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Woman receives new smile from Texas Mission of Mercy after hardships

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Oct 05 2013 08:22:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 07 2013 09:00:41 AM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Some say a smile is worth a thousand words.

Almost a thousand new smiles were given out for free at the Abilene Civic Center,  including one to a woman who received a new smile after six years.

Volunteers with the Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation offered free dental care for people who can't afford it.     

It's safe to say that Veronica Scott received a miracle. On Saturday, she smiled for the first time in six years.

"It was an abusive situation when I lost my teeth and to have them back," Scott said. "I can't even describe how I feel. Awesome."

Scott has been through a lot in her life, but through the generosity of the Texas Mission of Mercy Charity she received a complete new set of teeth.

"Right away, I loved them," Scott said. "I know that my life has turned around for the better now."     

"Our primary goal here is to get people out of pain and to prevent pain, but it's also to get some people who we can restore their front teeth in a position where they can smile," Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation, Access Committee Chair Dr. Richard Smith said. "They can meet the public. They can get a job. They can face the world and not be ashamed of how they look."

Dentists from all over Texas have come to donate free dental care, with lines of hopeful patients waiting for their turn to get help they desperately needed.

For Veronica, getting new teeth means, "I can finally eat again, chew my food, have my confidence back," Scott said. "Mainly have confidence."

"I've never seen what it means to take somebody's smile," Shea Woodard Hall of Lawrence Hall Chevrolet said. "I think if you make them smile, you change their life."

Scott said it's not just her life that's changing.

"I have a 14-year-old son that's going to be ecstatic that I'm not covering my mouth anymore."

Scott said she loves working customer service and can't wait to look for a new job. More than 27,000 people have been helped over the last 12 years and close to $1,000,000 in dental care have been donated over the past two days.