Top 3 makeovers courtesy of volunteer Tomorrow's SMILES dentists

December 17, 2012

For an at-risk teen suffering the pain and humiliation associated with poor oral health, a healthy smile can change everything. It means they can concentrate in school, make friends with their classmates and realize their dreams.

For an at-risk teen suffering the pain and humiliation associated with poor oral health, a healthy smile can change everything. It means they can concentrate in school, make friends with their classmates and realize their dreams.

Thanks to caring volunteer dentists, program sponsors including Patterson Foundation and Philips Sonicare and product donations from Invisalign® and Nobel Biocare™ (including Procera®), teen participants in the Tomorrow’s SMILES program have been given the gift of a healthy smile and hope for the future.

“We are very grateful for the generous contributions of our program sponsors and the professional talents and precious time donated by our volunteer Tomorrow’s SMILES dentists,” said Fern Ingber, NCOHF President and CEO. “Their contributions help prepare these teens for healthy and productive futures and inspire them to live healthier, happier lives.”

Daniel Walkup, DDS

Dr. Walkup is committed to giving back to his community, and he volunteers for the Tomorrow’s SMILES program because it enables him to transform the smiles and lives of local youth. To date, he has accepted four Tomorrow’s SMILES teens in his Ocala, Florida practice.

One of those teens is Hannah, an intelligent, once bubbly young woman whose canine teeth had grown in improperly, disfiguring her warm smile. Her canine teeth stuck straight out, prompting her to cover her mouth with her hand. It wasn’t enough to stem the cruel remarks, and finally, she just stopped smiling. Diabetic and abandoned by her mother at the age of 13, Hannah remained a high achiever and an excellent student in the face of countless obstacles, earning college credits while still in high school.

However, the struggles she endured from the shame associated with her broken smile were taking their toll. She longed for a career in journalism, but how could she ever be a reporter when she could not even smile and introduce herself to her fellow classmates? In spite of her talents, Hannah felt hopeless about her future.

That burden of hopelessness began to dissipate when she found out Dr. Walkup was going to help her. With his help, Hannah’s dreams of having a great smile will come true. She is already planning her Pay It Forward mentoring activities, excited about sharing her newfound oral health knowledge with young children in her community.

 

Chris Woolaver, DDS, MSc, FRCD

Born with a cleft lip and palate and enduring years of orthodontic treatment, Dr. Chris Woolaver understands the pain and humiliation associated with a broken smile and compromised oral health. His personal trials led him to create Woolaver ClearSmiles Orthodontics, a practice designed to provide a positive orthodontic experience for his patients, and inspired him to become a volunteer Tomorrow’s SMILES orthodontist.

Demonstrating incredible compassion and a desire to help those in need, Dr. Woolaver has accepted seven participating teens into his Phoenix, Arizona practice in the last year. As a volunteer in this program, he’s earned the gratitude of his patients and even the attention of 5th District Congress Member, David Schweikert, who acknowledged Dr. Woolaver for his generosity.

As an Elite provider of Invisalign, Dr. Woolaver uses these aligners to correct tooth alignment and enhance the smiles of his patients. With generous product donations from Invisalign, Dr. Woolaver has been able to transform the smiles of some exceptional teens, including Reuben, a bright young man faced with tremendous adversity. With the completion of his treatment, Reuben now faces his future with a renewed confidence.

“Being able to help teens in need through Tomorrow’s SMILES has been rewarding for both me and my staff. I am glad to be able to have a positive impact on the lives of these remarkable kids,” Dr. Woolaver shared.


Christopher Wasulko, DMD

Dr. Christopher Wasulko has welcomed five Tomorrow’s SMILES teens into his practice, Weddington Dental, located in Weddington, North Carolina.

He shared his experiences with Tomorrow’s SMILES at the first North American NCOHF Oral Health Zone Program Summit in June 2012. He spoke about Lisa, a hardworking student who had become withdrawn and silent because of her poor oral health. Having lost her mother to illness, Lisa had been through a great deal for such a young person and spent much of her time caring for her brother who suffered from cerebral palsy.

Having lost three front teeth, she yearned to be able to smile and chat with her friends, but shame and difficulty eating kept her from leaving her home. She missed several days of school, fearing ridicule from her fellow students. A school nurse then reached out to Tomorrow’s SMILES, and Dr. Wasulko generously agreed to assist her. The day before her first appointment at Weddington Dental, her brother passed away. Brokenhearted, she still went to her appointment. She was so appreciative of the commitment Dr. Wasulko had made to help her, and she knew that her brother would have wanted her to be able to smile once again.

With Dr. Wasulko’s help, Lisa now smiles confidently. He supplied her with a flipper so she could return to school without worrying about being teased. Thanks to generous product support from Nobel Biocare™, Lisa will soon receive dental implants to permanently restore her smile.

“Volunteering with Tomorrow’s SMILES has been an amazing experience,” Dr. Wasulko said. “It is truly incredible what a difference we can make.”