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Sales of DIY dental kits on the rise


Dental kits that allow patients to carry out DIY dental work at home are becoming popular as more people look for a cheaper alternative to costly professional treatment. The kits, which include materials to carry out fillings and repair crowns, can be bought on the high street for as little as five pounds. According to The Guardian, Department for Health figures suggest that more people than ever are receiving dental treatment on the NHS but sales of products such as DenTek, a DIY repair kit, are still said to be on the rise.

John Wildman, professor of health economics at Newcastle University told the paper that people with lower income in poorer areas of the country don’t take part in surveys and don’t visit their GP’s, which is how they essentially fall through the cracks when research is carried out into DIY dentistry.

According to British Dental Health Foundation, one in five people admitted they would carry out DIY dentistry, such as extracting their own teeth, because of the cost of dental treatment.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said that ‘DIY dentistry is both dangerous and unnecessary. There are too many senseless examples of people either pulling out the wrong tooth or ending up with an infection. It is all too easy to make the problem worse, which could result in more invasive and expensive treatment.’

More people are attempting DIY dentistry because of treatment cost


According to the Sunday Express, almost a fifth of people in the UK have given up going to see their dentist due to the high prices and around a third of adults are no longer registered with an NHS clinic. Industry experts are worried that a surge in DIY dentistry could mean that patients are leaving themselves open to injury and they are at risk of dental problems that could easily be identified and treated during the early stages.

Cases that have sparked concern include that of a Gulf War veteran from Yorkshire who pulled out thirteen of his own teeth using pliers, after he developed severe toothache and could not find an NHS dentist to help him. Another instance involves a 46-year-old man from South London who had to undergo major surgery after glue he used to stick his dental crown back in caused the bone to rot beneath the gums. Dentists have also reported patients who have attempted home whitening using household cleaning products and some that are popping ulcers with pins.

Chief Dental Officer for NHS England, Barry Cockcroft, reminded patients that children get treatment for free under the NHS, as do about a third of the adult population, and added that the number of people visiting the dentist for a check-up has improved since May 2010. In reference to treatment prices, he said ‘For those who do pay, NHS dentistry charges are very simple. Anyone worried about charges should speak to their dentist, who can help them ensure their treatment is affordable. No one should feel any need to put themselves in danger by attempting their own dentistry.’

Pensioner pulls his own tooth after struggling to secure dental appointment


A 73-year-old man has been forced to pull out his own tooth after he was turned away from both private and NHS dental clinics in the Leominster area of Herefordshire. Angus Macintyre, a retired teacher, suffered with toothache for three months but managed to keep the pain under control with the help of heavy painkillers he was already taking for his arthritis. Eventually the pain became unbearable and Angus contacted several clinics in the area, only to be told that it would be at least a month until the tooth could be removed.

Angus told Mailonline that his wife spoke to several private dentists, but unfortunately they were not licensed to perform extractions. As the pain became too much, the former soldier decided it would be easier to carry out the surgery himself with a pair of pliers. He said ‘It was just a few moves inwards, then outwards, a few little cracks and clicks and then thirty seconds later it was out.’

Although dentists do not recommend trying this at home, Angus was delighted with the results, saying ‘Once the tooth was out I felt like I was floating to the ground on a parachute of euphoria.’

Shortly after the DIY extraction, Mr Macintyre tried to go to the dentist to make sure there were not going to be any complications, but again was told that it would be a long time before an appointment could be arranged. He added ‘I went with the tooth and my hole to the clinic just to have it checked over and make sure everything was okay, but they told me the wait time was about four hours – so I just left. There have been no problems since, so I must have made a decent job of it.’

Actress: Teeth whitening ‘is like getting a facial’


Amanda Peet is a fan of teeth whitening.Having teeth whitening treatment has been compared to getting a facial by one actress who is a fan.

Amanda Peet, star of films such as disaster epic 2012, told Bella Sugar that having a really "stainless smile" is a more important part of the beauty process than most people give it credit for.

She explained that she has gentle teeth whitening treatment about once every three months, or whenever she is getting ready for a big event.

"If you have a date coming up or you have an event or pictures or wedding or something like that, it's a great tool to use at the last minute," Peet remarked.

People who want brighter teeth might want to avoid DIY strips after Daily Mail writer Anna Maxted described how they damaged her enamel and made her gums recede.

She had been overusing products with dangerously high chemical levels for a long period of time.

Writer reveals how DIY teeth whitening addiction damaged her smile


A writer has recalled how DIY teeth whitening stripped away her enamel.  A writer has revealed how an addiction to DIY teeth whitening left her smile permanently damaged.

In an article for the Daily Mail, Anna Maxted said she originally went to a professional to have the treatment, but was impatient with the slow results and the lack of obvious brightness.

When she discovered DIY kits, she said she became "obsessed" with them and was using them all the time, even to do the school run.

