GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - With a decay in markets and the economy health experts are worried about another kind of decay, people cutting back on dental work because they don't have the money.
For one local woman it's a reality and she's had to go to sticky measures to keep her teeth from falling out. Every time September Williamson looks in the mirror, she has a hard time seeing anything but her teeth. When she goes out, she feels that's all other people see.
"When I talk to people a lot of times I have my hand over my mouth," Williamson says.
Her once pearly whites are now plagued with problems. "I can't smile in public. It affects my self-esteem greatly. My kids have never really seen me smile and my husband says he misses it," she says with tears in her eyes.
Williamson can't afford the dental work she needs, so for now she's turned to super glue.
"I have a crown that is super glued in the front but I can't fix it until I can get my dentures on top," she says.
Williamson does have insurance but it only covers up to $1,000 a year and the partial dentures she needs are $8,500. And because she has insurance she's not eligible for dental assistance.
Marillac Clinic Director Kristy Schmidt wishes she could help. "It's a difficult situation to be in," Schmidt says..
Schmidt's best advice, try to work out a payment plan with the dentist. "If they have a dentist I would be talking to them about their situation," she says.
Schmidt says there are a lot of people out there like Williamson, who need more than their insurance covers, and can't pay for it but don't qualify for help.
And right now, there's no word on when help may be out there. "I know there are discussions going on to try to really figure out what's best for the community," Schmidt says.
But what's best for Williamson may not be something she can afford. "We do what we can. If the kids need dental they go first. I've gotten to a point where I just have them pulled," she says.
And she and her family are trying to save so one day she can look in the mirror and smile. "To be able to smile, to be able to have my kids really see me smile," she says.
Marillac Clinic says the best thing to do is stay on top of possible problems, don't wait until your teeth affect your health. Officials say paying now can save you a lot later.
If you don't have insurance, you could be eligible for services. Click on the link below for more information from Marillac Clinic.