You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself at home, so why try and remove your teeth or apply fillings yourself?
You may have read in the news recently about the rise of ‘DIY dentistry’ – people taking it upon themselves to treat their own teeth. There was also a discussion about DIY dentistry on the Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show on Monday 20th April which you can go to at this LINK. Doing it yourself is often to do with saving the perceived monetary cost of treatment from a professional dentist, but this decision almost undoubtedly comes with a much greater potential cost to the individual’s health.

In a survey carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation, a worrying one in five Britons said they would remove a decaying or diseased tooth themselves rather than visit a dentist. The decision to self-treat has been made increasingly popular with the availability and convenience of various DIY kits, including those which allow individuals to apply temporary fillings themselves. Manufactured by Dentek, over 250,000 of these kits alone are sold in the UK every year, and are normally found in easily accessible High Street shops like Poundland. There are now even DIY extraction kits!! But no mention of anaesthesia!!!

However, there are several serious risks involved with trying to carry out your own treatment. Dentists have to go through years of rigorous training and studying in order to be able to carry out even the most basic of procedures safely. Attempting to carry out your own ‘quick fix’ has an understandably substantial risk of causing infection or creating further serious problems.

Without knowing exactly what you’re doing, it’s easy to miss vital stages in any procedure you might attempt. When you have a filling at the dentist, for example, the tooth and surrounding area will be properly cleaned and prepared, with any plaque or decay removed so that bacteria cannot cause problems underneath the filling. At home, you would not have the knowledge, let alone the correct equipment, to be able to do this properly. It’s all too easy to make the problem worse, which in turn will only lead to more urgent, expensive, and perhaps even more prolonged treatment to fix your own efforts.

The press has recently reported some horrific DIY dentistry stories, including a woman who used a fork to pop an abscess in her mouth, and a man who plugged a cavity in his mouth with QuikSteel – a potentially toxic steel-reinforced putty used to fix car engines. Other cases involve removing teeth with spanners and even a toffee hammer (whatever that is!).On Youtube there are unbelievable videos of teeth being removed by tying to a golf ball which is then hit. And several cases of tying teeth to fireworks! It is amazing the lengths some people will go to avoid dentists who are usually trying to help people in the most painless manner!

There have been cases of people extracting the wrong tooth, thinking it was a different one that was causing the problem, or developing nasty infections in the empty socket. The most bizarre was the case of a person trying to improve the fit of their denture by relining or “retreading” it. They melted down carriers bags, poured the molten plastic into their plate and then inserted it in their mouth!! It saved them some money.. Not! but the months of agony did not offset that!

Withexaminations available from St Stephens Dental Practice from just £25.00 or so, and emergency or urgent appointments available, professional treatment from the outset is often not only much cheaper overall, but also much safer than attempting to fix a problem yourself. You’ll also have the reassuring peace of mind that you won’t suffer any unnecessary pain or prolonged discomfort if your DIY approach was to go wrong!

For more information about treatment options available at St Stephens Dental Practice, or to book an appointment with us, please call a member of our team on 01227 452668 or Email at
Remember the team at St Stephens Dental Practice will give you the confidence to smile.