DIY dentistry: understanding the dangers and when to get professional help

The UK lockdown has meant that dental practices across the country had to temporarily close their doors, and suspend all routine dentistry. As an alarming consequence, many people have had to resort to ‘DIY dentistry’ in their own homes over the last few months.

In fact, according to Google, the search term ‘tooth repair kit’ saw a massive 750% increase during the period of 29th March – 31st May.

And while dental practices are now re-opening to patients, social distancing measures and a backlog of appointments could mean patients are having to wait longer to be seen than usual.

Here, we provide our advice on why you should be avoiding DIY dentistry, and what to do if you need to see your dentist.

Why you should avoid DIY dentistry

Dentistry is not something that can be self-taught overnight, however, the UK lockdown has seen many people take dental care into their own hands. We’ve heard stories of people using pliers to remove their teeth, using online kits to create and fit a replacement tooth filling, and fashioning homemade gum shields to keep loose veneers in place.

However, these home remedies could in some cases have serious health implications. The equipment used for at-home treatments is unlikely to be sterile, and therefore carries a high risk of infection,

In particular, at-home tooth extractions should be avoided at all costs, due to the risk of infection of the open wound. Not only this, but DIY tooth extractions could leave the root still anchored to the bone, which can cause further serious problems.

What to do if you need to see a dentist

From 8th June, dental practices in England have been given the go-ahead to re-open to patients, with increased safety measures. Your dental practice – including the team here at Blossom – is likely to have new measures in place such as single patient scheduling, additional PPE, screening before appointment, temperature checks, safety screens, and pre-treatment anti-viral mouthwash. This means you can be sure if you visit your dentist, that you are in a safe environment.

If you require medical attention, first and foremost you should contact your dental practice to book an appointment. However, if you’re struggling to get an appointment, or are having to self-isolate, there are other options available to you.

Here at Blossom Dental Care, we now have the technology in place to provide virtual appointments. This allows you to take a photograph of your teeth and submit it for review by one of our dentists. After this, you will then be able to hold a virtual consultation to discuss the next steps in your treatment.

Alternatively, if your dental practice does not have this technology available, they may be offering telephone consultations instead.

For more information on our virtual appointments, click here.