A DISABLED woman who desperately wants all of her decayed teeth removed could have to wait until 2014 for her much longed-for operation.
Pamela Fisher’s teeth have rotted due to the amount of medication she takes for her health complaints including severe eczema, chronic asthma, and leg and back problems.
She says her teeth are so weak that they can snap if she crunches on a crisp, or crumble if she has a cup of tea which is too hot.
The 44-year-old, who is embarrassed to smile or talk to people because of the condition of her teeth, told the Mail after being back and forth to her dentist she was referred to the community dentist service at the One Life Centre, in Park Road.
She was put on a waiting list to have most of her teeth removed two-and-a-half years ago and informed that the surgery would be carried out at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
But the mum-of-three, of Miers Avenue, West View, Hartlepool, has now been told that she will have to wait at least until the end of next year or even into 2014, as only one appointment per month is allocated for dental patients and she is 16th on the list.
Pamela, who is forced to live on a diet of soup and soft bread, says she has waited so long that now all of her teeth will have to go.
She said: “I’m not wanting to jump the queue at all, I want to wait my turn like everyone else. I just want people to be aware that this is how long you have to wait.
“My teeth eroded with years of medication and steroids and they’re really quite painful.
“I’ve been on a waiting list to have them all taken out for two-and-a-half years now and I’ve now been told that I’ll have to wait until the end of 2013 or even into 2014.
“They weren’t as bad when I was first put on the waiting list, but now they’re all going to have to come out. They’re horrendous to look at.”
She added: “I think 18 months would be a fair wait, but three-and-a-half years is just ridiculous.
“It’s affecting my quality of life, I can’t eat apples, toffee or crisps, I basically just have to eat soup and soft bread. If I have crisps or even a hot cup of tea my teeth have been known to snap off.”
A spokewoman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “In certain circumstances where patients are anxious about a procedure or have other medical problems we have to assess them carefully and over a period of time to see which form of anaesthetic or sedation is best for them.
“This can take time because, if a patient needs a general anaesthetic and possibly an overnight stay in hospital, this can only be done where the expert team and all the necessary back up is in place. We’re sorry when this takes longer than expected and we do everything we can to address it.
“We are very sorry Mrs Fisher is disappointed with the time she is having to wait for her treatment. We are talking to her to try and address her concerns.”