A local dentist's office is giving two very deserving women a brand new smile. The procedures cost around $30,000, but today's patients didn't have to pay. One tells us, the work actually saved her life.
"If I did not get this procedure done, I would be dead right now," said Raunita Dickerson. "That's not an extreme statement or anything like that. It's just that's how bad the infection was regardless of my efforts, regardless of me doing everything that I could."
Raunita Dickerson' hasn't always had the perfect smile. In fact, Dickerson's past had taken a toll on her teeth.
"It made it harder for me to eat, which made it harder for me to function," explained Dickerson. "I couldn't sleep very well, had difficulty thinking, wasn't able to do much physically because I wasn't able to get in as much food and nutrients as I needed."
"She wasn't happy and she was having a hard time actually she said finding employment," said Dr. Michael Bull.
Dickerson says she was desperate, and so was Louise Crespo, a mother of six and a past victim of domestic abuse, Crespo lived with crumbling teeth for years until Prestige Dental stepped in.
"Just didn't believe it at first," said Crespo. "Waiting for the shoe to drop and waiting for someone to say, 'Oh but!' things like that just don't happen, someone offering to change your whole life."
Both women told News 5 their lives will never be the same.
"Across the board I'm able to eat, I'm able to function, I don't have that infection that's causing my problems to be that much more inflated, I'm able to actually work better, so not only am I alive but I'm doing better," added Dickerson.
Health Solutions, a nonprofit in Pueblo, arranged today's procedures with Prestige Dental. And our patients? They're not used to their new smiles quite yet, but they say now, they'll have lots of reasons to practice.