Grand Rapids oral surgeon giving away ‘life transforming’ smile procedure

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 22:43:11-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- An oral surgeon in Grand Rapids is giving away the gift of a new smile.

It's no secret that a bright smile helps you feel confident, but it's not always a possibility for everyone. For one lucky person, it could be.

Heather Sproule knows what it's like to hate her smile.

"I got in a major car accident, had nine facial fractures," she said. "My face took out the steering wheel and the rear-view mirror. Don't really remember the car accident itself, I just know that I had nine facial fractures."

The crash 28 years ago destroyed her smile, and almost 40 pins are permanently holding her jaw together. She needed dentures and a lot of dental work.

"Thirty years of every 10 years getting my teeth done was getting a little redundant," she said.

Another doctor of hers referred her to Dr. Mark Jesin, who told Heather about full arch transformations.

"It really is life transforming," Jesin said. "It really changes their lives, people's confidence soars after it."

It's a procedure that can work on a variety of patients with different needs. It's a solid piece implanted into the bone with only four screws, compared to traditional implants with a screw for every tooth.

"I feel like a whole new person," Sproule said. "I feel like these are my real teeth and I never have to worry about it again."

Dr. Jesin and his office want to give someone else the same feeling as Heather, but completely free of charge. They've just started their Smile Again program, wanting to give back to the community. They've partnered with NG Dental Prosthetics, a local lab, to give someone in need of a new smile a full arch transformation.

"We were thinking about this great way to give to the community and we thought, wouldn't it be great if we got together and provided this for a really deserving individual who really may be down on their luck and needs it, but maybe hasn't been able to afford it or do it in their life for whatever reason," Dr. Jesin said.

People can apply online through Nov. 15, and they'll select the person Dec. 6. It's a small gesture both Heather and Dr. Jesin say makes a huge difference.

"These doctors can give you hope that everything's going to be okay," Sproule said. "And you can have a real smile again, and you can eat food again and you can enjoy your life again without having to worry about your smile all the time."

"Just seeing them smile and just beam and seeing that energy that comes along with it, it's very rewarding to see that," he said.

Insurance doesn't always cover the costs of this procedure and it's very expensive. Dr. Jesin says it can cost sometimes $20,000-$50,000 out of pocket.