Q:   Why are poor people toothless?
A:   Because they can’t afford a dentist.

Q:  Isn’t there free dental care for the poor?
A: Yes.

Q: If there is free dental care for the poor, why are the poor toothless?
A: Because dental care for the poor means "we pull out the teeth of poor people."
Just before I flew to Seattle for my Mom’s b’day, I went to the dentist. I had an abscessed tooth, and needed more than $2,000 in work done to fix it, get bridge work or implants done, etc.   The dentist said "I don’t want to send you off to Seattle with a missing tooth, so here are some anti-biotic pills to take if the infection gets painful before you return. When you get back, we will get to work on you"     I got back, sat in the dentist chair, and just before they started working a lady sat down and said, "before we begin, we need payment of several hundred dollars."   
I didn’t have several hundred dollars. They told me to come back when I had it.  That was May.  This is July. Being poor, I went to the poor people’s dental clinic. I sat down, got the xrays, and the dentist said "I don’t do abscesses. Which tooth do you want pulled first?"
"I didn’t come here because I wanted all my teeth pulled out. I came here because I have an abscessed tooth."
"Well, I’ll pull this one to start with," she said, and pulled out a tooth.
It wasn’t the one with the abscess.
I now have one less tooth, and I’m taking those anti-biotics by the hand full.
If you are poor, don’t expect bridge work or implants. Free dental means they yank em out. Period.  Soon, you can call me "gummy."


  1. DogsDontPurr

    Ow Ow Ow!! I feel your pain. I’d rather have knee surgery than go to the dentist! Maybe you should call around and try to find a dentist who will offer an easier payment plan. And maybe you should get another opinion also. I once had a dentist tell me it was going to be $2000 to fix a tooth, then I went to my sister’s dentist and he was able to fix it with a much simpler procedure and for only $900.
    Good luck! I hope you feel better soon!

  2. Cheryl Swanson

    This is just too funny. I spent/wasted so many years advising doctors (and esp. dentists) on patient care. Right…they really listened. Show me the money, man! Cheryl Swanson

  3. Ed McGoldrick

    Must have been very tough for you, Burl. So were you able to find a good dentist after the ordeal? I think it’s indeed important to look for a trustworthy one these days.
    A few years ago, I also dread the dentist because he told me that I was overdue for root canal. But in the long run, the root canal has saved me from nights of toothache. He’s also my periodontist here in Colorado Springs.


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