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      Call 4 Action - Woman claims mouthful of problems

      Velma Suarez recently had all her top teeth removed and had to purchase dentures.

      However, she said she first put them on, "it looked like a horse TMs mouth.

      When I put them on, they look really bad," Suarez added.

      Suarez claims she purchased the dentures at Garza Dental in Brownsville.

      She said she spent a year putting aside money from her disability check for the $1,200 to purchase the dentures, and now claims the dentures are not wearable.

      "At first I told (the dentist) that I didn't like them because it looked too bulky, Suarez said. Then he said they looked fine and that after it was made, that he would do adjustments and all that. (He said) it would look right, but when it came back, it looked worse."

      Dr. Joseph Yost, dentist at Garza Dental, said he couldn TMt speak about specific patients due to confidentiality laws.

      However, Yost said that many times patients don't understand that dentures do not feel or have the same functions as teeth.

      Yost said teeth are embedded in bone and dentures only sit on top of what's left of that. He adds that patients getting dentures are sometimes disillusioned by the expected results.

      Suarez said she can't even keep the dentures in place.

      "They fall when I talk or open my mouth, she said.

      Suarez said she TMs embarrassed to go out in public and thinks that without a nice smile, she won't be able to find a job.

      "They're not going to hire me without teeth, Suarez said. To look presentable to the public, you've got to smile and everything, and I don TMt really like smiling."

      Suarez said she's asked the dentist to fix her dentures or return her money so she can go elsewhere, but both requests have been unsuccessful.

      According to Dr. Yost, patients sign-off on every fitting during the procedure on both aesthetics and proper fit.

      He said patients should understand that the dentures serve a purpose, but are limited in their use.

      "It took me a long time to save this money to get these dentures, Suarez said. I mean, neither the top or the bottom are any good."

      Dr. Yost said when patients are unhappy with their dentures, they are welcome to request a new set.

      However, since the work has to be done again from start to finish, he said the fees for a new set must be paid.