Eastman Dental, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, today announced the three winners of its Smile Makeover contest. The winners, who were chosen from more than 700 people, will receive complete smile makeovers worth up to $25,000.
Gregory Ras, of Greece, Monroe County has a congenital disorder, which caused him to have malformed and conical shaped teeth, also known as Oligontia teeth. At age 5, he was diagnosed with a speech articulation problem, along with auditory and visual processing disabilities.
These disabilities, Ras said, are easier to hide than a smile that isn’t normal. He has trouble fully chewing, and it hurts to chew certain foods. “People see my teeth and wonder what’s wrong with me,” he said. “I love meeting customers at work, but I’m embarrassed to smile, which isn’t good when you work with the public.”
For six years, 22-year-old Ras has worked part time at Wegman’s Latta Road store as a Helping Hands employee. “He’s one of the hardest working employees we have,” said Jim Verhey, one of his managers there. “We’re very happy for him.” Team Leader Michelle Shipherd agreed. “He always gives 100 percent when he’s here, and is a valued member of our team.”
Greg will receive a combination of porcelain veneers and crowns, dental implants and gum surgery (periodontal plastic surgery) to complete his smile makeover. When he’s not working at Wegman’s or his other part time job at Greece Central Schools, he loves to fish year round for bass or perch with his grandfather, watch TV, or relax with his family.
Lynn Campbell, of Clifton Springs, Ontario County, never smiles because she’s ashamed of her teeth. Plagued with pain and embarrassment, people tell her she always looks cold and unfriendly.
A 30-year-old mother of four, including a child with mental and physical disabilities, Campbell and her husband Drew both work two jobs to make ends meet. She is an Advanced Life Support Tech with a local ambulance and a receptionist at Clifton Springs Hospital Emergency Room.
She cried when she found out she won. “I was ecstatic, and was trying not to explode,” she said. “It’s so awesome!”
Her treatment will begin with discussing the benefits of fluoride therapy, oral hygiene and diet to prevent new cavities and lesions from developing. Eastman Dental dentists will work to restore the teeth with fillings. After the risk of developing future cavities is reduced, the major restorative treatment including placing implants and preparing for crowns will occur.
“This will change my life by improving my self confidence, and allow others to see my happiness to help them,” Campbell said. “Words are not able to describe my appreciation!”
Alisha Montgomery, of Alexander, Genesee County, is engaged to be married.
Most brides-to-be dream of the perfect dress, and a magical wedding. Not Montgomery, who dreams only of having a smile for her wedding day. She’s so tired of people asking why she always looks so miserable and why she never smiles with her teeth showing.
When she was 11, her dentist mistakenly extracted a small front permanent tooth, instead of a baby tooth, to prepare for braces. Since then, she’s been replacing that space with a fake tooth that was attached to her retainer during orthodontics. She hates her teeth because they are small and off color, and has marks left by the braces. The fake tooth is bigger and doesn’t match her real teeth.
Montgomery, age 24, will receive a combination of porcelain veneers and crowns, dental implants and gum surgery to give her the smile she dreams of when she walks down the aisle.
She works as an order selector at American Sales Company, a fulfillment warehouse. Montgomery was on her lunch break when she found out she won. “I wanted to scream and cry and jump up and down but I had to try to keep my cool because I was at work,” she said. “It was an amazing feeling! I did call my fiancé John and I let a few happy tears fall and then I walked into work with an un-removable smile.”
For photos of the winners and more information, visit smile.urmc.edu.
Eastman Dental is part of Eastman Institute for Oral Health is a world leader in research and post-doctoral education in general and pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and oral surgery. Patients are seen at many sties throughout the Rochester community.
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