A Personal Story: In Debt for Dental – Emme, Strafford

Emme is 58 with two grown children. She lives in Strafford, Vermont. She has dental work that she needs done, but can’t afford it. She has repeatedly gone into debt to try to pay her dental bills. Here is her story:

Sometimes we had Medicaid, sometimes not, but I have only once used a Medicaid dentist, as I trust my own so much, and he does not take Medicaid. Most of the time we just put it on the credit card, as we don’t have enough money to pay cash. We have lots of credit card debt. My dentist knows our situation, so whenever he can, he gives us a break . . . like for an emergency visit for my husband, but we still had to pay the “extractor” with a credit card. The boys were always covered by Medicaid, until they got older. Now they don’t go as often as they should. They will go for years (without seeing a dentist.) I have work that needs to be done, but cannot do it and it is just too much to put on the card… deep scaling and planing, (my husband too) and a crown. I will have to wait until my stepfather dies and then use my inheritance. In the past, like 18 years ago, I didn’t go unless it was an emergency. I had several teeth pulled out because it was cheaper than a root canal. The only time I had a big job done was after my father died and I inherited some money. I needed a crown, and so I could pay for it then.

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