Insurance Deems Work For Boy Missing Most Of His Teeth Just "Cosmetic"

Indrani Sengupta
12-year-old Isaac Bryant gets teased relentlessly. Without a full set of permanent teeth, he can’t chew normally, and he has difficulty speaking certain words.

He has to contend with a drooling problem at an age that is already awkward for the luckiest of kids.

"They bullied me, called me names.”

Isaac is a smart kid, but the aggressive bullying he faced began to impact his studies, and his grades dropped.

Isaac Bryant

His father, Chris Bryant, says that:

"He got to the point where he was so frustrated with school that he would just toss his homework in the trash bin on his way out of class.”

Clearfield boy missing most of his teeth endures relentless teasing

Isaac has a genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia, which can involve defects in any number of external body parts, including but not limited to the hair, nails, sweat glands, teeth, eyes, ears, and digits. The National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias writes that, in the case of teeth defects, dental treatment is almost always necessary, starting as early as the age of two.

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An X-Ray of Isaac’s jaw shows that it’s smaller than normal, shaped in a way that makes dentures a difficult fit. And he can’t use implants, either, since they’d fuse to the bone but not grow.

Isaac Bryant

It’s clear that Isaac needs treatment, but insurance companies consider this type of dental work “cosmetic-only” rather than necessary, even when trained doctors argue otherwise. As Isaac’s orthodontist, Sheldon Peck, explains:

"[Isaac] only has eight permanent teeth in total. That big gap there in the front make it's difficult for speech, for eating, for multiple different things."

As they can’t use one set of implants on Isaac, they’ll use microimplants and replace them often.

Without insurance, the long series of procedures Isaac will need as he grows will be an almost prohibitive expense for his family to endure. But they’ll do it anyway, by whatever means they can, so they can protect their boy. Anyone readers interested in pitching in to help Isaac achieve a smile worthy of his spirit should check out his GoFundMe account.

Isaac Bryant at GoFundMe

But even after Isaac receives the help he needs, we’ll have a wider problem left on our hands: the fact that insurance companies do not seem to have their customer’s best interests at heart. Commenters on the internet have pointed out the lack of logic in terming a procedure that directly impacts the “first stage of digestion” as “cosmetic-only.”

relentless bullying

Some have accused insurance providers of trying to save company money, while others have simply denounced them as “evil.” 

Utah boy born missing most of his teeth speaks of relentless bullying

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