A labourer who lost his income during lockdown pulled out two of his own teeth with pliers and downed eight cans of Stella Artois to numb the pain because he couldn’t get a dental appointment due to the coronavirus crisis.
Chris Savage, 42, resorted to yanking two of his own teeth out in his bedroom because he couldn’t register with a dentist or book an emergency appointment, calling last Thursday’s procedure ‘the most horrible thing I’ve ever done’.
He said he had been in ‘agony’ for days, and revealed that just touching the tooth with his rusty pair of pliers set off waves of ‘agonising pain’.
The labourer, from Southsea in Portsmouth, Hampshire, admitted to getting ‘very drunk’ beforehand by downing eight cans of Stella Artois to mask the pain before he pulled out the first tooth. He then waited a day before pulling out the second tooth.
His case has now been raised with the NHS by a health watchdog who said Mr Savage has been ‘severely let down’ by services in the city.
He said: ‘I ended up having to get very drunk the first time. Nobody wants to take part of their own face away with a set of pliers and no real painkillers.
‘I put the pliers on my tooth and the second I did that it hurt. So I took them away, waited five minutes, built up again and then thought I’ve just got to do it.
Chris Savage, 42, resorted to yanking two of his own teeth out in his bedroom because he couldn’t register with a dentist or book an emergency appointment
The labourer said he had been in ‘agony’ for days, and revealed that just touching the tooth with his rusty pair of pliers set off waves of ‘agonising pain’
‘It was a proper yank, a grip and pull — there’s no mucking about once you get to the point it’s started coming out.’
Mr Savage added that though there wasn’t much blood there was ‘enough to be scary’, and that it was ‘worth the risk of infection’.
The father-of-three didn’t register with an NHS dentist when he moved to Portsmouth from Alton three years ago. He lost his two front teeth in a bicycle crash last year, and when he began to experience pain recently he called around 20 dental practices, none of whom were taking on new patients.
He then phoned 111, who directed him to a practice that had volunteered to do triage appointments during the pandemic to help the NHS, but was referred back to 111 when he contacted them.
‘It was like a massive game of pass the parcel’, he said.
Mr Savage signed up to receive Universal Credit during lockdown, leaving him with £50 a week for food and bills, meaning he was reluctant to spend the £100 per tooth it would have cost him to have them removed privately.
He said: ‘I could’ve waited a week — borrowed money, and had it done in hygienic