Never Seen a Doctor highlights tragic toll of failing teeth

  • Brave couple face dental fears on TV
  • Fear of dentist compromised general health
  • Presenter Katie Piper pulls no punches

Channel 4 last night provided a sad, but fascinating insight into the downward spiral failing teeth can cause.

Katie Piper, who survived an acid attack in 2008 and was herself the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, was seen encouraging others to overcome whatever it is that’s preventing them from seeking professional help.

Part of the programme – Never Seen a Doctor – featured Janice and Greg, two 49-year-olds whose health had been wrecked because fear kept them away from the dentist.

Painful, rotten teeth and gum disease had left them both with compromised diets. Greg had lost four stone, unable to eat properly, and Jan had ballooned to 29 stone because she ate a soft diet of the wrong things.

Trifle and cut up melted cheese sandwiches appeared to be Jan’s favoured diet.

The social impact on both of their lives was enormous. This loving pair, they had not kissed for years.

It was in-your-face television that pulled no punches, as the lives of this couple were laid bare.

At 19 Janice had an abscess removed from her gums. The experience left her traumatised, and slowly her teeth began to deteriorate.

Katie pointed out succinctly that fear had resulted in teeth problems which had ultimately caused diet problems.  In turn, the diet had led to obesity and kidney issues.

Never Seen a Doctor followed the patient journeys as Janice and Greg were encouraged to face their fears and get treatment. Where? Their local dentist? No – Harley Street.

Indeed, the famous London street has a reputation of world renown, but the dentistry offered to this couple – complete dentures for Janice and a mix of traditional upper dentures with a lower implant retained over-denture for Greg – can be found on our doorsteps.

Never Seen a Doctor - Katie Piper

Never Seen a Doctor host Katie Piper

Afraid of the dentist – we really do understand

It’s surprising, even now after years prescribing dentures, people are surprised at the clinical excellence they can receive in North Street, Dudley, at the heart of the Black Country.

Sadly, as the programme rolls out, we find Janice has died in her sleep with heart failure caused by her colossal weight gain. The fix for her to be able to change her diet was just too late.

Greg, who was shown with “hanging” teeth completed his treatment, and his smile was restored.

The transformations in both of these patients were remarkable, but none of the dentistry displayed is beyond anything that can be achieved here at our practice.

Fear of the dentist played a huge part in the lives of this couple and we recognise the emotion can be crippling. Take a look at our approach – we really do understand.

As practitioners, our fear is that the programme did not make it clear that regional dentistry could have brought about the same clinical outcomes. All the answers do not necessarily come from Harley Street.