Part 1: The Problems
This is a subject I’ve been meaning to write about for quite some time, as I have my own serious dental issues much like like Doris, whose story follows.
We are dependent on ODSP and their dental program which does not cover our disability related medical needs of materials compatibility testing, safer materials or oxygen, all of which can be absolutely necessary to avoid serious health consequences from chemical exposures in dental offices and from incompatible materials.
Also, as Doris mentions below, most dentists have no experience with our specific needs.
I am aware of other people currently experiencing similar predicaments, in Ontario and elsewhere. I might be posting a few more stories as a part of this series.
We are looking for suggestions on how we can receive appropriate, safe and affordable dental care, which as we know is necessary for more than just dental health.
I will also be posting some steps and solutions available to those with adequate financial means to pay for them, but will start with the problems, and the request for assistance in finding solutions for those of us without adequate financial (and social) resources.
What follows is Doris’s story, in her words…
I am a 60 yr old ODSP recipient, diagnosed with MCS & EI in 1992, along with other physical disabilities.
Dentists are refusing treatment on grounds of MCS/EI & ODSP dental card & also the extra cost of special freezing and filling compound/bonding agent I require.
Tooth decay is hampering my chewing/processing of fresh raw foods for special dietary needs for weight-loss, HBP, and hypoglycemia
Also I have lost fillings in my front teeth, not wanting to smile anymore, greatly adding to low self-esteem, and sociability is much needed to help with chronic depression.
Human Rights say it’s not an issue that they will help me with, to find a dentist to accept me with above criteria to meet.
I feel I need to address the system and ask that changes be made to accommodate people like me more fully in the dentistry, MD and hospital areas.
There is a great lack of proper care given us and education on what we require is lacking.
After all, we also are members of the human race who deserve treatment without all the extra expense and stress just to receive healthcare like anyone else.
There are many worse off than I and I can’t understand what’s taking the system so long to realize we’re here, growing in numbers, and not going away except by death.
I am so frustrated and upset, as I have been trying to find a dentist and oral health care since 2001, now my teeth are all decaying probably beyond repair.
I had even relocated to Ottawa for a few years while searching for a dentist who would accept both ODSP dental card & meet my special needs with MCS/EI.
In 2010 I found a dentist in a small town in ON who accepted the ODSP dental card, accepted me as a patient even after first appointment, medical form filled out accurately and fully disclosing my special needs/first exam/x-ray, partial cleaning, booking of appointments to complete series of work to be done, then on the morning of my appointment, I called to confirm that special compound/anesthetic had arrived and was available for the work being done on me that day, and was told ‘no’ and that they had no idea I needed it! Did they intend to slip that by me and use their normal products on me potentially putting me back into a health crisis?
I wrote all this down for the HRC and they set up a telephone date to speak with me, but my point at the moment seems to me to be getting my teeth done, not suing that dentist for failing me…that will not hasten my receipt of dental hygiene.
Two other dentists agreed to help me but only if done in a hospital setting, stating they were too worried about my other health issues (HBP?) but not understanding how I must avoid hospitals because of my severe MCS/EI.
I have been studying and applying naturopathy, homeopathy, non-invasive holistic therapies to try to help myself for 22 years to date out of necessity, having been harmed by well-meaning MDs for many years, both before my diagnosis and afterward.
??? I know I don’t need to go further in discussing how orthodox medicine has literally swept under the dusty rugs of our ‘old’ medical systems. I sympathize with all of us doing through this nightmare.
My question is: With little money, how does one pay for their own dentistry, as suggested by professor at the office of the ON Dental Surgeons, in order to get a dentist to accept me as a patient on ODSP whose coverage does not pay sufficiently to encourage skilled dentists to want to take us on, especially with needs such as special filling compounds that cost up to $800 a vial but that will do approx. 100 fillings.
My argument was: “Can you not continue to use the unused portion on children who would benefit from this less toxic compound?” Then the excuse was, “You will have to find someone to test you to find out which compound and bonding agent suits you.”
I inquired into a naturopathic dentist in Ottawa I was acquainted with having seen him in the past for testing, and was told by their clinic that I would have to travel to Ottawa from Sault Ste. Marie ON to attend for testing, detoxing, etc, which could take quite a while before he could actually do the needed dentistry on me.
Are these people on this planet?
The clinic testing alone was quoted as costing up to $500. Then I would have to have transportation and lodging costs to deal with over that time frame even though I am eligible to Northern Travel Grant to get me to Ottawa, I would still need about $500 out of my own pocket to get my vehicle in condition for such a long journey.
Diesel buses, plane, train is not an option for me. Motels and hotel rooms are out of my price range for a long term stay for treatments so how am I to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat?
I’m trying desperately to keep myself out the black pit of depression and despair and it’s becoming harder and harder each until now I am grasping at straws, telling my story where I can in hopes of someone out there hearing and understanding what’s going on and helping me to find alternative options.
I can truthfully say I have been improving with my sensitivities and feel that it would be safe for me to have work done now, as I had had done with the special compound with a local dentist here in early 2000, but he has relocated out-of-town, another dentist took over his practice, my old files are no longer available to find out the name of the special bonding agent he used on me that I didn’t react to at that time, and this is what this other local dentist says I must find out by special testing with clinic in Ottawa.
Do you know of any alternative way to solve this problem without me having to sit here looking like a hillbilly with two front fillings missing, and broken off decaying molars that have lost their fillings, maybe I swallowed them, who knows, after waiting so long seeking a dentist who would take me.
Thank you for reading this, and if nothing else comes out of me writing all of this, I will have at least said my piece once again.