According to research, more than a quarter of retirees fear having to do their own dental work, including tooth extraction, due to a shortage of NHS dentists.
At all ages, four out of 10 they said they would consider DIY dentistry, with the highest support among young people.
And most of the public thinks they will have to pay for private dental care as appointments become harder to find, according to the poll, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.
According to the British Dental Association, more than 47 million NHS dental appointments have been missed since the lockdown in England alone.
BDA President Eddie Crouch said: “Do-it-yourself dentistry has no place in a wealthy 21st century nation. Unfortunately, the decisions made at Westminster have left millions without options.
“Demoralized dentists leave of a broken and underfunded system. And when real change is needed, the government has done little more than rearrange deckchairs.
“Rishi Sunak has pledged to restore dentistry to the NHS. That slogan will ring hollow as long as desperate people find themselves reaching for a pair of pliers.”
The Lib Dem survey found that four in ten adults say they are likely to have to resort to DIY dentistry because there is a lack of dental appointments in the NHS.
Some 28 per cent of those over 65 said they are likely to turn to DIY dentistry due to a lack of NHS appointments, while 67 per cent say they would pay for private dental care, according to the study. from Savanta ComRes.
Younger and middle-aged people are more likely to take matters into their own hands, with nearly half of those aged 18 to 34 and 46 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 saying it is They are likely to try to solve the problems themselves.
Half of parents with children under 18 would also be prepared to work themselves, compared to 37% of those without children.
About 70 percent fear that they will have to pay for private dental care.
Lack of resources
Daisy Cooper, LibDem’s health spokesperson, said: “This is a national scandal. It now appears that NHS dentistry is dying out in many parts of the country.
“Working people are paying their fair share to fund our precious NHS, but the government has failed to provide resources for local health services. Some of this money should go towards training more NHS dentists to ensure no one is left with a huge dental bill or resorts to do-it-yourself dentistry.”
The Commons health select committee has launched an inquiry into dentistry after a survey showed that 90 per cent of UK practices are not accepting new adult NHS patients.
A further £50m was invested in NHS dentistry in January to help tackle Covid delays.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are determined to make sure that everyone seeking NHS dental care can receive it when they need it, and we recently implemented dental reforms to deliver this, with the GP Patient Survey showing more than 75 percent. percent of patients who tried to get a dental appointment in the last two years were successful.
“In addition to fairer pay for practices serving high-need patients, dentists are now required to make it clear which practices are accepting new patients and what services are available, as well as support the entire dental workforce to work in throughout its scope of practice, which will help improve patient access to dental care.
“More generally, the number of practicing dentists in the NHS increased by over 500 last year and we continue to work to improve access to dental care, backed by over £3bn a year.”