WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - One dentist office is giving the gift of a smile to not one but nine finalists in their "smile make-over giveaway."
"It's hard to function in life with only one tooth on your upper jaw when you smile and you're in your 20s," Dr. Albert Bozart with Bozart Family Dentistry said. "That entry is going to get implants and crowns and really change her life."
The ability to smile with confidence is something many people take for granted. Bozart hopes his contest will change a few peoples' lives for the better.
"Whatever they need, we can do here. There's a relatively easy treatment plan, and the stories they had were so powerful that you just wanted to give them the treatment," Bozart said about the more than 400 people who applied to have their smile made over.
People wrote to Bozart telling him about the embarrassment, fear, and pain they've experienced with their smiles. But they also wrote about the sacrifices they've made and how they've gotten to the point they're at in their lives.
"When you read these stories about the sacrifices the entries have made in their lives for other people, you can't help but be uplifted and help them back," Bozart said.
After reading their stories, the office decided to help not one patient but nine, totaling about $90,000 in dental work.
And while that total is much more than he initially planned to spend during the contest, Bozart says it's all worth it.
"I wanted to have an avenue to affect people with what we do for a living, whether that's fixing someone's smile or dental health," Bozart said. "I chose to do it because I knew it was a way I could directly impact somebody."
Not being able to smile affects the way the world sees a person but also how that person sees themselves.
"If you can't smile, people think you're upset or down or depressed and it can make you depressed because you're not able to express yourself," Bozart said.
And while this contest will directly affect his patients' lives, Bozart says it means just as much to him to be able to give them the gift of a beautiful smile.
"It's $90,000; it's a lot of money, but it's just going to help. It's going to mean a million dollars to me," said Bozart.
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