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Dentistry/in need of major dental work and dentures


QUESTION: I live in Berkeley California and i am disabled, i have exausted just about every where i could find dental work at no cost. and can not find any. My teeth are broken at the gum line and have cavities as well, i have been told by 3 different dentist that i need oral surgery to remove 12 teeth and have a upper denture and lower partial denture, pleaseif there is any one out there that can help i can not afford any type of payments, i live off 1200.
00 a month and don't get any help with food stamps. so with that and having to pay my own medical along with rent for my apartment its lucky i even eat. so please again i need dental work of the nature stated above at no cost. Thank you

ANSWER: Hello Richard,

I am sorry you are having such a hard time with your teeth, and also trying to find a way to pay for the dental work.

Have you tried a dental clinic at a school near where you live?  Sometimes they have students, who under the supervision of experienced teachers are willing to do the work, at a reduced cost.

Another idea, is to talk to the "benefits person" at the dental office of your choice.  Many offices have a dedicated person, who's job it is to navigate the cumbersome process of insurance, or set up finance plans.

If it were me, and I was in your position, I think I would try a get a flat rate for the entire job, and then work out a financing arrangement with the office.  Perhaps they can spread out payments over 36 to 48 months??

I am not sure if your disability is preventing you from returning to the work place.  If that is the case, and you are unable to work, try contacting a government health department in your area.  Maybe there is a social worker, who's job it is to help those, who can not afford to pay.

Your dental problem sounds serious, and I would like for you to press the issue and get something done about it.

Best Regards,
Patient POV

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your quick response, However i have tried all the methods you have mentioned and i am still hitting a brick wall.  I did hear that Medical
was supposed to be giving coverage for seniors with disabilities but that
has fallen to the way side so i am back to point one.  I am so nervous because i have other medical issues that may start to make this even more serious, But thank you for trying if you hear any thing knew could you please email me.

Thanks again

Hi Richard,

I have not heard anything new regarding how to pay for your dental work.

My suggestion is to re-read my above commentary, and just keep trying to find a way to finance the work.  Maybe they could just do half of the job this year?  See if they can prioritize the work and do it in small pieces.

Best Regards,
Patient Point of View


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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my bite problem. I am not a doctor, but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. ////// I come from a family of dentists. My first house growing up was one of those residential/dentist combination homes and I was around the dental practice all the time. My teeth had always been perfect, and in many respects they still are. I have never had a cavity and my teeth are straight. About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." I have learned a lot over the years as I tried to figure out my problem from the Dentists, Speech Pathologists and assorted doctors that I have visited. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


Twenty-Five years ago after my wisdom teeth were removed, my bite did not feel right and then had trouble speaking. For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. The years of searching for proper treatment has underscored the importance of understanding the relationship between dental and speech methodologies.///// To this end, and to further my research, I recently attended the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention (ASHA) in Atlanta. At ASHA I learned about a specialty within Speech Pathology termed “Orofacial Myology”. In laymen's terms Orofacial Myology Disorder (OMD) deals with the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and jaw. OMD is a motor speech disorder that impacts the normal flow of speech, chewing or swallowing.///// If you believe that your struggles with your teeth also present speech, chewing or swallowing challenges, you may want to seek out a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.....preferably one that has training with Orofacial Myology Disorder.

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Abridged Version of a Letter I Sent to a Health Care Professional (3/14/13): "..In my early 20's I had my wisdom teeth out. Almost immediately within a few days, something did not feel right in my mouth. I had trouble speaking. When I raised my tongue to try and touch my palate, I felt mostly just teeth. It is very cumbersome to talk and my bite also became a little bit off. If feels almost as if someone put a fork in my mouth and said "now try and speak." Very difficult. My articulation is fine, so to an observer I sound normal. But it takes a monumental effort, so I hate situations like talking on the phone or when somebody asks me to "tell them a story." ..I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. They just automatically gravitate to what they have heard about TMJ and assume I am either stressed, or just imagining it. Years later, I look back at all those dentists and doctors and I am amazed at how little they really knew about my condition. I have seen the best dentists, including my dad who is a Orthodontist in New York, to TMJ Dentists in Atlanta and Florida. No one ever suggested that Speech Pathology may be a direction I should explore. ..And I was frustrated by the fact that several MRI's over the years, showed nothing. How could the MRI’s show nothing, and at the same time, I know something does not feel right? I do wear a night guard to sleep in, but it does not fix the trouble that I have when I try to talk. ..I went with a Speech Pathologist friend of mine to the American Speech Language Hearing (ASHA) Convention last October in Atlanta...There was a Speech Pathologist at ASHA who was saying that sometimes when you have your Wisdom Teeth taken out "late" that it could possibly cause damage to the Trigeminal Nerve and surrounding muscles.” POSTSCRIPT: At ASHA, I discovered OROFACIAL MYOLOGY (OMD) which is a specialty in Speech Pathology that addresses Oral Muscular Issues.

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