Layla Waters ended up pulling the infected teeth out herself, and the first time she did it made her “roll up into a ball and cry.”
A woman turned away by 49 NHS dentists has told how she pulled three of her own teeth.
Layla Waters, 52, contacted every NHS dentist within 70 miles of her home after one of her molars became infected just before the first lockdown in March 2020.
After being unseen by an NHS dentist, Layla, from Whittlesey, Peterborough, decided to take matters into her own hands and remove the tooth herself.
“I curled up in a ball and cried”
“Every time I called to make an appointment, I could never get in because of the lockdown and the lack of dentists,” Layla said.
“They kept sending me prescriptions for antibiotics and I must have had about 10 prescriptions over the last few years to try to get the infections under control.
“It ended up being so bad that I decided to do something. I used kitchen roll to grab the tooth to keep it in place and pulled. It took two or three tries, but it came out.
“I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days — I was curled up and crying.”
Five weeks later, Layla pulled out a second infected tooth – before more recently removing a third herself six months ago.
She now only has one back molar on the left side of her mouth and only two on the right side.
Layla is applying for Universal Credit because of a medical condition and continues to try to get to an NHS dentist as she cannot afford the cost of private dental treatment.
“I just want to get my teeth sorted”
The Peterborough Telegraph reported earlier this week that there are currently no NHS dental practices in Peterborough taking new adult patients, according to the NHS website.
A BBC survey found that nine out of ten NHS dentists across the UK are not taking on new adult patients for treatment on the health service.
The research, which contacted nearly 7,000 dental practices, found that in a third of the UK’s more than 200 local authorities, there were no dentists accepting adult NHS patients.
“It was a nightmare from start to finish,” Layla said.
“Eating is becoming a massive problem. It’s taken a massive toll on my confidence – I don’t go out or socialize because the moment I open my mouth it’s obvious I’m missing teeth.
“I get a pack of painkillers every two days. I have a toothache and all my teeth are now lost.
“I have now called a total of 49 dentists. The best answer I had was that I could be put on the waiting list, but it took 18 months.
“I kept going in circles and kept hitting a wall.
“We need more NHS dentists – I just want to get my teeth sorted.”