Desperate for a Dentist

I just received this e-mail this afternoon. We have aired several stories in the last year on families with no insurance or not enough coverage to pay for necessary treatments when someone gets sick unexpectedly. None of our stories have covered denistry; but as you read the viewer’s e-mail below, you can understand why this type of healthcare is just as important.

“I have no dental insurance and have not been able to get approved for financing. I have been to the dental school many times and keep getting rejected. The last time I was there, I was told that they would never accept me because I have too many problems. I am so desperate now for any help or advice. My teeth are all breaking now or have already broken down to the gum and are missing. Eating and trying to sleep is very painful. I wake up in the mornings and my tongue is cut up or the inside of my lips, my face is swollen, etc… Most of my teeth have already had root canals and it has always been extremely painful. Also, I am a Realtor and would love to finally get back to work, but my teeth are so bad that it is so embarrassing. I can’t help but cry when I talk about this because I really do not know what to do. I am the kind of person to help everyone but myself and now I am afraid it is too late. Can you please give me any advice at all to help me? I would do anything to have a beautiful smile and just be able to eat real food!!”

I had to do some searching to find some resources. Here are some places that should be able to help:

The Greater Houston Dental Society has a list of “Low Cost Dental Resources” on its website.

Also, the Univerisity of Texas Dental Branch at Houston offers dental care. The average cost for services are about 30% cheaper than the prices you’ll find at private dentist offices. You do have to apply. You’ll be assessed and evaluated by UT Dental Branch faculty who will decide if you qualify for the program. If you’re in pain, the school does have an emergency clinic open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays offered to people on a first come, first serve basis. It’s not free, but again, it’s less expensive because while you’re getting treatment, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year dental students are getting training under the supervision of faculty.
Check out the website for more information:

You can also call the UT Dental Branch patient hotline at (713) 500-4000.
I hope this helps.


2 Responses

  1. Please don’t be afraid to leave the U.S. to have dental work done in Mexico!

    I’ve been to Los Algodones four times for dental work. The last time I was there, I had a root canal, post and buildup, and a crown. Including airfare, rental car, and hotel, the cost was $1,200. In Seattle, the dental work alone would have been $2,400.

    If you’d like a copy of the 30-page journal from my first trip in 2006, email me at my Yahoo account (SuzanneFromSeattle).

    — Suzanne From Seattle

  2. Please help me… I live in Gainesville, Florida, and I am in the same situation.

    When my husband was working full time for the state last year, I was unable to get the dental care that I needed despite the fact that I was insured because NO ONE took our insurance. He changed to a part time worker last summer, so we lost that useless dental insurance as well as our medical insurance. He has tried to get dental insurance for us- and is paying for a plan right now- but we aren’t allowed to get any major work done until October 2009.

    The problem is, I am running out of teeth. I have had two teeth just crumble and fall out in the past week, and another one a few weeks before that. Most of my teeth are broken and gone. They are so dead now that at least I am not really in pain anymore (aside from sharp tooth bits cutting my tongue etc).

    It’s to the point now that I can barely eat. And we have no options available to fix this- we have no credit, we can’t get any financing. I am really desperate.

    What do we do? Where do we go?

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