CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An emergency medical technician from Kanawha County who said he has never won anything in his life is getting a whole new smile courtesy of Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery.
Dustin Dunlep, 30, a new dad from Marmet, is the winner of this year’s Second Chance Program offering a full-arch restoration, with permanent implants, at no cost to him.
He applied with hundreds of others after worrying about what his teeth looked like for years.
“It’s very mental. Being an EMT and being in the public eye, day in and day out, you kind of have to decide which side you want to sit on and talk to somebody if you have a messed up smile or your teeth are messed up,” he said.
“Hopefully now, I won’t have to have that issue and I can just look straight ahead at somebody and smile and be proud of it.”
Dr. Jack Krajekian, a partner with Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery, said good teeth make life better.
“It really helps in all aspects — medically, psychologically and definitely socially,” he said at a Tuesday announcement in Kanawha City.
For Dunlep, a dental implant was planned.
“Basically, what we’re doing, we’re going to remove the remaining poor teeth and immediately place an implant and work with our restorative doctors to place a prosthesis for him, so we’re going to do it all in one procedure,” Krajekian explained.
With Dunlep’s age, recovery could take as little as four months.
The work, Dr. Krajekian said, will last the rest of his life.
The Second Chance Program from Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery is open each year to residents in and around Charleston, Hurricane, Huntington, Parkersburg and Beckley along with Ashland, Ky.
“It’s really very, very rewarding for our team to be able to do this,” Dr. Krajekian said. “We’re trying to find more resources to be able to help more than one patient, but this is our way to give back (to the community).”
Dunlep was appreciative.
“I’m just really happy that there are people like that that care about the community enough to put back and help out as much as they can,” he said.