Nobody likes to have to go to the dentist, especially not for anything more than a simple exam. But we do it anyway. Having working teeth lets us enjoy our food and smile without pain.
James, whom I met as he entertained people on the street earlier this year, hadn't been to the dentist in years. Due to poor diet, porous teeth, and years without proper dental care, his teeth are shattered, making further decay inevitable and causing him frequent pain. He has to put in a lot of work just to figure out how to make enough money to buy a meal -- so figuring out how to pay for a dentist is a daunting endeavor.
When I learned about his situation, I knew I needed to help. He has too much to offer to suffer from something that I can take for granted. I want for him to be able to enjoy his smile again, eat comfortably, sleep at night instead of staying awake in pain, and to be able to focus on living his life.
I've never seen someone as eager to go to the dentist for a consultation as James was. Even as he found out that to avoid life-threatening infections he needs ten teeth pulled and extensive treatments for gum disease before he can have his missing teeth replaced, he was still excited to have taken the first step.
Taking the next steps, however, will require seven more visits. After I worked with various clinics to get the best price available, James will need $3900 to have his mouth back, down from nearly $5000. We'll schedule each visit as fund become available, but with only my help it may be too late to save what remains of his teeth. (Picture of teeth available here.)
If you've ever grumbled about going to the dentist, please donate to the cause of someone who longs for a chance.
- casey guidinger
- Suzie Blood
- Dianne Kocourek Ploetz
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