"very bad teeth"

About: South Birmingham PCT

(as the patient),

When I was 22 I had a partial thyroidectomy which failed, leaving me with no thyroid function. This was easily remedied with thyroxine, which I still take every day.

However it also removed all my parathyroid function, so I have to take a Vitamin D supplement as well. This has left me with low calcium levels so that my hair and teeth are adversely affected.

The teeth on my upper jaw started to rot and drop out when I was in my early twenties. In 2003 I had lost so many teeth, crowns and bridges that I had dentures fitted in order to be able to eat, but now, five years later, the dentures need repair.

I would like to have implants in my upper jaw, but I cannot afford the cost, approx. £10,000. So I looked up the NHS dental website and saw that implants are available on the NHS. I went to my dentist, who laughed when I asked for implants and asked me, incredulously, if I knew how much they cost. Nevertheless she referred me to the head dentist at the surgery, who referred me to Birmingham Dental Hospital, where I had one appointment about a month ago.

The dentist there examined my teeth and told me without further ado that NHS implants were reserved for children with cleft palates and road accident victims only, with hardly any exceptions, and just because I have no viable teeth on my upper jaw and a broken denture I am no exception, because they are so expensive.

Nevertheless I see on your programme this evening that a woman with very bad teeth due to a bad diet - her own fault - has had implants fitted in her upper jaw by an NHS dentist.

Have I missed something? Why can she have this treatment while I cannot? Perhaps it's just another case of NHS ageism, since she was in her late twenties or early thirties and I am in my late fifties. However I have paid into the NHS all my life and expect another 30 years of eating.

I would appreciate an explanation.

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Response from

Thank you for taking the time to talk about your experiences. Unfortunately we cannot give you an explanation as Patient Opinion is an independent website and not part or the NHS. However, I would like to recommend that you contact your local NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) for more help, these will be the best people to deal with your problems directly. They can be contacted on 0800 389 8391 or by email . I wish you all the best for the future and once again thank you for taking the time to share your story with us.
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