"The faster the effects, the better, as far as I was concerned," Ms Maxted commented, adding that she did not stop or even investigate when the products irritated her mouth.

She has since discovered that some of her favourite DIY kits contain chlorine dioxide – the same bleach used on swimming pools – and five times the recommended levels of other chemicals, which have permanently damaged her enamel.

Although Ms Maxted she is "no longer so keen" on DIY teeth whitening, she suggested she has not learned her lesson by admitting that she still uses the bleaching strips ahead of big occasions.

Dr Miriam Stoppard recently urged readers of the Mirror to save up for professional teeth whitening treatment that will be safe instead of trying to do it yourself.

Teenagers ‘should stay away from home teeth whitening products’


Household items should not be used as teeth whitening products. A dentist has warned young people to avoid home teeth whitening products after hearing than some people are using dangerous substances to achieve Hollywood smiles.

Yusuf Kaderbhai, who owns a practice in the Midlands, told Cosmetic Dentistry Guide that he has heard of teenagers using ash, baking soda and even bleach to copy celebrities such as Cheryl Cole.

He explained that these substances can cause permanent damage to the teeth by stripping the enamel away, making them vulnerable to decay and acid erosion.

Instead of doing DIY, Dr Kaderbhai said it is better to seek professional teeth whitening treatments, which are more affordable now than ever.

Miriam Stoppard also recently told the Mirror that DIY kits are not a good idea, as the sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide could damage the gums when not being used by professionals.

This could lead to long-term health problems such as heart issues if they enter the bloodstream.

Proper teeth whitening ‘could have prevented root canal treatment’


A root canal was the result of not having professional teeth whitening for one woman.A woman from New Zealand has been speaking of how she could have avoided root canal treatment by having professional teeth whitening.

Jennifer Lunt, 22, told the New Zealand Herald she wanted a Hollywood smile ahead of her wedding and decided to buy an over-the-counter kit to do it herself.

However, what she did not know was that the slightly darkened tooth was actually infected, something a dentist would have spotted straight away if she had opted for teeth whitening in a surgery.

"I needed a root canal and a white composite filling to cover the discoloured tooth," Ms Lunt revealed.

She urged other people to beware and warned that the packaging on DIY kits is no substitute for proper dental advice.

Last month, Miriam Stoppard pointed out to the Mirror that even though teeth whitening kits used by professionals do contain sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide, dentists know what they are doing with the substances.

Teeth whitening treatment ‘may result in better confidence’


Your self-esteem may be boosted by teeth whitening treatment.Having teeth whitening treatment could result in patients developing better self-confidence, it has been claimed.

An article in the Paducha Sun stated that whiter teeth are often associated with youth and beauty.

Consequently, people who have them are more likely to smile often and get a good response from both people they know and strangers.

This should lead to better self-esteem, the piece said.

However, it advised against opting for teeth whitening products seen on TV or the internet, as some can contain harmful levels of acid and bleach.

"Have a dentist check over your teeth prior to starting," the news provider recommended.

Last month, Miriam Stoppard told the Mirror that DIY kits could "permanently damage your teeth and even harm your long-term health" and also said it is wise to seek a professional to perform the procedure instead.

She pointed out that not only may they be dangerous, but they could even result in stains that are more serious than was the case before.

Teeth whitening ‘should always be done by dentists’


Dentists beat DIY when it comes to teeth whitening. Teeth whitening should always be carried out by a trained dentist in order to avoid accidents and injuries.

This is the recommendation of Dr Keith Cohen, an oral health expert who said it is the best way to ensure safe, effective results.

Indeed, the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recently found that some DIY kits do not just lighten the teeth but erode them, while others have moulds that cause bleaching agents to leak out and affect the gums.

"If you want to white your teeth, get a dentist to do it, as they will use a made-to-measure tray around the teeth that will reduce the risk of leakage," Dr Cohen commented.

He also advised against shopping for teeth whitening kits on unknown internet sites, as these too may be dangerous.

This echoes a recent article by Miriam Stoppard, who told the Mirror that it is worth saving up for professional teeth whitening rather than trying to do it yourself.


‘See a dentist’ to discuss options such as teeth whitening


Thinking of having teeth whitening treatment? See an expert! Patients considering teeth whitening treatment and other cosmetic dentistry options have been advised to always see a dentist.

Jane Feinmann of the Independent said it is not wise to use DIY bleaching kits to get a brighter smile, or to rub salt into the teeth as has been suggested by some websites.

Instead, she pointed out that dental professionals will be able to give advice and recommendations when it comes to the best forms of treatment.

Ms Feinmann also suggested taking time when thinking about having dental veneers.

"Find a dentist who is not going to rush you and who is ready to try non-invasive methods such as white fillings, tooth whitening or braces," the writer said.

Earlier this month, dentist Dr John Simmons from the US recommended cosmetic dentistry as a great way of getting a younger-looking smile, suggesting it could knock as much as a decade off patients.