An antique dealer was forced to pull 18 of his own teeth out after suffering “unbearable” agony as he searched in vain for a dentist.
David Spoors, who runs the History Box on Magdalen Street, made the horrific decision to pull out his teeth after receding gums left him in terrible pain.
But despite the desperate call for every dental surgery, he found that no one could help him. So eventually he decided the only answer was to loop the teeth around and use brute force to pop them out.
The 65-year-old army veteran said: “It was agony. It is the most painful pain of my life. My face was so swollen and the pain was traveling down my neck and into my head. migraines.
“It was unbearable. I felt like no one cared. I kept calling dentists telling me they had full waiting lists and couldn’t help me.”
The news came as no surprise to the president of the British Dental Association, Eddie Crouch, who said: “Access to dentistry was in crisis long before Covid, but last year saw cases that have no place in a wealthy 21st century nation.
“Do-it-yourself dentistry is part of the Victorian era. Sadly, this horror show will persist until ministers provide a system that can provide care for whatever needs it.”
The subject of wait times for dental appointments is due to be debated in Parliament next week, because even before the pandemic, it is estimated that one in ten people had their dental needs unmet, which equates to about two million people.
Fortunately, the end of Mr Spoors ‘troubles is in sight after a chance meeting with Jim Peirson of the Aylsham Road dental practice, who overheard Mr Spoors’ gruesome story as he pleaded with the dental receptionist at the help.
Mr Spoors, who lives in Cromer, added: “After all this time feeling like no one wants to help me, Jim has really restored my trust in people. The whole team was so lovely and m ‘kept calm in what could have been a stressful situation.
“It will be such a confidence boost to have my teeth sorted. I can’t thank them enough.”