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DIY dentistry

With lockdown causing the closure of many businesses, including dental practices, it makes how we go about things more difficult.

While procedures have been put into place during lockdown to ensure urgent dental treatment can take place most dental practices have had to close their doors to patients. This has resulted in some people turning to DIY dentistry as they become more desperate to try and fix their own oral health problems.

A number of people have already taken matters into their own hands, with Sky News reporting that one member of the public used putty in order to create a temporary filling to try to ease her pain.

In order to ease her symptoms the lady could of used a filling kit, they are easily accessible for people to buy from chemists or pharmacies and provide a temporary solution that doesn’t involve putty.

The kits come with filling material included along with a mixing tool. While these kits may provide a quick temporary fix they also come with some risks, such as decay not being removed before you place the temporary filling which may lead to further problems down the line. Temporary fillings will also not be as secure as one provided by your dentist, and do run the risk of falling out.

There has also been reports of people removing their own teeth at home with pliers. This sort of DIY treatment is never recommended and should always be carried out by a dentist. The risks of a tooth extraction going wrong are high. The tooth could snap and leave parts of the tooth in the gum, increasing the risk of infection, or you could damage your gums whilst in the process of removing a tooth. Not to mention, it’s very hard and painful to remove a tooth.

Another treatment that has proven popular for people to do at home is DIY tooth whitening. There are a number of different products and companies that sell these kits online and in shops. While the process seems straight forward to do yourself a number of the home kits also carry risks, including the mouth guard not being a correct fit leading to the bleach leaking onto your gums and causing burns. It is advised that tooth whitening should only be carried out by a dental professional.

For most people turning to DIY dentistry is a last resort. However simple measures such as brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes is a good way to ensure you are maintaining good oral health.

Remember that dental practices being closed is only a temporary measure to ensure that staff and patients are kept safe. So while these DIY treatments may look as though they provide a quick fix for any dental problems, you need to always make sure what you are using is safe and won’t cause any permanent damage to your dentition.

If you do find yourself needing emergency dental treatment you can contact your dental practice or 111 who will be able to advise you accordingly. The NHS website also holds a wide range of information that will guide you in the right direction. Try to avoid if possible any do-it-yourself treatment that in the long run may cause more harm than good to your oral health.