A Personal Story: Just Can’t Do It – Robert, Hartford

Robert lives in Hartford, Vermont. He got his first partial denture years ago, when he was living in Michigan. But it never really fit right. “I can eat better without it than I can with it,” he says. Now, in addition to needing his first denture to be fixed, he also needs a second partial denture. He went to the local branch of a big commercial practice to get help because they advertised that their first exam is free. But he couldn’t afford anything that came after the first exam, and now he owes them money–and still needs help. Robert’s situation is complicated by multiple significant medical issues including diabetes, which causes dry mouth, leaves him much more vulnerable to gum disease, and makes maintaining a healthy diet critically important to his overall health – something that is hard to do without functioning teeth.  He’s been unemployed for over two years; he’s now trying to improve his prospects by attending classes at CCV, the local community college. With a special-needs child to care for, he and his wife are faced with expenses that make teeth a low priority. “I care about myself, “ Robert says. “But when it comes to the money, I just can’t do it.”

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