DIYers unconvinced of the value of professional services have broken into yet another industry, it seems. Last week’s episode of Extreme Cheapskates featured Grant and Karen Hearn, who, after learning that it would cost $185 for Karen to have a root canal at the dentist, proposed that they simply extract her tooth at home.
In the episode, Karen holds up a pair of rusty pliers for the camera. “The extraction will actually take place using this barber’s tool,” she says. “We found it at a yard sale. [It was] used back in the early 1920s and 1930s for when people used to go to the barber, rather than a dentist, to have their tooth pulled.”
Her husband was initially hesitant, saying he didn’t want to accidentally pull the wrong tooth. However, he said, “My wife threatened to take her own tooth out, so this needs to be taken care of.”
Grant studied on YouTube to prepare for his role as oral surgeon.
He is shown cleaning and sterilizing the rusty extraction tool with cola, tin foil and rubbing alcohol before his wife lies down on a paper-covered recliner in their living room with an ice pack strapped to her cheek.
Karen explains that she is using Benzocaine on her gums “so that when my husband pulls my tooth, I won’t feel anything.”
Before the surgery commences with what is apparently a homemade scalpel, Grant makes sure his suction device — created out of a plastic straw, duct tape and their household vacuum cleaner — is close at hand.
All told, the procedure cost the couple about $10 in supplies, for a savings of $175.
Needless to say, dental professionals believe there are better ways to manage the costs of dentistry.
Past episodes of the show, which runs on TLC, have featured everything from a father who books his daughter’s Sweet 16 party at a strip club because it gave him an excellent discount, to a father-to-be making a homemade breast pump for his pregnant wife, to a husband who reuses his wife’s dental floss.