The National Health Service in England has told citizens with dental issues that what qualifies as a "dental emergency" has changed.
No longer does a throbbing tooth or debilitating headache seem to qualify, at least not according to British dad Billy Taylor who said he was told not to come in for emergency dental work unless he couldn't breathe, the BBC reported over the weekend.
Taylor, 33, said he called about getting an emergency appointment for a toothache, but was turned away. And though the NHS is reportedly setting up urgent care centers, he was not offered that as an option.
"I phoned my dentist and they said they were closed and would put me on an emergency waiting list but I didn't know how long that would take so I phoned 111 and they basically said that unless it was stopping me from breathing they couldn't do anything," he told BBC Radio.
Taylor stated that the pain was increasing and "excruciating," but even more concerning was that the left side of his face was swelling.
"Every half an hour it was getting bigger. I looked like Elephant Man," he said. "I thought if this is an infection and it gets into my brain it's really serious," the BBC reported.
So he took matters into his own hands.
DIY dental care tools: whiskey and pliers
Taylor logged on to YouTube for instructional videos on tooth removal, grabbed a bottle of whiskey and some pliers, and went to work — after recruiting his 11-year-old son to help and to keep watch in case he passed out.
He took some shots of whiskey, numbed his face, and put the pliers in his mouth. After an hour and a half, the troublesome tooth was out.
"I got an ice pack put it on my face until I couldn't feel it anymore and the final tug, me and my son just went for it and it came out, it was quite tricky," he told the BBC. I thought maybe 20 minutes but it took an hour and a half."
The surgery was a success — though painful.
"It was hideous, I thought I was going to faint half way through," he said. However, Taylor said the pain was gone "instantly" once he pulled out the molar.
Taylor, as well as virtually all dentists, have strongly urged people to not follow his example.
The U.K.'s SimpleNews shared a photo of Taylor with the tooth: