posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 04:16 PM
Good question. When I worked with mentally handicapped individuals, I had a few who were in intense pain from serious dental caries that had become
terribly infected. They needed crowns and root canals. Their Medicaid did not cover dental care of this nature. Once you hit 18 years old, you're on
your own with your teeth. I did quite a bit of researching, and even contacted the local health department, which has a dentist on staff.
I wrote to the dentist, and he wrote back a snippy, downright nasty letter stating that poor people deserve the dental trouble they have, because they
waste their food stamps and welfare on sodas and sugary junk food. He railed on and on about tax dollars paying for dental care when these poor
people had cells phones and iPods. He completely failed to comprehend that I was writing on behalf of people with mental retardation, who had NOTHING
and were becoming seriously ill from lack of dental care.
I decided to let it go (although I should have sent it to the city council so they could see what a jackass they had working with the public), but
after weeks of research, I failed to find ANYTHING to help the poor and handicapped when it came to dental care.
I ended up having to refer the individuals to the ER at the local hospital. After they were treated as drug-seeking addicts, I had to intervene,
which got them some antibiotics and pain meds, but no dental help. Local health departments will pull a tooth, but that is it.
Your best bet is to have your relative find a dentist who takes payments, so she can at least get the work started, in order to halt the decay and
infection. In the mean time, they can work with her insurance and get the ball rolling there. Many dentists will take payments, especially now that
most people cannot afford dental care and have no insurance, so they are hurting for business. I know this because my daughter is a dental
Best of luck.