SPARTA, Mich., — Dr. Andrew Knowlton helps people smile for a living because it makes him smile. For years, he’s been working with patients even if they can’t afford to pay. Dr. Knowlton says not helping, is not an option.
“That’s unacceptable for people who I can help out, I want to help people,” Dr. Knowlton told FOX 17 News. “I have a unique skill being a dentist. Not a lot of people can do what I do… And it’s fun to help people. And I get to do it all day long.”
When 18-year-old Brody Charon and his mother walked into Dr. Knowlton’s office last year, he knew he wanted to help. Brody lost his front tooth and had several damaged teeth after a bad dirt bike accident.
“He went three months without having a front tooth and you can imagine for a senior in high school that would be a devastating thing,” said Dr. Knowlton. “So, I knew I had to get this kid his front tooth back.”
Brody’s mother did not know how she would be able to afford the work, after losing her husband and falling on hard times. She was shocked to receive a follow-up call from Dr. Knowlton’s receptionist explaining that the work would be done free of charge.
“He is an angel,” said Missie Charon, Brody’s mom. “It still amazes me what a wonderful and what a kind man he is. He did not spare any care whatsoever.”
Dr. Knowlton fixed Brody’s teeth and installed a “flipper” to replace his missing front tooth. After several appointments and thousands of dollars in pro-bono work, Brody had his smile back.
“I was pretty excited, it was cool,” said Brody. “He’s a really nice guy. I wouldn’t even mind hanging out with him outside the dentist office.”
Coincidentally, Dr. Knowlton can remember losing some of his teeth as a teenager during a skiing accident. He said what his dentist did for him to restore his smile led him toward the field of dentistry. It also inspired him to remember to use his power to “pay it forward”.
“It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m worth something,” explained Dr. Knowlton. “It was probably just as pleasing for me to see him with a front tooth, as for him to have that front tooth… For a kid, especially for someone in high school, that’s a huge deal.”
To learn more about Dr. Knowlton and his practice, click here.