My High Maintenance Mouth
by William Gentry
(Santa Barbara, CA)
Apparently, according to the last dentist, I seem to belong to the 10% of the population whose teeth fall out because my body can't keep the bones that they are anchored to from gradually dissolving.
Short of getting them all pulled and gumming baby food for the rest of my life, or inviting the interminable problems and constant discomfort and hassles of false teeth, I am now faced with many further thousands of dollars of surgery to attempt to further prolong the inevitable erosion of my slowly disintegrating jaws.
Just have my mouth sewn shut and live on an IV drip?
So far I have endured gum surgery and bone grafts in all four quadrants done 10 years ago, an implant done only 3 years ago that is already showing a problem, and am facing the removal and restoration of the teeth and bone which support a bridge which was installed back in the dark ages before implants became common.
I feel like a highway bridge that is now not long enough to connect to the road on the eroding banks at either end of me.
Due to my allergy to cubicles, I have been self employed in a variety of moderately to not terribly successful businesses for my entire life. At no time have I ever had private or public health insurance. There are paper boys who have paid more into Social Security, for what that's worth.
Therefore, I will probably have to keep on working as long as I want to keep on living.
If I had seaman's papers to document my half century of experience on boats, I hear that I could get free dental treatment in Mexico. I wonder if my teeth could hold out long enough for me to become documented as an Able Bodied Seaman? I'd probably get refused because of my UN-Able body.
Over 3 score years ago I entered this world with no teeth. Will I exit this world with no teeth?
I want to do the right thing for myself.
Can you help?