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Dental Problems after treatment

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009


I am new to the board, so I hope this is not a question I should not ask here.

I finished my treatments in December, before I had treatment, I had to have seven teeth extracted and the remaining ones were in GREAT SHAPE, but now they are awful! I have tried for over a month to find a sedation dentist (scared to death of dentist)to help me, but the one I recently went to gave me a dollar value of 27K ! ! ! !

I can not afford this...and my dental insurance will only pay $1,000 a year. Now, question. Anyone here have/had the same problem with your teeth and does anyone know of a dentist who works with helping cancer patients?

Any information or help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Following my head/neck surgery, rads and chemo, my jaws would no longer open properly, and, in addition, I have always been a serious gagger. The main thing, though, was the severe inability to open the jaws.

My dentist sent me to a specialist who could do a panoramic xray of my teeth (rather than the ever-gagging stick-this-piece-of-cardboard-in-your-mouth stuff, AND he was able to put me under. They don't call it putting you under, but I didn't remember a thing afterward.

The end result was that he discovered an infection beneath one of my fillings, removed the tooth, and what had shown up in a PET scan as cancer was gone.

I believe the total cost to me (I have dental insurance) was less than $400. That's a chunk of change for sure, and I was no more willing to pay it than you will be, but pay it I did, and I am glad for it.

Somebody in here recently related a positive story in this regard, by the way: if you can prove or persuade that your dental problems are the direct result of your medical problems (and, trust me, we ALL, in here, know that radiation to the head/neck area can impact your dental health dramatically) then you may be able to have your MEDICAL insurance cover the cost. I did not go this route, and am not familiar with it beyond what I read here, but you may want to examine the last few posts re dental care and see what you can find.

There are also a number of financial resources you might look into, if they are applicable. Check these out if you think they might apply to your situation:


This site is put up by the National Institute of Health or some such, and is government-supported. TereB has responded in other discussion areas with some excellent suggestions, and they may apply for you as well. I am taking the liberty of copying and pasting them as well:

Cancer Care, a non-profit org., offers free support and counseling for cancer patients by oncology social workers. They have face-to-face counseling and counceling on the phone. Support groups on the phone are available too and are moderated by an oncology social worker. Call 800-813-HOPE. They can also give you info about financial resources. Check their website: www.cancercare.org

Gilda's Club - www.gildasclub.org - they offer free social and emotional support. Not sure if they may have financial information but check it out just in case.

American Cancer Society (here) can also give you financial, support, etc. information available in different cities.

Best wishes.

Take care,


Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Joe,

Sorry for the delay in thanking you...I really do appreciate the information you have passed on to me. As of today, I am still NO CLOSER to getting my work done than I was before.

Thank you and God Bless You,

JustMetoo...aka "Virginia"

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

Make sure if you have dentures that they are religned with the special rubber. You can get serious infections because the skin is so thin after radiation. A man we knew had to have his jaw removed because of this. Just keep calling around. Try the Audobon Dental Centers. Sometimes they can help and are less expensive.

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