The pandemic and lockdown have meant many of us have done things we may not normally do! Going for months without a trim or our roots dying, letting our nails grow out without a refill and unfortunately with dental clinics closing their doors for a long period of time this ultimately led to a delay in people’s regular dental health checks, cleans and essential emergency appointments.
Dental clinics across the globe worked tirelessly to reduce the backlog of patient’s appointments but a recent survey showed a concerning amount of people in the UK turning to DIY dentistry with 1 in 4 people, that’s 25%!!!! opting for at least one form of DIY dentistry during lockdown.
The Chairman of the Association of Dental Groups, Neil Carmichael, said ‘pulling your own teeth out is rarely a good idea. When routine appointments restart dentists should brace themselves for an oral health horror story!’
Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation says the research ‘highlights the desperate measures some will go to, to rid themselves of pain and issues a strict warning to those thinking about performing DIY dentistry’.
Whilst the pandemic has hugely increased this figure, another reason behind ‘doing it yourself’ can be due to a dental phobia. With very serious phobias and anxiety involving dental visits, it can be so bad they try to solve the problem themselves without having to face the dentist. For most of us, pulling our own tooth out or sticking back in a filling is unthinkable but for those with dentophobia the thought process is the opposite.
Which? magazine found that 3 million people have attempted DIY dentistry, while 3 million more knowing someone else that has. Some people are so afraid of visiting the dentist they will resort to such extreme measures.
Dental first aid kits are also becoming a lot more popular, whilst these can be useful for a very temporary solution until you can visit a dental professional they are not a long term solution and we fear they are encouraging people to avoid getting the treatment they need. For example, one of the reasons a crown or filling may become loose is because there is some decay in the tooth itself. This is a problem which needs attention, not masking. Using a first aid kit or pulling out your own tooth, and not seeing a dentist, you are running the risk of infection, this simply makes the problem worse.
A vicious circle!
Ultimately the longer you avoid treatment, the more urgent it becomes, this results in a vicious circle through which oral health can quickly deteriorate. Trying to save money by performing treatment on yourself will only lead to more costs to repair the damage.
At Kingswood Parks Clinics we know what a huge impact dental clinics closing had, we also take patients’ dental phobia very seriously and do everything we can to reassure nervous patients. We like to invite a patient in to the clinic prior to their appointment to see the clinic, meet the team and help them feel more comfortable about the upcoming appointment. Patients can choose their favourite music or watch a series on Netflix to help them feel more at ease during their visit and provide a welcome distraction.
We also understand how costly certain treatments can be, we offer finance to those eligible to help spread the cost with a larger treatment plan and once you are dentally fit we offer a great membership plan which saves money over time and offers a discount on future treatments, through Practice Plan Practice Plan | Leading provider of practice branded dental membership plans
If you need help with any treatment, advice or even would like putting at ease prior to making that initial appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact our clinic and our Patient Care Coordinator will be on hand to discuss anything you’re concerned about.
When it comes to teeth, we recommend you always see a dental health professional!