TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A 19-year-old girl has newfound confidence all because a dentist fixed her smile.
In March, Sarah Killen took her younger sister, Caitlyn Judd, to Hope Fest. There, Dr. Trent Smallwood with Contemporary Dentistry in Tempe set up a booth to help those in need.
“We were trying to help people maybe remove teeth, basic fillings, composites,” Dr. Smallwood explained.
Then, he met Judd.
“Caitlyn was a little bit bigger of a situation, and she wouldn’t even open up for me.”
Initially, Judd ran away, too embarrassed to smile for anyone, let alone a booth of strangers.
“I just didn’t want no one staring,” Judd later explained.
Eventually, Dr. Smallwood brought Judd to the back of the booth in a more private setting. He said he knew he had to help her–free of charge.
“I can tell there’s this like kindred spirit with Caitlyn. I could tell there’s this part that wants out, but she just had some difficulties over her life, and her teeth have been a big part of it,” Dr. Smallwood said.
“When Caitlyn was a baby the baby teeth were rotten, and they just kind of rotted through to the adult teeth, and the adult teeth started rotting,” Killen explained. “And it’s been an issue for her entire life. She just hides her smile. No confidence.”
Killen says it’s been a rough life for her sister so far. Her father is in prison, and her mom died suddenly in December. She hasn’t been to the dentist since she was 13 years old.
“My mom took her to appointments trying to get things done but either money, time–whatever–it just never got finished,” Killen explained. “Her whole life she’s just been trying to hide it.”
Over the course of four appointments, Judd spent hours in the dentist chair.
“We decided to do ten teeth on the upper, which will be substantial for her. Her lower teeth are actually not too bad. They just need to be kind of cleaned up a little bit,” Dr. Smallwood explained. “We’ll just put ten crowns, ten veneers on the upper teeth and she will be a completely different person.”
During the first appointment, you could feel the anxiety radiating off of Judd. She was shy with her legs crossed and her fists clenched together. Slowly, her confidence started peaking out. By the last appointment, she was practically a new person.
“I’m just very grateful for him for doing this to me, and my sister, because without her I would’ve never gone,” Judd said, after getting her makeup professionally done to celebrate her last appointment.
“I feel like I need to take her somewhere because she looks so pretty,” Killen said, beaming with pride.
Judd said she went out and bought three shades of red lipstick, now that she’s finally not afraid of people staring at her mouth. She also says she’s looking forward to eating foods normally.
“I’ll be able to eat corn on the cob like a normal person.”
The sisters say they can’t thank Dr. Smallwood enough.
“I know that everything that she does, and every time I see her smiling with her teeth, I just know it’s thanks to him,” Killen said.