Monthly Smile Story: Finding a cure for cancer, one smile at a time
I’m really excited about this new segment we are starting
In each of these stories, I’m going to introduce you to one very special patient and interview them about their “Smile Story.”
This month it’s my friend, Suzie. After her brother became ill with prostate cancer, Suzie decided, “I’m going to dedicate myself to help find a cure.” Since then she has been tireless in her lobbying on behalf of Zero Prostate Cancer to make that a reality.
Suzie found me through one of her closest friends, Sharon who is another dear patient of mine, and when Suzie told her she was nervous about getting her smile fixed, Sharon said, “You need to go see Dr. Pinto because she will make the process anxiety free!”
If you are interested in helping my friend Suzie in her cancer quest, go here to donate or participate in her upcoming 5k run/walk fundraiser at Tamiami Park on September 23rd. My husband Peter and I had the honor of being the title sponsor for Suzie’s previous fundraiser this past April and had an absolute blast with her and Sharon at Top Golf.
Dr. Pinto: Why were you hesitant to fix your smile?
Suzie: I had been taking care of my mom, and then my brother got prostate cancer, so I was really focused on helping and caring for them. But after both of them passed away, I had no reason not to focus more on myself.
Part of it was concern about how much it was going to cost and my horrible fear of dentists from when I was much, much younger. And I’ve always been very apprehensive about going to the dentist and I used to get physically ill the night before where I would end up sick to my stomach.
I don’t get like that anymore. Your entire practice focuses on patient centric care. I’m not just another body. I feel like I’m part of the family. It’s nice to be looked at more than just another patient.
Dr. Pinto: Was your smile making any aspect of life more difficult?
Suzie: I was embarrassed. Anytime someone would take pictures of me, the first thing that I would do is look at my mouth. And I would go “Oh, God, my smile was so horrible!” It made me reluctant to smile. I was worried I didn’t look genuine. So, in my 60s, I said, “Okay, I have to do something about this.”
Dr. Pinto: Had you tried anything else to improve your smile before?
Suzie: I got one of those Smile Direct molds. I paid $129 for the mold and one of the girls in my office helped me do it. But I looked at them and said, “I can’t even send these in. They’re just so awful!” So, I threw them in the garbage. I said something to Sharon about it and she said, “You gotta go to Dr. Pinto.”
Dr. Pinto: Did your experience here at Deering Dental change the way you perceive dentistry?
Suzie: It absolutely changed how I feel about dentistry as a whole. Because like I said, I did not go as regularly as I should have. Partly because of that apprehension. And my past dentist never addressed the gingivitis on the bottom of my mouth. Never. I saw him every three or four months for a cleaning and we never talked about it. He never spoke to me about it.
Dr. Pinto: How has your new smile changed things for you?
Suzie: I’m not embarrassed when somebody posts a picture of me on Facebook. To look at the side-by-side comparison of how it was versus how it is now? It’s a 180. It’s boosted my self confidence. I don’t feel like I need to hide my mouth when I’m talking anymore.
I just feel better about myself. I just came back from Washington DC from doing congressional meetings on behalf of Zero Prostate Cancer and it felt great to stand in front of people and do that. I really want people to take me seriously when I talk about this. And if my teeth look like crap, what does that do for my credibility?
Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to talk to me! I confident your 5k run/walk fundraiser this September 23rd at Tamiami Park is going to be just as successful as your Top Golf event.