Decaying Teeth and Treatment Options - Insurance Paid 80% Medical

Tish Member Posts: 2

Good Afternoon All..I'm 34 years old now, I was 24 at time of diagnosis...

I'm new here, so I'll give a back story...April 2005, I was told I had squamous cell carcinoma non melanoma, it was located in my throat, it was a golf

ball size tumor on the right side, the doc went in removed it, sent me home, and a few days later my tonsils started to swell and I had to have those

removed as well. Well the tumor and tonsils were cancerous and we needed to have a treatment plan started, but before radiation and chemo started I had to have 16 teeth moved, so I was left with only my 12 fronts. totally SUCKS !! but hey they left me something...

SO, I had 90 radiation treatments and 10 chemo treatmenst, I was super sick, dropped 50lbs seemed like overnight, had a feeding tube inserted

into my stomach, but I can say I did survive !! I don't know how?? lol - I can only see the humor 10 years out at this point.

OK, so treatment is done and I'm in recovery, Dec 2005, Christmas time and all I wanted was to EAT something/anything - I didn't eat soild food

from 07/2005 to 12/2005 - but somehow I convinced myself and my doctor I was going to eat that Christmas and he removed my feeding tube for me.

I've been shoveling in food ever since - I chew with my fronts only -

Fast Foward to 2010 - 5 years later and my teeth don't look so good !! I see a dentist and my teeth are decaying at an alarming

rate - only 5 years later - so I only have 12 teeth and 5 needed to have root canals and crowns done - yikes and painful - so I had that done,

and did not have any thing else major done.Until this year 2015-2016 - so here we are Nov 2015, I'm told AGAIN, the decay is progessing quicker then anyone thought, so I've got

to have more dental work, this time they do the rest - 7 - root canals and 12 new crowns - so now ALL of what was left of my natural

teeth are GONE - all posts now - and crowns - but they really are beautiful teeth, much better then what I had -  but I was told that in 5-10 years the

rest of what's in my mouth will decay out and I will be left with nothing - no teeth, that will make me anywhere from 39-44 years old - with not a tooth in my head - that's almost too much to take - I'm totally OK with the NEW normal way I've had to eat over the years, I'm OK with have and dry mouth, but I'm not OK with not having teeth - but it could be so much worse  - I do really get that -

Anyone around my age facing to same issue?

Also, I've had the same job the enitre time, so my insurance has covered everything 80/20 split - but I did find out that you can fight it, if they deny it - you've got to have strong doctors behind you to help rebuild - plus I don't take NO for an answer - being a survivior has taught my that


May 2016 - I'm a 10 year survivor - HELL YEAH !!! - Love Tish ;-}




  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member
    edited May 2016 #2




    Welcome to the H&N forum, for most of us this is an adventure for you it has been an ADVENTURE. 


    Many H&N members have teeth issues, many start as you did prior to treatments.  It is one of the new normal to dodge (if possible).


    Your 90 rad treatments is also a new high, makes me look like aa piker at 35.


    I wish you good fortune moving forward, you have more than paid your dues.




  • Duggie88
    Duggie88 Member Posts: 760 Member

    Dam right you can appeal. I am a trustee on a pension and health and welfare fund and I hear appeals or claim reviews every month and we do overturn previous decisions from the fund. Your already a proven fighter so I wouldn't stop now.

    Matt is right 90 rad treatments makes most of us look like slackers.



  • Barbaraek
    Barbaraek Member Posts: 626

    My husband is having similar problems with rapid decay of his natural teeth. Before diagnosis, though he had some weird thing going on that necessitated crowns and caps because of high doses of tetracycline he took as an adolescent for acne (who knew?) that caused the enamel on his teeth to wear away.

    So having all that dental work a few years before radiation actually protected some of his teeth. He's 56 and at some point will most likely not have any "real" teeth either. We had to pay for most of the dental work as it was prediagnosis. Our daughter complained that we ate up her college savings fund, but we managed to put her through school too :)

    Good luck with the insunce coverage. It would be the right thing to do to cover it.

    barb K. in Buffalo