Healthy teeth are a critical part of every day life — they are needed for talking, smiling, and chewing, basic luxuries that one British woman is finding hard to enjoy.
Emma Tait, a 30-year-old administration assistant from the U.K., has had her teeth filled numerous times. From a young age, she claims that she had poor oral hygiene habits, and did not brush her teeth properly. As a result, by the time she was 13 years old, all of her teeth had been filled. Now, these fillings are beginning to crumble, making it hard for her to eat virtually any type of food that involves using her teeth.
Tait is not the only adult with bad tooth habits, either. Dental fillings are globally the most common procedure administered in dental clinics, and some studies show that the average adult has about seven fillings. In addition, the BBC recently reported that approximately half of the adults in Wales alone have not been to a dentist since 2012.
The problem that Tait is facing is that instead of crowing her teeth, National Health Service dentists continued to re-fill her cavities over the last couple of decades. Subsequently, many of her teeth have begun to disintegrate, leaving her with a handful of bottom-row teeth at the front to chew with. The top teeth are beginning to fall out.
Tait is facing up to 20,000 pounds, or roughly $33,000, in teeth restoration costs. Dentists are recommending that she replace her fallen molars with implants, re-fill and crown her existing teeth, wear a brace to re-position her front teeth, and have dentures made for the remaining missing teeth. The price of these cosmetic changes is a major concern for Tait, explaining that while she knows she needs the teeth, financing will be hard.
Tait added that her teeth have been a source of discomfort for her socially as well. She has always felt embarrassed to smile, as her teeth often protrude between her lips.
She could take legal action against NHS dentists in England, but she is unwilling to fit the bill for yet another pricey service. She says she would rather use that money to restore her teeth.