Woman whose teeth were knocked out in cycling accident told by NHS to pay £12,000 herself for replacements
A woman who lost her front teeth in a near-fatal cycling accident faces a fight with the NHS to get her smile back – while others get boob jobs for free.
Alex Kerr, 20, is lucky to be alive after she was hit by a car as she cycled home from work last November.
The horrific accident left the pretty advertising assistant in a coma for a week and knocked out six of her front teeth.
She also suffered a broken pelvis, snapped jaw, two dislocated knees and a broken wrist.
Medics saved her life and she made a full recovery but was sent home with her teeth still missing.
The hospital says it is uncertain whether Alex will be given back her smile on the NHS as it is not regarded as “acute care”.
She has to wait to see if payment for the treatment will be approved – and says she has been told the only way to get it sooner would be to fork out £12,000 of her own money.
Alex said that was unfair while the NHS prioritised other cosmetic work for women such as boob jobs and tummy tucks.
She said: “I read in magazines all the time about people who have boob jobs, nose jobs and other cosmetic surgery on the NHS because their confidence needing boosting.
“Yet nobody seems to understand how awful it is to have no front teeth at my age.
“I didn’t mean this to happen and I didn’t just go to the doctor and say I had a lack of self-confidence and so needed some teeth.
“I had been in an accident and you would think it would be a priority for them to help me.”
Alex had been led to believe her treatment would be carried out for free when she was transferred to Northampton General Hospital two weeks after her accident.
But when she went for a follow-up appointment with a Maxillofacial expert she was told she would have to foot the bill for any future treatment herself.
With permanent implants costing around £2,000-per-tooth the pretty blonde was worried if she would ever be able to get her smile back.
She said the news left her heartbroken because she had always received comments about her dazzling smile after years of wearing a brace in school.
Alex, of Milton Keynes, Bucks., said: “I had braces for two years and when they came off they made my teeth really white and everyone used to love my teeth.
“The braces seem a bit of a waste now though.
“When I met the doctors at my last appointment they weren’t even considering implants, they were just going to give a temporary plate.
“I don’t want to be keeping my teeth in a glass next to the sink when I’m only 20.
“I was well disappointed after that appointment because I knew implants would be a massive charge.
“But now after I went to these new guys I am only going to have to pay for the materials.
“It’s a massive relief and now I can just get on with my life again.”
Alex has been given some good news after private dentist Wynand de Jager from a practice in Milton Keynes, Bucks., offered to carry out the treatment for free.
Now all she will have to do is pay a reduced bill for materials and the restorative work can begin.
Mr de Jager, who will create a temporary plate prior to the surgery, said: “No 20-year-old girl should be expected to suffer as Alex has.
“She is already beautiful but we will restore her smile and make her look stunning.”
A spokesman for Northampton General Hospital said replacing Alex’s teeth was not part of “acute care” and said patients are normally advised to consult their dentist.
But they added that Alex has an appointment at the hospital to discuss her teeth.
He said: “We saw Alex in our maxillofacial department on January 9 and referred her that day to our consultant in restorative surgery to assess what can be done for her in the long term from a restorative perspective.
“Unfortunately there is a waiting list for these appointments but we can assure Alex that the wheels are in motion and that she has not been abandoned by the NHS.
“We did agree however that a temporary solution would be the production of an upper partial denture for which she would contact her own dentist.
“In the meantime we would still like to see her on a regular basis to follow up on her progress, but have been unable to contact her due to a change in address.
“If she calls our maxillofacial reception we will be happy to rebook a follow-up appointment for her.”