Large numbers of people are going without dental treatment and some even report extracting their own teeth because they cannot find an NHS dentist in their area, a survey reveals today. ...
Just over 10% were not registered with a dentist at all. A third of those (35%) said there were no NHS dentists nearby, 22% said they did not know how to find one, 13% said they were on a waiting list and 30% said there were other reasons.
But 6% of the respondents said they were self-treating, which often included pulling out their own troublesome teeth. "Fourteen teeth have had to be removed by myself using pliers," said one Lancashire respondent. "Have pulled teeth out before, easier than finding a dentist," said one in Hull. ...
Some of the respondents show considerable ingenuity. "Filled own teeth - clove oil and Polyfilla," said one in Essex. Another fixed a crown with Superglue and a third used a screwdriver to scrape off plaque.
At least human ingenuity can still overcome governmental 'solutions' to pressing problems like these!
Market distortions in healthcare create shortages, both in the availability and quality of the care that is provided. Government is not the only 'culprit', though. By restricting the number of people accepted into dental school, an artificial upward pressure on wages is leading to a reduction in the number of people in the US who are making regular dental visits:
Since fewer dentists are getting trained now than in the early 1980s (a decline of over 20%) the number of dentists will actually decrease in coming years as many practicing dentists retire. So if you are thinking about getting dental work done best to get it done sooner. It will probably cost less now than in a few years from now. Another alternative is to get dental work done in another country if you have any plans for travel to countries with lower dental costs.
Certification processes that require some duration in training, rather than simply the merit of passing proficiency exams, create a similar effect across a variety of fields. Most accounting work does not require a CPA. Lots of networking jobs do not require the motley mix of certifications offered by industry giants. Most dental visits do not require complicated surgical work. Dental assistants making $15 an hour can handle most of the patients who come in for routine cleanings. So why not be able to go to a 'teeth cleaning' center that is run by people with dental assistant qualifications at much lower cost?