A Personal Story: Painful but Unaffordable – Linda, Woodstock


Linda lives in Woodstock, Vermont. This is her story:

It has been very frustrating for me to not have enough money to afford dental insurance and not have enough money to afford to get my teeth fixed properly. I am very lucky that one of my very best friends is a hygienist and she cleans my teeth regularly and she has taken x-rays. I have gotten quotes around at least $10,000 to fix my teeth; they have progressively gotten worse because I can’t afford to go to the dentist.

I have suffered with toothaches until I finally had the tooth pulled because that is the only option open to me because I cannot afford a root canal. I have a bridge that needed to be replaced 10 yrs ago. I cannot afford to get it replaced and I pray that nothing happens to it, because it will not only inhibit my ability to eat properly, but it will look terrible and will have an effect on my self esteem. I was surprised at how insensitive some of the dentists are to this situation when I finally went to have a tooth pulled. I got a Rx for an antibiotic to take before I had my tooth pulled. When I went to get the Rx filled it was about $50. Because the dentist wrote it out for an expensive penicillin drug of 600 mg instead of writing a Rx that Wal-Mart could fill for $5.00. I was really disappointed that she was so insensitive especially after I told her that I had been putting this off because of my financial situation.

I think there is a huge need for affordable dental care. And I really do not understand why it is not right up there with health care. Because from everything that I have been told, your general health is so affected by your oral health. I would just like to be able to take care of my routine dental care so that my teeth do not get worst, but the bill just keeps getting higher and higher.

Illustration by Dennis Pacheco.

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