After years without dental treatment, a mother of four has felt like a drug addict because of her looks.
Lou-ann Potter once had the “perfect smile” but developed a severe dental phobia after starting basic treatment six years ago.
The procedure required anesthesia to numb her mouth, but the dentist hit a nerve and caused her to go to the hospital, where it was determined that she had blood poisoning. reports Leicestershire Live.
But Lou-ann says her father’s recent death inspired her to finally overcome her fears and seek treatment, only to be turned away from a series of surgeries.
She said, “I stopped visiting my father because I was ashamed of the way I looked.
“When he died, I thought I won’t let that stop me anymore.”
The 39-year-old works in the hospitality industry and her looks have also influenced her job.
She added, “The pandemic has been and is a frightening experience for everyone. But for me, the face masks were a gift from God as I could work confidently when the restrictions wore off because no one could see my teeth.”
Lou-ann is finally feeling ready to overcome her fears and says she has tried to register at every dental office near her home in Leicester.
As a NHS patient, the mother said she was denied registration for herself, her husband and children because they could not pay privately.
In desperation, she gave £ 45 for a private examination and an additional £ 65 for a consultation before being told the cost of her treatment would be £ 3,000.
Lou-ann said, “I’m just devastated. As the sole breadwinner of a family of six, there is no way I can afford the prices on offer.”
She has now tried for months to register her family for a practice that is still unsuccessful.
She said, “We kept calling dentists only to be turned away and told to try elsewhere or pay privately.
“My teeth are in really bad condition and I just want to be able to smile again.
“We even called 111 who just told us to call the NHS dentists – all of them refuse.”
A 44 Dental Care dentist in Leicester said the situation “will only get worse”.
Dr. Altaaf Hathiari said, “We have a small NHS contract that is limited to the number of treatments we can do per year.
“There is no leeway to raise this cap regardless of demand.
“We only offer appointments for our existing patients.”
The dentist added that the coronavirus pandemic made “no difference” to these current circumstances.
He said, “The only difference is the number of patients we can see per day – which has increased the waiting time.”
Dr. Adding his personal opinion on the matter, Hathiari added: “In my view, patients will have difficulty finding dentists in the NHS due to the unfair pay structure.
“Dentists get the same fee for one £ 65.80 filling and the same £ 65.80 fee for five fillings, three root canals and some extractions.
“Unfortunately, unless this structure changes, the situation will worsen and the patients in greatest need will be turned away from NHS practices.”