Toothless Woman Fights Insurer

     MIAMI (CN) – A woman who has a disease that caused all her teeth to shrink, necessitating removal, says her insurance company unfairly agreed to pay only to have the teeth yanked, but refused to pay for implants, calling them “cosmetic.”

     Jennifer Gentry suffers from an auto-immune disease, relapsing Polychondritis, which causes her body to destroy its own ears, teeth, nose, joints, trachea and bronchi. She has had more than 15 surgeries to rebuild her nose alone.
     Gentry says the disease also caused her teeth to shrink and become brittle.
     The disease, combined with the antibiotics prescribed to fight it, caused her teeth to shrink and corrode, becoming “the size of infant’s teeth, discolored and brittle beyond use,” according to her claim in Miami-Dade County Court.
     The defendant Fraternal Order of Police Miami Lodge No. 20 Insurance Trust Fund (FOP) agreed it was medically necessary to remove all of her teeth. Gentry says that after her mouth healed well enough to hold permanent tooth implants, she met twice with FOP’s board, where “without a single objection,” it approved her dental restoration work.
Then, she says, FOP sent her a letter denying her claim for teeth implants “to assist with the daily living functions of eating” on the basis that “her desire to have functional permanent restorations is purely a ‘cosmetic’ claim, as though her ultimate goal for good health was to remain toothless.”
     Gentry is represented in Miami State Court by Kelsay Patterson of Tampa.

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