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Father of bride able to smile again thanks to local dentists’ 50-Smiles-for-50-Years smiling it forward’

NKyTribune staff

Northern Kentucky residents and practicing dentists, Drs. Laura Herfel and Keith Laws both turned the “Big 5-0” in 2019.

While most people celebrate such a milestone with elaborate parties or are showered with presents, the partners at Dental Center of Florence, decided to give the “birthday gifts” instead of receiving them as their way of thanking the Greater Cincinnati area 25+ years of support.

Dr. Herfel

In honor of their 50th birthdays, Drs. Herfel and Laws started the “50 Smiles for 50 Years” effort.

They asked the team at Dental Center of Florence to nominate 50 patients in need and deserving of smile makeover to be completed by DCOF at no cost to the patient.

To celebrate, they decided “smile it forward” by helping patients who would otherwise not be able to complete some necessary dental treatment(s) due to financial hardship. 

“Extensive dental care can be costly and is unfortunately what some people have to forgo in order to make ends meet but a healthy smile makes a huge difference not just physically, emotionally too,” said Dr. Herfel. “We thought being able to give people the smiles they deserve was the perfect way to celebrate and say thank you to the community that has supported us all these years.”

Dr. Laws

The entire staff at DCOF excitedly embraced the “50 Smiles for 50 Years” effort, including Dr. Faith Rheiner, DMD as she nominated and treated military veteran Emmanuel Evans.

Evans had been injured in a horrific accident caused by a drunk driver on the way to his daughter’s wedding. The accident left him in financial hardship and with dental injuries that were nothing to smile about.

When Evans’ jaw was broken in the crash, several of his top, front natural teeth and his partial denture where destroyed requiring additional extractions, root canals and custom dentures. Thanks to Dr. Rheiner and the DCOF team, Mr. Evans was able to turn that frown upside down and can now “smile it forward.”

“Dr Rheiner and the assisting staff members are a great team…they have made all my dreams come true when it comes to being able to smile once again,” Evans said.

Evans and the other “50 Smiles for 50 Years” case-patients have allowed the Dental Center of Florence to donate just shy of $100,000 in dental treatments to those in need, bringing grateful smiles all around.

“It’s been great…many happy tears of joy by these patients AND our staff,” said Dr. Laws.

“Our patients and their families have been good to us for a long time and we feel it’s important to do for others in acknowledgment of that. Giving someone who’s been self-conscious of their teeth and mouth a reason to smile seemed like the best way to show our appreciation.” 

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