Houston dentist returns smile to woman for free
Millions of people watched the video Houston area dentist Mauricio Rodriguez posted on Facebook this month reviewing a set of As Seen on TV, “no dentist required” veneers.
Tongue, meet dentist’s cheek.
People laughed watching Rodriguez, with Premier Dental in Clear Lake, Texas, fiddling with Perfect Smile Veneers, which mold in warm water like a mouth guard and fit over your existing teeth. His video racked up more than 7.5 million views.
“I can’t wait. I just really want this perfect smile,” he snarked in the video, and here it must be noted that Rodriguez, not surprisingly, already has a Hollywood perfect smile.
But Kelsey Schmidt did not. With a mouth full of broken teeth, she hadn’t had a smile she felt like flashing for years.
She was one of the thousands of people who commented on the video, posted to the dental practice’s Facebook page on June 6. The emotion in her words caught the dentist’s attention.
“When I read her response, she said she found the humor in the video, that she laughed but then she started to cry, and that touched me,” Rodriguez told KHOU in Houston.
Schmidt told the TV station, “It had been four years to the day since I had posted a picture when I was smiling.”
And lo, in a follow-up Facebook video posted last week, there is Schmidt with Rodriguez at his office because the dentist decided to give her a new smile, for free.
The first video “got an overwhelming, positive reaction from the general public, more than I would have ever expected,” Rodriguez says in the new video. “We don’t normally post videos like that.”
Schmidt, he says, identified with that video “in a way that we never imagined.”
She took medications when she was growing up that caused a lot of dry mouth, he explains in the video, which led to a lot of tooth decay.
“So she’s lost a lot of teeth, has a lot of broken teeth, and it’s affected her self-esteem and how she interacts with the public, job interviews, moms at school, she has kids that she takes to school,” he says.
“Tomorrow we’re going to change her life.”
The video flashes forward – past multiple X-rays and tests done in preparation – and the woman too shy to smile at her own children is sitting in the dentist’s chair and Rodriguez is telling her, “You’re going to get a new smile.”
When work on her upper mouth is done – the dentist says they’re going to take a break because Schmidt was feeling “uncomfortable – Rodriguez hands her a mirror.
And just like in those makeover shows, as seen on TV, Schmidt cries out.
“Oh my god, oh my god, I have teeth! Oh my god,” she says, flashing beautiful new pearly whites.
Later that night she was still so excited she couldn’t sleep, she told KHOU.
“I sat up and took four years worth of selfies,” she said. “I’m not too embarrassed to admit it.”