They’re taking the long way around but eventually they’re going to end up a nation of Randians.

Randians that can’t eat solid food, that is.

Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers…

[A] lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment…

Almost half of all dentists — 45 percent — said they no longer take NHS patients, while 41 percent said they had an “excessive” workload. Twenty-nine percent said their clinic had problems recruiting or retaining dentists.

“These findings indicate that the NHS dental system is letting many patients down very badly,” said Grant.

Here’s basically the same article published seven months ago in the Daily Mail, just to illustrate how slow things are to change in the public model. It’s chock full of excerptable nuggets but I’ll settle for this: “Having an NHS dentist should be viewed as an aspiration rather than a reality.”