"My dentist told me it is going to cost between $10,000-$15,000 to restore my teeth. I don't have that kind of money and am uninsured. Should I just go ahead and have my teeth pulled and get dentures? I'm tired of not being able to smile and tired of living in pain. What should I do?"
This is a REAL scenario for so many people. The answer isn't as easy as you would think. My initial response is, no, you should never pull teeth that can be saved—but if you don't have the money to invest in them, what else can you do? I'm serious. I am asking any dentists who might be reading this, what would you recommend?
Teeth are important, but so is feeding your family and paying your mortgage. So how do you choose between the two? If you have analyzed your budget and see no room for any cuts in any areas of monthly spending, if you can't borrow the money, if you can't put it on credit and make payments, if insurance won't cover enough, what is one to do?
You can easily see why one would say, "Just pull them". It's not that they think dentures are a great option, many look at dentures as the only financially feasible option.
Real life scenario:
When I was 22, a single mom still living with my parents and bar tending on the weekends, I decided to start trying to fix my teeth with my own money. I was initially told it would cost about $13,000 to restore my teeth. Of course I was completely overwhelmed by that figure, but I did what I had to do and started getting to work. Every week, I would take $500 and dump it into my mouth. When that money ran out, I would pour in another $500 until I finally reached $5000 worth of work done.
At that point I had to make a tough decision. Should I continue living with mom and dad and fix my teeth, or should I move into my own place so I could finally be free to be a parent to my son? I very well could have continued living with my parents....but I wanted a place of my own for me and my son so I could raise him on my own, without the interference of two other adults. I didn't want to confuse him. I wanted him to have his own room. I wanted to cook dinner in our own kitchen. I wanted him to get into a routine. He was my son, not my parents. So I did what I thought was best for him and moved us into our own place. All of the money that would have went to my teeth started going to bills. It was a sacrifice I felt I had to make for my son. Was I wrong?
All of the work that I had done on my teeth started to deteriorate. No matter how religiously I brushed and flossed and tried to keep up with my oral health, it just wasn't enough. Within 4 years my teeth were at a stage that they could no longer be saved.
So again, I ask, what is the smart move in this situation? Please share any advice you may have in the comments section below. Or, if you were in a similar situation, tell us your story!