6 On Your Side Exclusive: Dental surgery is life-changing for a local woman

Posted at 7:33 PM, Sep 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-18 23:41:37-04

Imagine not wanting to leave your home for fear someone might make you smile.

Dental technology has come a long way over the years. Six On Your Side has an exclusive look at how one surgery forever changed a local woman's life.

Briana Stringfield has always had problems with her teeth. It was when she was 16-years-old she realized how bad it was. When her braces were removed, holes were left behind in her teeth.

Besides the less than perfect appearance, she always had a toothache, if not several of them.

"I'm in physical pain all the time and I just don't even want to face people," Stringfield said, prior to the surgery date. "I don't want to talk to anyone."

Stringfield's luck turned around in Feb. of 2016 when she was chosen as the Smile Again program recipient.

The Boise Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center asked for essays to be submitted for a free, new smile. It was Stringfield's story that stood out most to them.

In the essay, she talked about how she wants to be an elementary music teacher but hadn't had the courage to enroll in school.

"I'm ready to move forward with my life but this is the one thing that's really holding me back," she said.

"She's got a whole life ahead of her and she can affect so many people, if we can just give her this step it could springboard her off to being able to do great things," said Dr. Jeffery Scott Bobst, DDS at the Boise center.

After a series of meetings with other surgery team members, the big day finally arrived come summer time.

Dr. Bobst says going from 2D imaging to virtual reality technology has been a game changer.

"You can be so much more precise," he explained. "So, instead of going in and exploring and kind of just figuring it out during surgery we can plan it out ahead of time so we know exactly what we're getting into."

Reflecting back on that day, Stringfield remembers the moments before her life changed forever.

"The day of surgery, I was literally shaking I was so nervous," Stringfield said.

Now with a smile she can't help but show off, she's ready to pursue her goals.

"Every time I look in the mirror, it is kind of a shock," she gushed.

A complete dental rehabilitation with implants, like Stringfield's surgery, costs anywhere from $50,000-$60,000.