NBC12 viewer gets new smile thanks to local surgeon

Johnson's teeth before
Johnson's teeth before

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Keith Johnson believes his heart medicine caused his teeth to rot and break. His smile was spoiling his life and threatening his health, so he called 12 for help.

A local surgeon was moved by his cry for help and put together a team of doctors to take care of his dental needs. He got an appointment within a week, but the dental process took several months.

Now Keith Johnson's new pearly whites and big grin boost his confidence and improved his health.

"I still have the heart condition. The teeth are one less problem causing those problems, to exacerbate those problems," said Johnson.

The bad teeth threatened his life and caused him to almost live like a hermit avoiding people.

"I was having a bout of nausea everyday," said Johnson. "I think I was being poisoned by those teeth. Since I had the teeth removed, I haven't had a day of nausea yet."

A trio changed Johnson's life. Dr. Monroe Harris is the surgeon who saw my story. A partner with Virginia Oral and Facial Surgery, Harris told his dentist wife, Dr. Jill Bussey, and she contacted Greg Coleman, owner of Coleman's Dental Lab. They all were happy to help.

"That's the rent that you pay on Earth," said Dr. Bussey. "You do good to help others, and so we were very happy to be of service and to help him. I as happy, he was happy."

Dr. Bussey remembers Johnson during his initial consultation and is marveled by the change in both his appearance and to be able to chew and digest his food properly.

Johnson says he is working on pronouncing his t's and s's and looks forward to  singing in the church choir again.

"The only challenge I have is beating the women off me with this pretty smile," jokes Johnson. "Right now, I'm loving it, and I just wanted to thank them. Had they not stepped forward to help me, I don't know where I'd be... I've cried over it - the fact of where I was and where I am."
Here are some places to try if you need help with dental care: Crossover Health clinic; VCU School of Dentistry; the Vernon J. Harris clinic.

You can also get a list of additional resources by visiting the Virginia Dental Association Foundation website: vdaf.org.

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