Man in pain who pulled out tooth with pliers seeks free help from new mobile dental bus

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides

A man who was in so much pain, he resorted to pulling out his own tooth with a pair of pliers, has received free dental treatment from a new mobile dental unit.

Southampton based charity Dentaid provides treatment to people who are unable to get dental care on the NHS and it says it's seeing more people using its services.

It has mobile units that travel across Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex and Wiltshire and provides dental work for the homeless, the vulnerable and those living in poverty.

Among those getting help was John Hunter who said he was in so much pain he ended up taking matters into his own hands.

Mr Hunter said: "I pulled out one with a pair of pliers last week. That's how things are bad."

The mobile units travel around the country. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Some of the patients haven't seen a dentist in years - either struggling to get or pay for treatment on the NHS.

Jill Harding, from Dentaid, said: "There's a lot of people here who have been suffering tooth ache for a really long time and are really pleased to see our volunteers on board today."

There are seven mobile units that operate across the country holding up to 500 clinics every year and treating up to 6,000 patients.

The charity says accessing dental treatment is part of a wider issue where some people have been unable to register with an NHS dentist. This is combined with the challenges of the cost of living crisis.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it's making progress to boost dental services and further measures to improve access and increase the number of NHS dentists will be set out shortly.

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