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An Eye for an Eye, A Pair of Pliers for a Tooth

Apr 29, 2020

By Dean George

In the movie Cast Away, Tom Hanks’s character Chuck Noland is stranded on a deserted island and is forced to remove his own abscessed tooth without the benefit of Novocain or a dentist.

In a fascinating but agonizing scene, Noland uses an ice skate blade as a pick, a large stone as a hammer and simple blunt force to extract his own tooth in a manner that would make Fred Flintstone proud.

Prior to this year, the usual reason people practiced Do-It -Yourself dentistry (DIY) was to save money, or because they couldn’t wait the necessary time to get professional treatment.

According to a British news agency story picked up by Fox News, Taylor had been bothered by a sore tooth for two years, even after having a root canal done on the offending tooth. Once the pain got too much for the father of two to tolerate, and after his regular dentist denied an emergency dental appointment, Taylor called 111, the emergency services number in the U.K.

“My face was swelling, and I had a migraine on that side.  It got really bad that night, and the swelling was getting worse,” he told British news agency South West News Service.  “I was pretty wound up.”

Due to the COVID-19 situation though, the 111 contact was unsympathetic to Taylor’s plight and told him not to leave his home “until it was restricting my breathing,” Taylor said. 

At that point, the pain was excruciating, and Taylor knew what he was going to do. After reviewing YouTube videos and checking online for “any possible complications” from self-extracting a tooth, he gulped two shots of whiskey and told his 11-year-old son Leo to watch over him in case he passed out. 

Self-Extracted His Tooth

Grabbing a pair of wire-locking pliers, Taylor pulled, twisted, and wiggled the sore tooth for an hour before successfully dislodging it.  We’ll spare our readers the images of Taylor’s “trophy,” but we will share his comments after his self-treatment. 

“The process was bloody painful,” he said in what can only be described as a poor choice of words. “It was hideous.”  

The good news is his efforts were successful and today Taylor is pain free.  The bad news is there is no Tooth Fairy for adults so if he left it under his pillow, he was surely disappointed. 

What would Taylor advise others considering taking dentistry into their own inexperienced hands? “I probably wouldn’t recommend it, unless you know what you are doing.  You could crush the whole tooth.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in this country, the federal government suggested people postpone elective surgeries like dental visits until April 30, although many offices across the country have remained open to treat emergency situations like Billy Taylor’s.  

The American Dental Association (ADA) has advised consulting a dentist before self-treating any dental problems, and it’s very likely that most dentists would discourage the practice altogether. 

Any person who does plan to do DIY dental treatment, should speak with their dentist about “the potential risks and benefits,” the ADA says. 

Photo source: Abby Is Not Normal - Wordpress, Daily Mirror 

Copyright 2020, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC© 


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