NHS WALLIES LEFT ME TOOTHLESS FOR 5YRS; Dad's dentures agony after operation.
Chris Piccini, 54, yesterday told how he was left jobless and barely able to chew solid food because the dentures he got afterwards didn't fit properly.
The dad-of-two, from Pilton in Edinburgh, worked in a call centre and in catering before the operation.
He said: "Speaking to people without any teeth or dentures is not very nice. You end up spitting at people and I speak in a strange way.
"I've had to stay inside. Which jobs can I apply for? One in a cellar so no one sees me?" NHS Lothian have been ordered to apologise to Chris after he complained to Scotland's Ombudsman.
His ordeal began when he had 16 rotten teeth removed at St John's Hospital in Livingston in 2006.
Chris was told too much tissue was lost during the operation, so he couldn't use standard dentures.
He said he had to wait six months for a set, which were fitted so poorly that they caused agonising pain and ulcers, forcing him to abandon them.
Two years later, a dentist agreed to provide him with a second set of dentures - but they too did not fit. A dental specialist in his native Belgium said they were "like a knife" and would end up splitting his mouth open.
Chris, who has lived in Edinburgh for 14 years, was eventually referred to NHS Lothian's department of restorative dentistry - but the consultant there sent him back to his original dentist without offering him an appointment.
In his ruling, Ombudsman Jim Martin said the problems were having a devastating impact on Chris's life.
He ordered the health board to apologise and arrange an urgent appointment for Chris at their department of restorative dentistry.
BAD FIT J Chris is unable to use the dentures he has been given