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Mon Sep 24, 2012, 03:37 PM

Need Advice - Mom's Teeth!

Hi ya'll,

I'm trying to find some way of getting my mom help. She is in a world of hurt due to her teeth, which are in really bad shape. I recently persuaded her to go to a dentist, only to have the situation worsened; their picking at one of her crowns during a cleaning led to bad pain there. It's to the point that she is holding her face a lot of the time, it hurts to laugh, she's losing sleep.

She is not insured, and there's no way that she can afford what she needs. A specialist said three crowns and two root canals. We live in Port Saint Lucie, FL. I've been unable to locate any dental charities, and we have no local dental schools. Care Credit wouldn't work, because there's no way she could pay it before hitting the gigantic interest fees.

Any ideas of what I can do to get her some help? It's a single income home. Dad works hard, mom hasn't been able to since she had a heart attack. I am disabled, and she's still caring for me at age 27, always putting herself second. I am tired of watching that happen.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 03:46 PM

1. the only advice I can offer is to consider dentures

for the same price as fixing a few, you can get them replaced. I know that doesn't help with trying to pay for any of it, just that it's what I should have done instead of suffering years of losing them one by one with no access to care.

Wishadoo has helped a lot of people lately, try here http://www.wishadoo.org/wishlist/


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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:54 AM

11. Dentures are not good for long term health though

Lack of teeth contrbutes to jaw/facial collapsing as you lose structure in your mouth -- it really is a last resort.

Dental schools are one good option for low-cost (or sometimes free) care!

Also, there are many dentists that specialize in working for low-income communities. They tend to offer payment plans or accept discount or insurance plans that others don't. Perhaps coming up with a treatment plan that handles one tooth every six months or so?

It is too bad that Medicaid covers dental in only a few states (and even then, it is sometimes only for children), especially since missing teeth contributes to unemployment (it's true; there are studies; but think about it, how many toothless cashiers and wait staff do you see? not many . . . people don't want the toothless to represent their business . . . it is a vicious cycle for the low-income folks who can't get dental care).

There are many programs that will have "free dental care day" annually in some community or other that you might be able to access (but again, it is often focused on kids). But check out your community and see what's available.

Have you looked into taking a small personal loan to cover the costs? Seriously, dental health is very important (not only due to the pain, but bad oral health can lead to infections and even heart problems).

Good luck!

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Response to OrwellwasRight (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:00 PM

12. I disagree

I've had mine for over 20 years now, and I was much worse off before. I couldn't eat anything but mush so nutrition suffered, constant pain ruled my life.

small trade off for my face to be scrunchy when I'm old than to not make it to old age

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 07:43 PM

17. Sorry, I did not mean to imply that having no teeth

is better than having dentures. My point was that if that the natural teeth can be saved and be functional, that is preferred to getting dentures just "to save money." Preserving natural teeth is the better health option, but certainly if that's not possible, dentures are the next best thing.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 04:14 PM

2. Get some clove powder. It's amazing how well that numbs the pain - even for dry sockets.

 

Dental work is fucking expensive, and without insurance you're pretty much out of luck. Brandy's good too. Use it as a mouthwash (but swallow it). It works on two levels that way.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

7. Cloves work wonders!

A drop or two of clove oil is very effective and really gets into tight spots. Then spit it out.

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Response to Indpndnt (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:17 AM

9. If you can FIND it. Clove powder is easy to come by. Curiously, capsicum works well too.

 

I've had canker sores for as long as I can remember, and hot pepper sauce (Tabasco in particular) is one of the best ways to numb the pain. Curiously, and contrary to popular belief, it's also one of the best cures for indigestion. Natural remedies are amazing. We've got a rather substantial herb bed and probably 20 lbs of dried produce in storage tubs right now. My wife is well read in the medicinal herb department and quite adapt at producing soothing and effective teas.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #9)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:22 PM

14. Very true about finding it. I am lucky enough to have a Sprouts and Whole Foods nearby.

I found it at Sprouts, but they carry it at both. I imagine other health(y) food stores would, too, if there are any near the OP.

And I am very jealous of your teas!

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 06:28 PM

3. Would she consider going to another country?

My ex had to have major dental work done, he spoke Russian. He found it was cheaper to fly to Russia and get the work done than to have it done here. You might look into Mexico or Canada, or maybe other countries.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 06:44 PM

4. Try calling these people:

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Mon Sep 24, 2012, 06:50 PM

5. This group may have some info or a referral in your county.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 09:21 AM

6. Contact DU's OneGrassRoot

She started something called wishadoo.org to help people with situations like yours.
She posts a lot on the Astrology forum.
Good luck!

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 09:45 AM

8. are you close to Mexico by chance?

Are you anywhere close to Mexico? My Sis (then living in Phoenix) walked across the border to have her front tooth in her dentures fixed, took an hour. $50 no tax even.

She noticed on that Dentist's wall was his dental certification from Univ of ?Michigan? or some northern state. Yep, he graduated and USA helped to educate him - THEN he was deported.

It might be worth investigating dentures too. The pain and potential infections is something not to play with.

Edit: How funny, I've been a lurker and too lazy to post in years, but NOW it says I have "1 post". No need to do the Welcomes, I've been enjoying all your company for a long time Folks.

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Response to Biscottiiii (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:28 AM

10. It was nice of you to come out of hiding to try and help another DUer.

Welcome to DU ... LOL

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Response to Biscottiiii (Reply #8)


Response to Akoto (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:24 PM

15. We have some friends who moved to California from Mexico in the 80s

I know the mom of the family has gone to Mexico to have dental work done, because it's so much less expensive.
"Medical Tourism" is a whole new thing now, so "Dental Tourism" could be starting up, too... *google*....Yes, it is...

http://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/info-08-2009/greenberg_costa_rica_dental.html

If your mom can get some Wishadoo funds her dollar would stretch farther in Costa Rica. (or Mexico, but I'm not sure what areas are dangerous due to drug cartels)

Airbnb (bnb stands for bed 'n breakfast) is a great online short or longer term rental service.
People rent a room, cottage, or apartment from members at much lower than hotel rates. (though I'm sure there are lower-than-U.S. hotels' rates in Costa Rica)
https://www.airbnb.com/s/San-Jose--Costa-Rica.

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Response to Akoto (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 03:13 PM

16. I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice!

I am looking into every suggestion, and greatly appreciate each of you who took the time to post. Mom can't travel as far as some are suggesting, but there are other options in the mix!

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