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North Hills Monthly

Dental Contest Winner is All Smiles

Mar 31, 2015 09:53AM ● By Jill Cueni Cohen
Lisa Curry of Richland Township has obtained a new outlook on life because of a contest she never thought she’d win.

Sometimes mistaken as her youngest daughter’s grandmother, Curry, 50, a married mother of three, was self-conscious about the way her teeth looked, but she couldn’t afford to get extensive dental work done. Despite her doubts, she entered the Chips Dental Smile Makeover on their website in 2012 and hoped for the best.

“I never thought I would win, because you could see the other people’s pictures online and we all thought there was no way; their problems looked much worse than mine. I was shocked when they told me that I was the winner,” she recalled, noting that she later learned that other qualified contestants did not live close enough to the North Hills to attend regular appointments.

A little more than two years and three dentists later, Curry wears a winning smile that just won’t quit. “My level of confidence has gone way up, and I’m always smiling,” she said, adding that she’s now doing things that she never would have done in the past, like having a family portrait taken. “I hated the way I looked, and I hated having my picture taken. That’s all changed.”

Curry has undergone an astonishing metamorphosis during the past two years of going to regular appointments at the North Hills offices of Dr. Tim Chips and his father, Dr. John Chips. Curry was also helped by Dr. Bryan King of King Orthodontics in Wexford and Periodontist James Werkmeister of Wexford.

“She had some missing teeth that we had to disguise,” recalled Dr. Tim Chips, noting that the orthodontia was the most time-consuming part of the process. “My part of the procedure took place at the end, and it went fairly quickly. She was a textbook cosmetic case after everything was set up by Dr. King and Dr. Werkmeister.”

“It took about 14 months to straighten her teeth,” said Dr. King, noting that Curry’s problems were quite severe. “During each visit her teeth would be a little bit straighter, and we watched her confidence grow each time.”

However, the process itself was grueling as Curry had to deal with the pain of her teeth moving, the awkwardness of wearing braces as an adult and the videographer who followed her around to document the process. “It wasn’t easy to go through it all and to be followed by cameras the whole time,” she said, adding that she was surprised to see so many adults in the orthodontist’s office. According to Dr. King, adults make up almost half of his clientele.

Between the three dentists, roughly $24,000 worth of dental care was provided for Curry’s complete makeover. “With the way I look and feel now, it was worth any discomfort I went through,” she said, adding that the experience has been an eye-opener. “You’re only as old as you feel… and I feel like I’m getting younger.”

“Getting her teeth fixed has allowed Lisa to come out of her shell and be the person she always thought she was,” said Dr. Chips, adding that the experience was so rewarding for everyone involved that he plans to host another smile makeover contest in the near future. “I didn’t just change her smile, it was more than that; it was the overall impact on her and her life—it’s a boost to see that happen.”

“When we first started working with Lisa, she was a bit reserved,” recalled Dr. King. “Now that word doesn’t even apply to her. She’s one of the most outgoing people I know!”