Two local veterans are going to have something to smile about very soon. They’re in the process of receiving a full dental makeover — for free.
On Tuesday, it was all smiles at Briarcliff Dental Care where Charles Thompson and Kevin Sprague are undergoing their transformations.
“I was so excited and I’m still excited,” said United States Army Veteran, Charles Thompson.
Both Thompson and Sprague served their country for four years. Now, Dr. Michael Arnett, Owner of Briarcliff Dental Care in Riverside, said it's time someone gave back to them.
"It’s really helping these people who otherwise they were looking at a mountain," said Arnett, Owner of Briarcliff Dental Care in Riverside.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Sprague, who served in the United States Marine Corps.
“I had two in service dental injuries," said Sprague. "I knocked my front teeth out, a pair of pliers got away working on an engine one afternoon and knocked my four front teeth out.”
It was years later when Sprague had another dental issue.
"They were trying to extract my wisdom teeth and they busted off the extraction tool and it lay lodged in my face for about 30 years," said Sprague.
Thompson served in the United States Army. He suffers from a degenerative bone disease and lost all of his teeth. Thompson wears dentures and now he needs new ones.
“They don’t fit anymore and they hurt me so bad,” said Thompson.
Three weeks ago, Sprague and Thompson met with Arnett to formulate a game plan. From start to finish, it’s a challenging road ahead.
"We have to replace teeth, we have to fix broken teeth, we have to do root canals, and we have to pull some teeth," said Dr. Arnett.
Both Sprague and Thompson say they even have trouble when it comes to eating.
“Everything is hard to eat,” said Sprague.
“Can’t eat with them, can’t eat without them,” said Thompson.
In less than two months from now, Sprague and Thompson are going to be walking out of Briarcliff Dental Care with a brand new smile.
“You are going to see a bright beautiful smile again, finally,” said Sprague.
Once Thompson and Sprague receive their fresh new smiles, the first thing they say they’re going to do is go out for a big steak dinner.