Updated 06/19/2012 07:12 PM
Wyoming County woman proud to show off new smile
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
"Oh, a life-saver. Yeah,” said Alisha Delson. "This is a huge dream come true."
The value of a smile.
"I think I was just hard on myself, to be honest,” Alisha said.
We show off our teeth in most social settings. The "Kodak Moment," born in Rochester, encouraged that.
"I always looked miserable, when really, I wasn't feeling miserable inside."
But Alisha Delson learned society's smiling ways, the hard way.
"Had like a half-grin, if that's what you want to call it. I would definitely hide it."
Today, Alisha has nothing to hide. That's all thanks to some keen doctors and surgeons at University of Rochester's Eastman Dental.
"We saw Alisha first, of course, for an exam,” said Dr. Carlo Ercoli.
Dr. Ercoli administrated Eastman Dental's "Smile Makeover Contest."
"And we immediately saw that she had a great need,” Ercoli said.
Alisha's adult teeth had developed smaller than normal. And, when she was 11-years-old, a doctor mistakenly removed one front tooth during corrective surgery. Her replacement tooth was out of place.
"But also she had a very compelling reason: she wanted to look good at her wedding,” Ercoli said.
Ercoli and his staff and apprentices picked Alisha as one of their three Smile Makeover winners, and went to work.
"She had shortened teeth. And in order to create a more aesthetic smile, then there are certain proportions that we need to follow, to create a smile that just looks right,” said Remi Arseneau, Eastman Dental. “We assessed the length of the teeth, versus the width of them, and then we create a surgical plan, which is then executed during the surgery."
Most of Alisha's new teeth are caps or crowns over the old. She also had a new tooth implanted to replace the missing one.
It was a smile, a year-and-a-half in the making. But it was just in time for her big day.
"I was pretty nervous about the wedding, but everything was perfect,” Alisha said. “That day... it was just like a dream come true."
"It is the passion that we have. That's the reason why we are in this profession. And it's one that utterly, fulfills some of our dreams as well: making something and seeing the difference that you can make in people's life,” Ercoli said.
As the song goes: "Life is still worthwhile, if you just smile."