Ex-miner left in 'agony' after breaking teeth in Blackpool as he can't afford £5,400 dentist bill

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A 62-year-old man who broke his teeth in Blackpool says he has to live in "agony" as he can’t afford £5,400 for private dental treatment.

David Creamer has been left in "agony" while waiting for NHS treatment to fix a set of four crowns that snapped off his top jaw.

The 62-year-old, who worked at Silverwood Colliery for 17 years, broke them as he bit into a sandwich in Blackpool in June last year.

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He says he has been left in "agony" for more than seven months as he can not afford £5,400 for private dental treatment.

The fed-up former pitman said: "I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel.

David Creamer has been left in "agony" after breaking a set of four crowns in Blackpool (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)David Creamer has been left in "agony" after breaking a set of four crowns in Blackpool (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)
David Creamer has been left in "agony" after breaking a set of four crowns in Blackpool (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS) | Lee McLean / SWNS

"I'm absolutely shocked – a country like this. I hear on the news we're one of the top six richest countries in the world.

“Well, we might be if you've got a very, very large bank account and you vote Conservative, that appears to be the gist of things.

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David had just tucked into a sandwich while on holiday in the town when he felt a sharp pain in his gums as the four enamel tooth coverings came away.

He headed to an emergency dentist for vulnerable residents in Blackpool but said that the centre was "chock-a-block full of people" and he couldn't be seen.

David had just tucked into a sandwich while on holiday in the town when he felt a sharp pain in his gums (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)David had just tucked into a sandwich while on holiday in the town when he felt a sharp pain in his gums (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)
David had just tucked into a sandwich while on holiday in the town when he felt a sharp pain in his gums (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS) | Lee McLean / SWNS

After visiting his GP in Rotherham, he was prescribed co-codamol for the pain - which he now takes every four hours - and naproxen to reduce the swelling.

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David also went to a local emergency dentist who told him he'd need some roots taken out and several of his teeth had shattered - but said they couldn't treat him.

"I'm living on soup and rice puddings as that's all I can eat. I can't chew anything," he said.

"If the pain would go away, I don't mind walking around looking like a hobbit with no teeth. But it's the pain – if somebody can just do something about it."

David takes co-codamol every four hours for the pain (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)David takes co-codamol every four hours for the pain (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)
David takes co-codamol every four hours for the pain (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS) | Lee McLean / SWNS

He added: "People are pulling their own teeth out with plyers or whatever.

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"Mine's far too painful to pull out with pliers. I've got some and I've been tempted, but I'm not going down that route.

"I'm just going to hang on the best I can."

David, who is currently receiving benefits, said he had gone to a private clinic earlier this month where he had to pay £40 for an initial assessment.

"I'm living on soup and rice puddings as that's all I can eat" (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)"I'm living on soup and rice puddings as that's all I can eat" (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS)
"I'm living on soup and rice puddings as that's all I can eat" (Credit: Lee McLean / SWNS) | Lee McLean / SWNS

But he was stunned when the dentists told him the price for fixing his teeth would be £5,400.

David said: "They x-rayed me, and they said, 'We could do the job here tomorrow… if you've got £5,400.'

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"I said I've got about £6 in my account, and I'm on benefits. There's no way I can afford it. I'm almost 63, and have no savings whatsoever."

David said he took his case to his local Labour MP Sarah Champion, who later complained to ministers about the state of dentistry in her local area.

"I never used to have a problem before with dentists. I never had a problem all my life until this happened," he said.

"It's bad enough getting a doctor’s appointment around here – it takes two weeks to get that. As for dentists, I think it's a dying art.

"It's fine if you’ve got money, if you haven't, you just won't see one. It's definitely a two-tier system. You're on your own."

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