Jon and Patty Pike's story of their journey with Tyler:
For as long as we can remember, our son Tyler (22) has had problems with his teeth. His baby teeth weren't too bad, other than some cavities that needed filling however they never really seemed to look correct..
As he got older... 10-ish or so, it seemed to be that in many instances, his baby teeth were falling out on schedule, but the adult ones weren't coming in. OR, the baby ones were stuck there doing nothing. Our family dentist kept an eye on this in his early years, and finally sent him to an orthodontist. The orthodontist said there was nothing he could do until all the adult teeth came in. So for a few years we were stuck this way, and his smile was horrible. Meanwhile he kept getting cavities in the teeth he had, and his dentist kept filling them as needed... at one point it seemed that they were deteriorating almost faster than she could fill them.
At about 12 or 13, when he was in junior high and the social aspect was embarrassing him, we again knew something had to be done. The dentist informed us that he had excessive gum tissue and high bone density creating excessive bone in his lower and upper jaws and that his canine teeth never formed. First the dentist sent him for all kinds of tests... CT scan, x-rays, even genetic testing, to see if they could pinpoint the cause to somehow come up with a solution. But nothing abnormal was revealed. So the dentist spent many hours consulting with other specialists, including a (different) orthodontist, and an oral surgeon. The three of them came up with a course of action: Remove the excessive gum, pull the baby teeth and then start braces. So the surgeon performed a gingivectomy to remove excessive gum tissue, then pulled most of the remaining baby teeth. By removing excess gums, they found the adult teeth behind them, some impacted into the bones and already deteriorating.
After he healed and enough of the teeth were exposed, they put braces on. But this in itself was a nightmare. Every time he went for an appointment, they had a hard time getting the bands to stay on his teeth. And we can't even count the times one fell off and we had to take him back to have it replaced. In the end, the orthodontist kind of threw his hands up in the air and said he couldn't do anything else for him... that it was pointless. My wife stood in his office, crying her heart out and begging him to keep trying, but he just kept shaking his head and saying no. No explaination, no ideas for another course of action, nothing.
We kept going back to the dentist to fill cravities and again they were deteriorating almost faster than she could fill them. So the years kept passing, and little by little my son's gums grew again, covering parts of his teeth. Somewhere along the line he refused to try anything else (we didn't blame him) and just kind of gave up. But we knew it bothered him, SO much. He would cover his mouth when he smiled, embarrassed to show his teeth, shy around new people, etc.
High school turned into college, and for the most part he didn't leave the house, other than school. His self-confidence was zero. He wouldn't even apply for jobs anymore, because he has such a low self-image that he's terrified. And his teeth have gotten so bad that he can't eat hardly anything but soft food anymore. He told us recently that he was just one more broken tooth away from being unable to eat solid food, period. One day, Tyler told us he was not going to return to school. We told him that he needed to get a degree, he started crying, telling us how horrible it's been for him with the condition of his teeth. We cried too, feeling like the worst parents, ever.
So he finally told us that what he wanted, more than anything, was to get dentures. We'd considered it over the years, but were always told that his bones/jaw weren't fully developed yet. We made an appointment the next week so we could get the process started. My wife said that she didn't care what it costs.
So we went to his first appointment.
I don't know why, but for some reason we had visions of him going in, getting fitted for dentures, then picking them up in a week or however long it takes. I think we all thought that would happen. Boy, were we wrong.
They took more x-rays and said that because of he had a high arched palate, his gum and jaw bone issues, regular dentures aren't an option. What she said he needs is more surgery to remove excess gum tissue removed and bone in his upper and lower jaw. After that they will surgically add implants over the course of several months. They have stated that they have been totally perplexed by his entire situation and have never seen a case like this before.
The cost of the entire process is around $60,000, with insurance only covering about $2,500, as the insurance company deems it "not life threatening."
Through the overwhelming kindness of many fantastic people, we are only $7,000 away from this goal. Any help would be much appreciated and get us one step closer to finally making this a reality for our son.
Half of this money is needed up front for the procedure to take place. If all goes according to plans, this process can start in approximately 2 weeks.
Help us help Tyler. Give what you can. This will ultimately change a young man's life. We thank you in advance.
- Santa Claus
- Colleen Morda
- The Griffins
- Sharon McLaughlin
- Jeremy Garcia
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more