Here's a tragic story from the Toronto Star, Saturday April 28th, 2007 (online and paper editions):
Plunged into Darkness:
For want of $1,300 to pay an emergency dental bill, Moses Han went blind.
It was a simple problem to fix – for those with the money or private dental insurance.
But Moses, born in Korea with the name Jae-Bum Han, did not have either. He worked 14-hour days, seven days a week, in his Oakville convenience store, the sole source of income he and his wife, Gloria Joung-Rae Lee, used to raise three young daughters in their nearby townhouse.
Too embarrassed to tell his dentist he didn't have the money, Moses decided to take the pain. When he walked out of a Mississauga dental clinic last October, Moses knew only that the nerves in his back left molar were dying.
What he did not know is that abscesses can develop in dead teeth. Dr. Hazel Stewart, of Toronto Public Health, says these infections can expand swiftly, sometimes creating severe distress within 48 hours.
Left unchecked, infection can spread through the neck, jaw and torso. It can creep upward to the nerves and blood vessels that surround the brain, and the orbital cavities around the eyes.
(Read the rest of the story, it's a long expose: Plunged into Darkness)
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada
(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)