Early this year, I had my teeth pulled with the expectation that they would be replaced by dental implants. Unfortunately, the pandemic and hidden fees have delayed this procedure and made it too expensive for me to address. Now I hide my empty smile on Zoom calls and use my spare time to try to find care I can afford. The worst part is that I wasn’t shocked by this sudden barrier to oral health care — dental pain has followed me my entire life.
Growing up as a poor Black woman in Portland, it was very difficult to find