I am a 38 year old single mother who is working full time at a fairly good job. I have dental insurance, medical insurance and accidental insurance, yet none of these policies will cover the procedure that I need. I have researched every financial option that I can find (including but not limited to grants, clinical studies, loans, and charities). I am doing my best to advocate for myself.
My dental situation is complicated by the structure of my jaw. At 28 years old, I had all upper teeth extracted and received a “same day” denture. My lower molars were also extracted but not replaced because I have large Mandibular Tori. This bony growth is not compatible with dentures. My remaining front lower teeth have been compromised over the years due to pressure from chewing, as I have no molars in my bite (my upper duenture molars are actually flush with the gumline). These lower front teeth are now crumbled and I cannot chew at all, or speak comfortably and my career advancement is severely impacted by the state of my smile because of visibly missing and damaged teeth- not to mention there is considerable pain and swelling that I battle regularly.
Over the last year, I have been to 4 consultations: surgeons, denturists and an implant specialist. I have had CT scans and thorough exams. There is no question – I require full arch implants. I have no teeth left to anchor a partial to.
My original intention was replace the upper denture and to have the lower teeth extracted to eliminate constant infection and to help raise my confidence with broken teeth out of view.
However, all dental professionals have told me that I cannot, under any circumstance, wear an upper denture with no lower teeth in place. They warned of nerve and vascular damage, along with alignment issues that could negatively affect the spinal cord in my neck. Basically, my current option is to have zero teeth or to have implants. The cost for only the lower teeth is approximately $25,000 (not including anesthesia, rx, etc). Full arch upper implants cost the same. I do have the option to stay with a traditional upper denture (~$3,000) but I must have implants on the lower in order to keep the upper. As of today, I have around a year left with the damaged lower teeth that I have left. Once those are gone, I will have not choice but to remove my upper denture. It is then that my entire life will change dramatically. I will be forced to seek another career behind the scenes, and I fear a sense of devastation to my confidence, overall.
Thank you for sharing your valuable time and consideration to read this request. Please know that I am actively seeking and saving, and that I am not stricly relying on the charity of others. I would love to answer any questions (such as why did I lose my teeth so young?) and to perhaps learn if any pro bono programs exist for a case like mine.