To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I’d like to make two unrelated points. First, in response to Robert Hildebrand’s July 30 letter ("Opinion isn’t backed by facts") it is the writer who needs to check his facts.

Both the National Institute of Health and the FDA claim that Plan B and other similar pills can work by blocking a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. That would be abortion. Hobby Lobby doesn’t object to contraceptives, it objects to killing a fertilized egg. Hobby Lobby is run by devout Christians. The "fetus" is a baby, with a separate heartbeat, blood type and genome than the mother! Why? Because it’s a baby -- a separate person developing.

My second point is about the astronomical prices of dental work. I know a woman on a fixed income who needs three teeth replaced. Every dentist she’s inquired about wants an absurd amount of money to replace these teeth, more than $5,000 a tooth! In sum, close to 20 grand to fix three teeth. Today, implants are a better choice than dentures because the implant becomes the missing root stabilizing the jaw and surrounding teeth. (Ceramic implants are better than titanium because they’re 100 percent bio-acceptable, but you have to travel outside of Berkshire County for this service.) Dentists use this procedure, which is not covered by dental insurance, to prey upon desperate people. Dentists will not budge on the price.


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If you can’t afford this procedure, Dentists are happy to let you go toothless. Going toothless causes the entire face to change: the jaw line changes because of bone loss, all the other teeth respond to the missing tooth and move out of place. Expect no mercy from the dentist when it comes to what you can afford. If you can’t afford a Mercedes, you buy a Subaru, take the bus or ride a bike. You have options. But when it comes to your teeth, you’re stuck.

What justification is there for these prices? Nearly six grand a tooth is simply unjustifiable. Dentists should try giving up the four-day work week and come down on their prices a bit -- until Wal-Mart gets into dentistry!

JESSICA BRANCA

Pittsfield