Friday, May 01, 2009

Colorado Woman Who Superglued Her Teeth Receives FREE Cosmetic Makeover

September Williamson from Grand Junction, Colorado who has received a cosmetic dental makeover after supergluing her teeth together

A Colorado mom who superglued her teeth together has received a free cosmetic dental makeover.

September Williamson used superglue to cement in false teeth, because she couldn't afford the dental work.

A cosmetic surgeon heard her story and stepped in to help.

"My kids have never really seen me smile," said Williamson.

In March, Williamson was in tears when she told KKCO she had to use superglue to keep her teeth from falling out. The mother of three had insurance, but it didn't cover the thousands of dollars in work she needed.

After a story aired in Colorado, hundreds of emails poured in and a cosmetic dentist offered a solution. It took lots of planning and a weekend in Los Angeles, but now Williamson has a new smile.

"I feel younger, giddy," Williamson said.

It took 40 hours of dental work, but Williamson says it was worth the pain.

"I can eat normally now," Wiliamson says, "I have higher self esteem, more energy now. So, I'm working out and I'm taking better care of myself."

Once embarrassed to smile, she says now she can't stop.

First, as a dentist I want to say KUDOS to the California dentist who provided the free care for this woman.

But, Flap cannot help notice that NO Grand Junction, Colorado dentist(s) volunteered to do the job? Or, even other Colorado or Utah dentists? You see Flap has travelled though Grand jUnction, Colorado a number of times and know the area of rural Western Colorado. It is not an area of either few dentists or one of economic insufficiency.

So, why?

Possibly because September Williamson is NOT an isolated case there or in other areas nearby.

The sad fact is that many people in the United States cannot or will not afford the care they need or desire.

Then, there is the issue of personal responsibility since dental disease, including tooth decay, is almost totally preventable with dental education, diet, dental hygiene, lifestyle (e.g. no smoking, drugs) and regular professional care. For a relatively young patient her mouth was riddled with tooth decay.

Here is September on the health care system:

"There are thousands, even hundreds of thousands out there that have the same problem," Williamson said.

She's hoping her story will spark change in the health care system and inspire others to help. "If there was just one dentist in every town that would commit their time in volunteering to help one person in that town throughout the whole United States, that's a lot of people that could be helped."

She says she doesn't want another mom to have to make the choice she did, a decision between taking care of her teeth and taking care of her children.

September is lucky that a California dentist agreed to her cosmetic makeover. Most indigent, poor, old or disabled patients are lucky if they can receive low cost or free tooth extractions and a denture.

However, the dilemma of Ms. Williamson and others is: Who Will Pay for Treatment?

The individual?


Or, The government?

And, if you answer the government? What will the scope of the care be? And, what services will be provided?

Flap's bet is that the services provided by the government will not be a cosmetic makeover with porcelain crowns and veneers. It is simply too expensive. Ask the English and their experience with their National Health Service.

And, dentists who are in private business have a finite amount of resources for charity.

Exit question: Who is responsible for September Williamson's situation?

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1 comment:

  1. I love that story!

    People often underestimate the economic value of cosmetic dentistry. Numerous studies show that one's smile can influence self-esteem. It is true, people who consider themselves to have bad teeth tend not to pursue goals, educational or otherwise. Not only do they lose a positive sense of self -they lose earning potential, too.

    When you consider the psychological and economic toll of being unhappy with your smile, the cost of cosmetic dentistry seems to be less of an issue.

    I can't say for sure, who should pay for it. If an individual can afford to pay for it, the payoff will last a lifetime.

    Thank you for the blog entry.