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Lori, a military wife and mother of three, was diagnosed with severe periodontal disease nearly a decade ago, but she was unable to afford the costly treatments required to prevent it from progressing.
Over the past three years, Lori’s condition dramatically worsened, resulting in the loss of several teeth due to an extreme recession of her gums and a deterioration of bone in her upper and lower jaws.
“Losing my teeth changed everything,” Lori says. “People look at you differently. They automatically assume that you’re uneducated. I’ve heard people in the background say that I’m a meth addict, and I don’t do drugs.”
Lori says her condition not only impacted her self-esteem, but had a drastic effect on her physical health. Because of the pain in her mouth, Lori was only able to eat foods such as mashed potatoes, beans, bread and soup. Her restrictive diet triggered a nutritional deficiency, which caused her to lose 30 pounds and significantly weakened her immune system. Lori says that when she would catch a common cold, it would linger for a month or longer.
In November 2014, Lori wrote The Doctors in hopes of receiving dental implants to improve her quality of life and to surprise her husband, Matt, when he returned home from his deployment in Kuwait.
“Whenever he’s home, there’s no fight worth fighting and there’s no argument worth arguing,” Lori says. “He always tells me I’m beautiful, but I want to actually feel beautiful for him again.”
Upon receiving Lori’s letter, The Doctors devised a plan to give her a major makeover. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Willardsen and a team of oral surgeons headed by Dr. Carlos Letelier performed a cutting-edge procedure called All on 6, which provided Lori with a fixed prosthesis containing 10 dental implants.
“It was a very complex case,” Dr. Willardsen explains. “There wasn’t a lot of bone for us to work with. Had Lori let her condition go much longer, we probably wouldn’t have been able to do the procedures that we were able to do.”
Unbeknownst to Lori, The Doctors flew Matt to Los Angeles to see her dramatic transformation. In an emotional reunion, Matt surprises Lori onstage. Since the couple never had a honeymoon, The Doctors sends them on an all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica.