POCATELLO — Oral Surgery Specialists of Idaho is once again giving one individual a great reason to smile with the launch of their third Second Chance program, which provides a free smile makeover to an individual with poor oral health.

The program encourages residents from Pocatello, Blackfoot or Preston who suffer from extremely poor oral health to apply for the chance to receive a new set of teeth through implant-supported dentures and bridges. The deadline to apply is Thursday.

The procedure will be done by Dr. Mark Baker and Dr. Shawn Jepsen of Oral Surgery Specialists of Idaho, who will be performing the surgery and implants, while Dr. Kyle Sieman of Sage Dental will be undertaking the restorative work along with his lab workers.

The total value of the partnered work reaches up to about $50,000, said Baker.

“When you start adding up the extractions, the implants, the restorative, the lab work, it could be upward to about a $50,000 treatment plan for a smile makeover,” he said. “That’s a pretty big deal in someone’s life there.”

Baker has witnessed the impact the Second Chance program has had for the one chosen when 2019 recipient Hannah Lyngar had the opportunity to receive her own smile makeover.

Lyngar, a mother of four children, suffered from a condition during her pregnancies called hyperemesis gravidarum, which caused severe nausea and vomiting that greatly damaged and deteriorated her teeth.

When Lyngar applied, she had already lost a great number of teeth and the remaining ones were extremely brittle and made eating certain foods difficult.

“Now she has a beautiful smile, but you can see what a difference it made not just on her oral health, but just her life in general. She’s a different person,” Baker explained. “So (The Second Chance Program) is for somebody who needs all their teeth out (and) needs them replaced.”

Lyngar said the opportunity to receive the oral care not just took away the physical pain in her mouth, but has given her the opportunity to smile without trying to hide her teeth.

“I’m definitely very happy to see (my teeth) again and not have to deal with the physical pain…anymore, but also being able to just smile at my children and not have to hide behind my lips more,” Lyngar said. “It’s very nice. A lot of people have noticed, definitely, because I didn’t use to smile before and now I just can’t stop smiling.”

Lyngar explained the process takes several months and there are many meetings and appointments to attend, but the teams she met were wonderful to work with and she still keeps in contact with several of the members today.

“Overall, I’m amazed with how well everyone worked and they were all very kind, and still are kind,” she said. “I text Dr. Sieman every once in a while and I talk to Nicole from Dr. Baker’s office quite often and they’re just very great people. I’m very thankful and I don’t even know how I could even repay them for how happy they’ve made me. They’ve literally changed my whole life. Just very thankful and appreciative for sure and excited for whoever the next recipient is going to be. I think this is a really awesome thing they are doing. It’s unbelievable.”

While in the past the recipient has been chosen out of 450-500 applicants, Dr. Baker encouraged people not to be discouraged from applying and that his team will be also interested in hearing how COVID-19 may have impacted applicants’ lives and oral health. The team plans to announce their chosen recipient the week before Thanksgiving.

For more information on the program and how to apply, visit facialandoralsurgery.com/secondchance.