PROVO — Two Utah County residents will have something to smile about after getting makeovers from two local oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
A local facility is taking applications and plans to select one recipient each for two charitable smile restoration programs before the end of the year.
"The opportunity to give back and help our community along with the residents that are a part of it is irreplaceable," said Dr. Michael Harris, a dental surgeon and founder of Utah Surgical Arts, with offices in Provo and Payson. He and Dr. David Park plan to award two carefully selected residents an opportunity to restore their smiles through two charitable programs the facility offers.
Park said it is an opportunity "to change two people's lives forever."
"Many dental implant candidates have experienced some physical or emotional struggle due to their oral health condition and would be deserving of this program," he said, adding that the decision of choosing the recipients "will be a difficult one."
One of the programs, Share a Smile, intends to restore function to a person's jawline as well as improve the look of it. The treatment will produce a new set of functional, natural-looking teeth.
The other offers facial reconstruction in the form of corrective jaw surgery. The procedure can improve a person's speech, respiratory function, appearance and ability to chew.
Each treatment or procedure requires specific candidates, for the first program, the potential patient must be missing or is losing multiple teeth, or for the second surgery, someone with an improper bite or misaligned jaw.
Both procedures aim for an improvement in total health and quality of life, Harris said.
The dentists also hope their efforts are matched by charitable individuals or organizations. They want to be able to line up the surgical recipients with other members of the community who can help the patient with other critical needs, such as quitting smoking, improving physical fitness, and career or personal counseling.
The surgeries will be performed by Harris and Park and are donated free of charge to the selected recipients.