Coronavirus: Woman plugs cracked tooth and files it down in DIY lockdown filling

A woman was forced to plug her cracked tooth with putty and file it down in a do-it-yourself lockdown filling because she was in so much pain.

Deb Hepplestone was unable to see a dentist due to the coronavirus outbreak, so she had to carry out the routine procedure herself.

Her nerves were exposed when the tooth broke before the lockdown came into effect in mid-March, but two temporary fillings failed to fix the problem.

In unbearable pain, Deb had no choice but to fill the gap with moulding putty and then file down the filling herself.

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Deb Hepplestone had to fill a gap in her tooth with moulding putty

Deb, who lives in Penistone, South Yorkshire, told Sky News: “I cleaned it out as best I could because I felt I had no other option, there was nowhere I could go to get a filling, then I had to actually file my own filling down with a metal file because I had a piece of jagged tooth that was digging into my tongue.

“It’s just unfortunate that dental treatment isn’t seen as a priority because dental pain is horrendous and I’m sure there are people in a worse state than I’ve been who are really suffering because they can’t get seen.”

She wrote on Facebook on March 29: “”Emergency dentist visit to Leeds at 7.15am this morning with ongoing painful broken tooth.

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The kit that Deb used to fill and file down her cracked tooth

“Arrived to be told they are no longer able to see anyone face to face.

“So no help, no treatment. Nothing.

“You are on your own folks if you have any dental problems, doesn’t matter how painful it is.

“All DIY filling kits sold out online. Any advice out there would be very much appreciated if you know a dentist.”

All routine dental care has stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Urgent dental care hubs have been established in some communities and some surgeries have been doing consultations by video or phone calls.

At the few practices allowed to remain open during the pandemic, staff must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow strict rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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The British Dental Association (BDA), a trade union for dentists, said Britons performing their own dental work because they are unable to access care was bound to happen.

BDA vice-chair Eddie Crouch said: “I’ve seen media coverage of people taking their own teeth out and that certainly is not advised.”

Last month, the BDA called on the Government to called on the government to provide access for patients who need treatment during the lockdown.

It said it was necessary to avoid an increase in DIY procedures after dentists received calls from people in agonising pain.

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