New Zealand residents pulling their own teeth after dental waiting list grows

While there is much discussion about how often we should or should not be going to the dentist, there are some parts of the world where we are reminded that sometimes that choice is out of the hands of the patient.

In New Zealand, Northland residents are pulling out their own teeth with pliers because they can’t afford to go to the dentist.

One person in the region is also admitted to intensive care every fortnight due to poor oral health.

Auckland company SmileCare set up a free pop-up clinic in Kaikohe that relieved hundreds of their suffering, but it’s just gone into receivership.

For local Libby Hita, it’s devastating news because, like hundreds in the town, her teeth are causing her excruciating pain.

“I have done it [pulled out my own teeth],” she told The Hui. “About four times”.

Kaikohe hasn’t had a dentist for 18 months.

Read the rest of the article about this horrific situation here.

Note: Photo of “Mountain Bike Moke Circuit, Queenstown, New Zealand” by TRAILSOURCE.COM is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Kevin Henry

Kevin Henry

With more than 20 years in the dental publishing industry, Kevin Henry is the former group editorial director for Dental Products Report, managing editor for Dental Economics, and editor-in-chief for He now serves as the co-founder for IgniteDA, a community designed to empower, enlighten, and educate dental assistants, and as director of marketing for Fortune Management. He has spoken to dental assistants throughout the world, in person and through the Dental Assistant Nation podcast series, reminding them of the important role they play every day in their practice. He is also certified as a DiSC trainer, helping dental practices learn how to understand each other better through personality assessments and training.