Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The beginning of the end....
Hopefully, this blog will help a lot of people find solutions to their denture problems. Sometimes it might be DENTIST problems, but I can help you with that too. That's why I said, "the beginning of the end." The end of denture problems! This all started when I faced a lifelong fear of dentists and many years of no insurance or money for dental care. When I did face it my teeth were in terrible shape and I hadn't smiled a full smile for years! No one can understand the sadness of that unless they've gone through it.
It was tough to make the decision to have all my teeth pulled, but I had to rely on my dentist's advice and she told me there wasn't even one tooth without problems and although she could do a lot of expensive work on me, eventually I would lose all the teeth anyway. She recommended dentures and especially dental implants. I decided to take her recommendation and even though I had (still have) no insurance, I decided the investment was worth going into debt for. I put the entire thing on credit cards. Several thousand for the implants and surgery by an oral surgeon my dentist recommended and a little over $7000 to my dentist for the extractions, temporary immediate dentures and eventually, final removeable dentures. I will break down the cost for anyone who wants to discuss that too, but for now this is the first entry on this blog so I will skim over a lot of details.
Long story short...I am now considering suing the dentist for performing shoddy work, a year of pain and suffering, plus a year of lost wages. My bottom denture broke (the one that snaps on to the implants) and I've spent an entire year trying to get the dentist to take responsibility and to replace the denture. She finally conceded and had a bottom overdenture made, but it's almost like her frustration and anger about the situation was built in with the denture. (Plus she insisted that I would have to pay some additional cost) After 4 visits she couldn't get it to fit right and we were almost at each other's throats by that time, so I gave up on it. Fortunately, this is when I was introduced to a denturist and was able to get involved in what I consider a consumer rights issue. The right to go to a person who is trained extensively to take impressions, make the dentures and fit them properly.
What she didn't realize was that I had filed a complaint with the state Attorney General and with the state Dental Association. I had documented the entire process, told of her attitude towards me, of her charging me for work that was under warranty. The dental association took their sweet time in taking this under consideration and then offered me $2000, the cost of the bottom overdenture and attachments. In return they wanted me to sign a release form that I wouldn't sue the dentist. At first I was going to take it because I needed the money, but since I learned that you can't make one part of a denture and expect it to fit with a different set--this is why she couldn't "force" the new one to feel right--I decided to turn down their offer. When and IF they come back to me asking what I want, I will tell them $7000 plus $3000 for pain and suffering and lost wages.
Ok, that is a very brief rundown of the situation and I'm going to try to get the word out to denture wearers that you don't have to settle for ill-fitting dentures or arrogant dentists who make you feel like you're a complainer or that you're asking for more than you deserve.
I will try to build this blog up to where denture wearers will know where to go for the latest information on dentures and denture products, for info on filing complaints and for general support. Any questions will be answered as soon as possible. I hope to have anyone who has dealt with problems to post here and let me help you find a resolution to the problem.
I will also be posting links to sites that I feel benefit denture wearers (not dentists!). I will put a couple here today and very soon they should be listed in the right hand column for easy access. I'm still a novice at these blogs, but I won't give up on trying to inform and support fellow denture wearers! Please leave your story in the comments!
Link to FDA report about denture cleaning products
Link to Denturist Offices by State
Message board for denture wearers