like, ‘Oh my God, stop it!’.
“But the swelling was obviously a serious infection that was spreading – it was swelling.”
The British Dental Association warned this week that the continued coronavirus lockdown could lead people to take drastic action when they are suffering.
Chairman Mick Armstrong said: “Whenever access issues arise, people with toothaches take matters into their own hands.
“It is inevitable that many desperate patients will resort to ‘home-made dentistry’ unless we see swift government action.”
The NHS is setting up emergency dental centers across Britain, he said.
Billy has another son, Harrison, 14. He is single.
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