A man who was scared of going to the dentist pulled out his own infected tooth with pliers after enduring weeks of pain.

Jamie Ellison, 48, who used to be a council officer but is now a student and on benefits, carried out the DIY extraction at home in Huddersfield using pliers and some wooden sticks.

He says the extraction eased the pain but he doesn't want anyone else following him - instead he wants to highlight a lack of NHS dentists for those who cannot afford to go private.

The 48-year-old, from Bradley Mills, has suffered from dental problems for many years after smashing his jaw in a fall caused by an epileptic seizure.

A surgeon inserted a metal plate and four screws into his lower jaw to repair the damage caused by the fall but it left him with ongoing complications and problems chewing food.

In the last 12 months, Jamie has had problems with the metal plate as well as with his teeth.

Jamie pulled out a molar himself
After a molar became infected 12 months ago he decided to pull it out himself

After a molar became infected 12 months ago he decided to pull it out himself, partly because he was in a lot of pain and also because he wasn't aware that an emergency dentist was an option.

"I used a pair of pliers and a bamboo skewer for leverage," he told YorkshireLive.

"I have a high tolerance to pain and, to be quite honest, it seemed worth it."

He added: "I have been to see so many doctors and dentists it didn't feel worth making a fuss over the tooth. It was loose and on its way out. I thought 'sod it' I will take it out myself. People used to take their own teeth out regularly."

At the time, Jamie said he wasn't aware of the risks of DIY extractions.

"I didn't realise at the time how dangerous it could be. I have seen stories about people who have nearly died. My gum was swollen and I looked like a chipmunk."

Jamie took the decision to pull out his tooth following a fruitless search for an NHS dentist in the Huddersfield area and admits he wasn't aware that an emergency dentist might have done it for him.

He had checked an online list of NHS dentists and found two in Huddersfield. But when he phoned up, both told him they were not taking any more NHS patients.

stock photo of tooth
The 48-year-old, from Bradley Mills, has suffered from dental problems for many years (stock photo)

Around six months after the extraction, he managed to suspend his phobia of hospitals and dentists for a trip to an emergency dentist for a second tooth extraction.

"On that occasion, I rang the NHS number 111 who referred me to an emergency dentist in Holmfirth who was absolutely fabulous."

Today he is still looking for an NHS dentist and is still in pain.

"The plate (in my jaw) is exposed and another screw is working its way loose. I am worried. I am gradually watching my jaw fall apart.

"There is a possibility that my GP could refer me to a maxillofacial (specialist) but, of course, during lockdown it is very difficult to see a GP."

"My experience of the emergency dentist in August took some of the anxiety away because they were great."

He admits that he hasn't yet phoned his GP to check and says that having a fear of hospitals and dentists hasn't helped.

"Believe it or not I am phobic of hospitals, even though I have spent a lot of time in dentists' chairs.

Jamie, who is currently on Universal Credit while he studies for a degree in psychology, said he wanted to raise the issue of a lack of NHS dentists.

"My GP cannot refer me to a dentist, so all I can do is wait for my jaw to fall apart, then I will be asked why I didn't address this earlier.

"It's madness, and all the injuries are due to having epilepsy."