Caldwell woman awarded the gift of new teeth thanks to 'Smile Again' program

Posted at 6:55 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-13 20:55:12-05

A Treasure Valley women has something to smile about. That's because she found out she will be this years 'smile again' recipient.

It's a gift from the tooth fairy so to speak.

"I have so many emotions going through me right now," said Tanya Estes. "I'm shaking. It's unreal."

Estes, 36, of Caldwell, learned that she is the lucky recipient of a brand new smile thanks to Boise Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.

Estes is now the second person ever to receive the gift from the 'Smile Again' program, an event where the center gives a new set of dental implants to someone in need. It's a procedure that can run upwards of $60,000.

"We wanted to make a pretty big impact so instead of just replacing one tooth or something, we decided to do a full arch or a full mouth of total tooth rehabilitation," explained Dr. Scott Bobst, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Boise Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center put out an ad on Facebook to take applications to receive a new smile. In total, they received more than 400 applicants, but it was Estes who's decaying and missing teeth won them over.

"They are so broken down that they are not repairable," said Dr. Bobst.

"It's something that's haunted me my whole life. As kids people made fun of me, older people don't really mention it but I know they notice it," said Estes.

"I remember once she said I wish I could just brush my teeth but I can't because it hurts," said Estes.

But they couldn't do it without the help from Dr. Michael Gurney who is providing the prosthodontics for the procedure.

"It's one of the best things we can do," said Dr. Gurney. "When you can see somebody who may not have hope, to see them finally regain that hope there is probably nothing more rewarding than that."
"I just want to say thank you to everyone that chose me," said Estes. 

They hope to have the procedure done by Christmas at the latest.

Estes said one of the things she is most looking forward to after getting her new smile is taking professional family photos for the very first time.