SMILES FOR SUCCESS

Cosmetic dentistry requires standard dental training and the understanding of facial structure, esthetics, and psychology.

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by Elisa Mello, DDS

Cosmetic dentistry requires standard dental training and the understanding of facial structure, esthetics, and psychology. Having built a successful cosmetic practice for 10 years, I have long wanted to give back, especially to women who cannot afford the costs and who could benefit from what I’ve learned. Smiles for Success seemed an ideal fit.


Monica Greene, Before
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Monica Greene was referred to our practice through Smiles for Success and NITCHEN, a Native American education program. She was trying to find employment, in need of major dental work, and lacking insurance. Previous dental experiences left her fearful about pain and results.


Monica Greene and Dr. Elisa Mello, After
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“I had extreme fear of dentistry,” Greene said, “and it had been years since my last treatment. At the dentist’s office, it was too expensive, so I had gone to an emergency room with a toothache. They gave me painkillers but didn’t treat the problem. I knew I needed the work because I kept applying for jobs online. At first, the employers would respond favorably to my resume - I looked good on paper - but when we met face to face, they’d always say, ‘I’ll call you.’ Somehow they never did. After I met Dr. Mello, things changed. Because I hadn’t smiled in years, at first my face didn’t know which way to go. They made me a complete set of dentures, and I began smiling again. When my family had a cookout, I laughed so much they almost fell out.”

Greene began applying for jobs online again. When she went for an interview, the work had been completed. She felt confident and outgoing. Most important, she got a job with Homeland Security. She was one of the most satisfying patients I was able to help. Initially, her warmth didn’t come through; she wasn’t feeling good about herself, so she was holding back. Afterward, we got to see an outgoing person who is excited about her new field.

I urge you to join me by volunteering your skills to benefit women in need through Smiles for Success.Women helping women is a powerful idea, and I’m hooked!

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