Posts Tagged ‘Homelessness’

A Personal Story: A Tooth Would Help! – Cathy, Enfield

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Cathy lives in Enfield, New Hampshire. This is her story:

I had a dentist ask me once, “you’ve had good times and bad, haven’t you?”

True, I have a couple of beautiful caps, some ugly ole’ black fillings, and many emergency extractions. I’m 63 and even with insurance it is NEVER enough to get a nice smile. :)

I have also worked with homeless people for 40 years (including running Shelter, Inc homeless shelter in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 7 years). When families call to ask what can they do [to help homeless people], I would say: “Help someone get to a dentist.” They can’t work without teeth. They don’t need pie at Thanksgiving or any more socks or hats – a tooth would help!

A Personal Story: Money Is the Issue – Jeff, Bradford

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Jeff is a homeless veteran currently living with a friend in Bradford, Vermont. This is his story:

My dental history in a nutshell: I can’t afford it. I go to a free clinic if I can. If I need a tooth pulled I am going to do it. I just do not like the pain. I guess it is a money issue. Although, I have been pretty lucky. I only had one tooth pulled. But all my other teeth have fillings, most of them. I know down the road things will change. One tooth I have is cracked right now, and I am concerned about that, because I know if I can’t afford to have the crown I will just have it pulled. I have been down this road before. The one tooth I did have pulled, oh forget it, it was pretty bad. I tried pulling it myself because it ached so bad, and I ended up breaking the tooth so all there was left was the base of the tooth, even with my gum line, so when they pulled the root out they had to go in with forceps. I was so happy once they got it out.

A Personal Story: Vet not Set – Michael, Wilder

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Michael is homeless; these days, he lives in a tent in Wilder, Vermont. He’s a veteran; he receives medical care through the VA, and also has Medicaid. “People think that if you’ve got Medicare and Medicaid, you must be all set with your teeth,” he told me recently. “But it’s just not true.” Accessing affordable dental treatment is not an immediately critical need for him; so far, he’s been pretty lucky with his teeth. But he says it’s only a matter of time, and he’s worried about what he’s going to do when he needs significant dental care. “It’s just another thing to worry about,” he says. “I really wish it wasn’t.”