My dad has to puree his food because of shoddy dentures
MY FATHER had some dental work done (dentures) in January 2018.
They didn't sit quite right.
Being from the generation who learnt to make do, and not complain, my father looked for solutions to the problem.
The dentist, when my father initially informed him of his concerns, advised the dentures would need time to fit.
The problem continues despite my father's problem solving attempts.
My father stopped wearing his ill fitting teeth.
He stopped eating his favourite foods, and went so far as to puree his foods to ensure his nutritional intake was maintained.
My father had his teeth paid for under the public health system.
"Nothing I can do", that's what you get under Medicare, the dentist informed my father, on further consultation, "You will have to go back to the hospital".
The hospital too, informed my father that it was not their issue to correct.
Seeking a second opinion, he was told that the teeth are not correctly fitting, his bottom gum is flat and the dentures had not been tailored to meet this feature, as such the dentures would never sit correctly on their own.
My father is now faced with three options, two of which require him to have large sums of money available, up to $10,000 for further work, or continue life with no bottom teeth.
I am at a loss to understand how the NSW Public Health system does not follow up on patient reports of unsatisfactory work.
I find it extremely distressing that my father is unable to receive satisfactory care, because he does not have private health cover.
It is negligent that the reason for the referral in the first instance, dentures, has not been adequately treated.
My father's quality of life is now severely compromised due to his inability to eat, a very basic necessity.
It begs the question as to how many other pensioners are treated this way, receiving second rate treatment, without care or the required follow-up.
There is a solution, and that is for people in the caring professions to actually care, and have pride in their work.
NSW Health needs to exercise greater care when paying to 'outsource' work from speciality areas.
Dentures are a prosthesis, prosthesis need to be aligned with the patient needs and anatomy.
There is no one size fits all prosthesis, regardless of the who is paying for the service.
My father needs his quality and enjoyment of life restored, by having the treatment originally requested, completed to meet the needs and anatomy of my father, not the those of the treating specialist.
I call on the local community to write to their member of parliament if they too have received unsatisfactory dental treatment as a 'public' patient.
Where there is smoke there is fire, I am certain many more such cases will now come to the surface.
(PLEASE NOTE: The Northern Star has been advised this letter does not refer to any work done by Pearl Denture Studio, which is based in Casino and Mullumbimby)