Pulling your teeth with a pair of pliers

True or false: People in developed countries sometimes have to pull their own teeth using a pair of pliersPliers
or a string tied to a door.

Answer: True. According to Sky News, a drop in the number of National Health Service dentists in the UK has caused a rise in do-it-yourself dentistry.

Almost a fifth (19%) of those questioned said they had missed out on dental work because of the cost.

The research found 6% had even resorted to treating themselves because they could not find a dentist.

The 5,000-plus patients who were interviewed also spoke of taking out their own teeth or fixing broken crowns with glue.

One person in Lancashire said he had carried out 14 separate extractions with a pair of pliers. [Link]

Fourteen extractions! I wonder if they were all intentional.

Lancashire man (in bathroom): "Bloody pliers!"

Wife: "What’s going on in there?"

Man: "Bloody pliers!"

Wife: "Stop using such language!"

Man: "All right then. My pliers are bloody!"   

The British government needs to do something about this. They need to offer citizenship to that street dentist in India. At least he has lots of experience using pliers.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. I remember when I was living in Switzerland, I met a lot of Indians living there, who travel to India just to do their dental work. They say the round trip air fare to India is cheaper than a dentist visit in Switzerland.. and they can also visit their relatives in the trip.

  2. I know since my husband died I cannot afford a dentist and the one I spent thousands of dollars for caps and bridges, you would think he would at least give me a discount. Forget about it. They too could care less. As the saying goes, money talks and elderly teeth just fall out!

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