A Birthday Wish Comes True

Before celebrating her 100th birthday on March 17, Althea Nelms had one wish. She wanted to smile and not be embarrassed at her appearance.        

Days before, Althea had suffered a broken front tooth, and her family traveled from Independence for her to be seen at the Pittsburg dental clinic. Unfortunately, the tooth was not savable, it was broken beyond repair.   

Disappointment was in the air because Althea wanted to be able to smile for her 100th birthday celebration. Undaunted by the challenge, dentist Cody Groll, DDS, and his team knew they could not just let Althea leave, so they quickly formulated a plan.   

“We know God moved your hearts and hands that day we visited your office”

The team made a dental impression of her upper teeth and used the impression to create a “model.” The model was then used to build a “wax-up” of front teeth to create a clear plastic tray. The clear plastic tray was then filled with dental composite material to give the appearance of teeth.   

Once the tray was fitted, Althea was all smiles! Her granddaughter, that accompanied her to the appointment, was emotional as she called other family members, telling them the good news.   

And, sometimes, crying can be contagious. The dental staff found themselves shedding happy tears as they witnessed the joy of Althea and her family. When the team took Althea back to the waiting room, her son was waiting for her, and he also found himself teary-eyed at his mom’s big smile. 

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