Sunday, May 07, 2006

In a Dentist Shortage, British (Ouch) Do It Themselves

NYT I snapped it out myself," said William Kelly, 43, describing his most recent dental procedure, the autoextraction of one of his upper teeth. Now it is a jagged black stump, and the pain gnawing at Mr. Kelly's mouth has transferred itself to a different tooth, mottled and rickety, on the other side of his mouth. "I'm in the middle of pulling that one out, too," he said

.... But the problem is serious. Mr. Kelly's predicament is not just a result of cigarettes and possibly indifferent oral hygiene; he is careful to brush once a day, he said. Instead, it is due in large part to the deficiencies in Britain's state-financed dental service, which, stretched beyond its limit, no longer serves everyone and no longer even pretends to try.
The next time Democrats want government controlled health care, let us remind them of how well it is working in Britain.
Mr. Kelly, interviewed in a health clinic here as he waited for his son to see a doctor, last visited a dentist six years ago, in Sussex. Since moving to Rochdale, a working-class suburb of Manchester, he has been unable to find a National Health Service dentist willing to take him on. Every time he has tried to sign up, lining up with hundreds of others from the ranks of the desperate and the hurting — "I've seen people with bleeding gums where they've ripped their teeth out," he said grimly — he has arrived too late and missed the cutoff.

1 comment:

Chip said...

MAD TV did a sketch on home dentistry. Loss of blood was never so funny.

I had a tooth die on me at an EMS convention. When not swilling acetometaphin and ibuprofin in kidney and liver endangering doses I was fantasizing about suicide by cop.

Local dentists wouldn't see me and mine couldn't call in a prescription because of all the dope fiends.

Tooth pain, when it's bad, is medieval pain. No wonder they hacked their neighbors to bits with big knives back then.