LOst my teeth due to disease, need bone grafts we can't afford

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    Hello, my name is Maria, I honestly have little hope there is help out there -we’ve been looking for three years and haven’t found any help for my situation. Me and my husband currently live in Arkansas. I had to have all my teeth pulled out at the age of 35 due to a prolonged illness (not a smoker or a drug addict, just a long endocrine illness and my teeth were rotting one by one since I was a kid, I was born in Belarus and the whole thing could have been a result of Chernobyl fallout at the time, but the result is the same, a chronic illness that resulted in eventual tooth loss). Once all the teeth were pulled (we had to do it in two batches, one batch at the oral surgeon’s, another-at the dentist in a nearby town), they told us that apparently I have very low bone mass in my jaws, sinus cavity is compromised, the wall is way too thin, and the denture will never hold or can even be made until I have bone grafts and implants in place. We went to numerous dentists and to a Louisiana Dental Association Dept. Chair who said that yes, nobody can do nothing until I have bone grafts done. We even tried to make me a denture disregarding everything, which didn’t even hold when not in use, I couldn’t talk or eat with it as a proof. So, now I’m 38 and have been living without teeth and without a denture for the last three years. I’m disabled, but for a woman my age and a social person to begin with, this is pretty much the end of any social life and ability to make friends considering I’m also a foreigner, have to speak a foreign language all the time, and speaking is extremely difficult with no teeth to add insult to injury. I pretty much gave up on smiling and being happy. I can’t work due to a disability, but for a person who used to be an artist and an avid backpacker, and loved being out and about, being toothless is pretty much the last straw. My husband works two jobs, but because we already are paying a huge loan off for my previous dental work (when they pulled my teeth) , and because of the cost of my medications which are not covered by my Medicaid, we can’t afford another loan or payments. I know there are dental schools around, but we also have no car and live with my in-laws who can’t/won’t drive me that far, we are out in the sticks and hours away from any major cities. My face/jaw shape has been slowly changing too because of not having a denture, which is very traumatizing because my face already swells often due to illness, plus I have hair loss and might be facing having to wear wigs again, and this is all just too much for me to take, physically and emotionally. I was wondering if there is any hope at all for me? I mean, is there anyone who has found any actual financial help and had this kind of work done? Thank you very much and sorry for the essay, there was no way describing this briefly, I’m afraid. -Maria


    I’m so sorry to hear of all your dental problems. I’d get in touch with your local dental association, or with your local dentist to find out if they run any, or are in touch with any charitable organizations. Many dental associations hold charitable events where they provide free dental care to people who need it or may know of other programs that could help someone in your position. Hopefully, if you can reach out to one of these programs they will be able to suggest a solution for your problem.

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