GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A 56-year-old grandma will soon be smiling once again, after beating out hundreds of others to win a contest to receive a $50,000 dental transformation.
Thursday afternoon, FOX 17 tagged along on a trip to surprise her with the news that she had won this year's contest, the fourth person to win such a prize since the surgeons began the initiative.
"We want to let you know that you are our recipient this year for our Smile Again program," A.J. Lytle, DDS, told Ivy as soon as she opened her front door.
"We look forward to giving you the smile that you deserve."
Ivy thanked them with visible tears in her eyes.
“Actually, today, I was supposed to have a colonoscopy, and I had the best reason to cancel it,” she told FOX 17 with a smile, after some of the initial shock had settled.
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She has, for several years now, been dealing with a problematic and painful wisdom tooth, among various other dental issues.
“I've lost 60 pounds in two years... I can't eat lettuce; I can't eat raw vegetables; I can't eat steak... I just eat sandwiches or soup or spaghetti,” Ivy said.
She had to get dentures at the age of 54, and has dealt with personal loss after loss in the past five years.
"When she was sending in her application, she was talking about how she's lost over 60 pounds, not just from stress but the inability to eat, her teeth falling out,” Mark L. Jesin, DDS, said Thursday.
“In the surgery, we'll put in dental implants, and she'll walk out that day with a set of teeth that are screwed in, and she won't have that caved-in feeling and that look, and be able to even chew again.”
The folks at Advanced Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Studio will begin taking scans, and doing other preparatory work in December, and then at the start of the new year, Ivy will get her brand new smile.