"I am just so thankful," Idaho veterans surprised with free smile makeovers

Posted at 6:54 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 16:45:07-05

Whitewater Oral Surgery in Boise surprised two Idaho veterans with free smile makeovers this Veterans Day.

Terri Todd of Mountain Home and Philip Nielsen of Emmett have more in common besides their veteran status. They both need oral surgery to help them regain confidence.

This procedure can cost over $50,000, but Whitewater Oral Surgery is giving them a brand-new smile free of charge.

"Wow. Thank you very, very much. I can't thank you enough," Nielsen said over the phone.

"I am just so thankful. Very thankful," Todd said.

Air Force veteran Todd is missing 25 teeth. She has a narrow palate, making it challenging for her false teeth to stay right.

"I have to paste them, and that's very hard to do every day and to remove it every day," Todd said.

The all-day procedure includes multiple different parts with different doctors and oral surgeons.

"We clear the mouth of all the bad and damaged teeth. Then we level the bone to make a solid foundation, put the implants in through a series of guides and drill sequences," Dr. Eric Nelson of Whitewater Oral Surgery said. "I am just thrilled we are able to help Terri and Philip out. They are great, and they represent what is great about this country."

Dr. Nelson says it's because of veterans that they can offer a service like this for those who need it.

"They gave us all our freedoms to go to school and to learn and to educate, and that's what they did, and so this is the least we can do," Nelson said.

Once the procedure is done, Todd and Nielsen are free to enjoy any foods they want.

"Goodwood is where I'll be going. [Dr. Nelson] said I could wait three months and then go to Goodwood. It's been three years so I'm anxious to go to Goodwood and have ribs," Todd said.

Todd and Nielsen will be smiling bigger than ever before very soon.

Delta Dental providing free dental screening, more for veterans

If you are a veteran or know a veteran who needs dental help, Delta Dental wants to thank the heroes who served our county by providing free dental screening, fluoride varnish, and sealants to veteran residents.