Today, about 32% of people say they aren’t happy with the way their teeth look. However, for one teen, it isn’t all about the way her teeth look, but also about the way her teeth feel.
Seventeen-year-old Hannah McCain is a high school senior and is ready to pursue a degree in interior design at Abilene Christian University next fall. Before she heads off to start her future, she’s hoping to obtain a new set of teeth.
McCain’s tooth structure is, unfortunately, weaker than most people’s due to her rare form of dwarfism. Her teeth roots are not as large as they should be for her age. On top of that, she still has her baby teeth, and no adult teeth are growing in behind them.
McCain spoke to the Denton Record-Chronicle about her teeth and her hopes for a new set.
“It’s kind of hard to eat and it’s pretty painful,” McCain said. “It’s going to be really expensive to fix them, so I decided to make a GoFundMeto maybe help my parents out. Like I said, it is really expensive and it’s going to be a big blow to the bank account.”
Since the procedure is technically considered cosmetic surgery, her parent’s insurance won’t cover the cost of the teeth. Nine months ago, McCain decided that she wanted to begin her journey for new teeth. After getting her dental files sent to Texas AandM College of Dentistry in Dallas and hearing nothing, her dentist sent the files to the school again. After the school had received the files a second time, the school decided they wanted to work with her and set up a meeting with the teen.
Today, about 3 million Americans have dental implants, a number that grows by about 500,000 every year. However, while dental implants are normally a routine cosmetic dentistry procedure, McCain’s situation comes with some unique, and expensive, complications.
Unfortunately, due to the makeup of her teeth, the procedure is going to cost more than it normally would because more screws will be required for the surgery. Out of pocket, the procedure would cost her family $50,000.
Sheryl Martin, McCain’s mom, said that her daughter is the type of person who will tell you whatever is on her mind.
“When she realized she wouldn’t grow anymore, she just wanted a pretty smile — that’s all she wanted,” Martin said. “So for me, it would just be seeing her [with] one less thing to deal with in her life. She has hearing aids and glasses and she’s short, so it’s like that would be a gift of one less thing to deal with.”
McCain has learned to accept who she is but says that a new smile would help her feel a lot better about herself. Her next step is to get molds of her teeth done for temporary implants. She hopes to have these in by her high school graduation in May.
“It’s getting to the point when I bite and it catches and gets very painful,” McCain said. “And I just want to be normal, you know, so getting new teeth would be helping take the next step to make life easier.”
McCain hopes that she can raise enough money to buy new teeth that would not only brighten her smile and make her mouth hurt less, but brighten her future as well.