5-speed listening (Level 3)

More British people fixing their own teeth



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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People in Britain can now repair their own teeth. They can buy special dental kits in supermarkets to fix fillings (called cavities in the USA) and repair caps and crowns. The kits can cost as little as $7. Many people are buying these kits because they cannot afford to go to the dentist. The cost of having a tooth filled at a dentist in England can cost up to $70, which is ten times higher than the price of the dental kit. One of the biggest selling products is a kit called DenTek. Britons bought around 250,000 of these last year. Britain's Dental Health Foundation (DHF) said one in five people in the UK would do DIY dentistry on their own teeth or the teeth of family and friends. DIY dentistry includes actually pulling out a tooth.

Britain is famous for the quality of its free health service. However, this service does not include dental work. The fact that DIY dentistry is increasing so quickly in Britain shows that there is a lot of poverty and inequality in the country. The poorest people cannot afford to go to the dentist. A spokeswoman for a local community in Scotland said: "DIY dentistry is fairly common here. They sell a lot of those dental kits – you can buy them in [supermarkets]. And you've got people taking care of their whole family's teeth." The DHF said many people would rather spend their money on a haircut or a night out than on their teeth. She said different people place different importance on visiting the dentist.

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