The Corner

Another Meaningless and Wholly Unfair Anecdote

Mark — Yes, I get the same e-mails. I’ve gotten a bunch of “there are dirty American hospitals too!” diatribes since last night. Hence I want to be very clear the following story says absolutely nothing of import about British health care and in no way detracts from the argument that we should emulate their system.

From the Daily Mail:

Man pulls out 13 of his own teeth with pliers ‘because he couldn’t find an NHS dentist’

A former soldier pulled his own teeth out with a pair of pliers because he could not find a dentist to take on NHS patients.

Iraq War veteran Ian Boynton could not afford to go private for treatment so instead took the drastic action to remove 13 of his teeth that were giving him severe pain.

The 42-year-old, from Beverley, East Yorkshire, had not had his teeth looked at since seeing the army dentist in 2003. He had not been registered with a dentist of his own since 2001.

He said: ‘I’ve tried to get in at 30 dentists over the last eight years but have never been able to find one to take on NHS patients.’

But when Mr Boynton started suffering from toothache in 2006 he decided to take drastic action.

He said: ‘I started having pain in a front tooth, which protruded slightly more than the others. I was constantly fiddling with it and wiggling it because it hurt so much.

’In the end I knew it had to come out and had to use the pliers to pull it. Amazingly, it did not hurt as much as you might think.

’I think I’d been prising it that much in the meantime that I’d been killing the nerve.’

In the last two years Mr Boynton has pulled out 13 top teeth including molars, incisors and canines. He now only has two teeth left in the roof of his mouth.

He served as a medic in Iraq in 2003, but six months after leaving the Territorial Army had an accident while working as a paint sprayer that aggravated an old back injury.

Unemployed Mr Boynton, who is single, said: ‘It’s a horrible situation to be in when you can’t afford to go to the dentist when your teeth were so bad.’

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