Preston man forced to wear 'dead man's teeth' receives brand new denture for free
A Preston man who wore a set of "dead man's teeth" after struggling to find an NHS dentist was made a new denture for free.
Matt Bonnell, from Ashton-on-Ribble, said he was unable to access NHS dental care despite ringing approximately 20 surgeries.
Desperate, the 53-year-old believed he had no other choice but to wear a set of dead man's dentures as he couldn't afford to repair his own.
"When I visited my mum in hospital I started talking to an old man about how I couldn't get my teeth sorted," he said.
"He said I could have his teeth when he died as he wasn't getting out of there, and his wife actually gave them to me."
Matt disinfected the teeth before filing them down in an attempt to make them fit better, but said the whole situation was "horrible".
"The man died a few days later," he added, "it's a terrible state of affairs."
"I'm having to wear a set of dead man's teeth."
Mike Brindle, a Clinical Dental Technician (CDT), said he "immediately made the decision to make a free upper denture" after reading Matt's story.
"I was deeply moved by Matt's circumstances and his futile attempts at trying to use a deceased man’s denture, and I wanted to do what I could to help," he said.
After getting in contact with Matt, Mike made arrangements for him to be examined by the in-house dentist at the Fylde Dental Clinic in St David's Road South, St Annes.
Mike proceeded to make the denture over the course of seven days, with Matt cycling over from Preston for his appointments.
"Matt was overjoyed with the results and hardly able to believe his good fortune," Mike added.
"He cannot stop smiling now."
Mike is one of fewer than 400 registered CDTs in the UK whose special area of interest within dentistry is the provision of dentures.
He explained the pandemic has had a "profound effect on our healthcare system with waiting lists growing out of all proportion."
He added: "NHS England has found itself facing an enormously difficult challenge in keeping patients and staff safe whilst still attempting to maintain a credible level of service for its patients.
"I am happy to have been in a position to have helped Matt out of his dire dental situation."
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