The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has launched the “The Smile Story Contest”. This contest will enhance the smiles and change the lives of up to five lucky people, while raising awareness about the benefits of cosmetic dentistry. This contest is part of the AACD’s Your Smile Becomes You campaign. You can read more about it at http://www.yoursmilebecomesyou.com
“Recent AACD research has shown that a smile can help make a great first impression,” said Dr Bill Dorfman of the AACD and of Extreme Make-Over fame. “AACD helps changes lives, while spreading awareness about the positive benefits of cosmetic dentistry and responsible aesthetics.”
Entrants submitted their smile story telling why they deserve a new smile, along with their photo. The contestants were chosen by the public through a voting process which ran from June 11-June 30 2014. The top 20 met with participating AACD dentists for treatment consultations, and then a panel of dental professionals selected five winners.
One of the five winners is Renata, who is edentulous (has not teeth) due to a rare genetic disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Because of this disorder she had to have her teeth removed several years ago. She is unable to wear dentures also due to her disorder as it makes her tissues very soft and anything constantly rubbing on the tissues, such as a denture, would cause her tissues to slough and bleed.
Renata explains her experience about eating, “I can’t remember the last time I was able to eat a regular meal. I can’t even have a simple thing like a salad. I have nothing to chew with.” Most of us take for granted that we have teeth and do not realize the value of having a healthy dentition (full set of teeth). It plays a big part in having a proper balanced meal and your overall health. Read more about Renata’s story at http://yoursmilebecomesyou.com/contest.php
We are able to get to know Renata through this process. She was a little shy at first but once she felt comfortable you could see her potential to be a little social butterfly. She is an intelligent and articulate woman with a great attitude. This, unfortunately, is all hidden behind her embarrassment of having no teeth. She explains, “I want to get a job, I am educated and I am able-bodied but there is a stigmatism with my edentulous condition. I can smile as much as I want but no one sees it because there are no teeth to show that I am smiling. I see people’s reactions and even though they do not mean it, their staring and perplexed looks are very hurtful.”
Dr Narang was asked by the AACD to present a treatment plan for Renata that can be done within a certain period of time. It is a complex treatment plan requiring surgery, specialist appointments, implants, and lab work, but Dr. Narang came up with something that was accepted by the AACD. Now, he and Renata are in the running for the Smile Story Contest!
Follow our journey with Renata on our blog and on Facebook. Look for our upcoming video story directed, edited and compiled by Neha Narang.
The winners will be announced in May 2015 at the AACD Scientific Session in San Francisco.