New Brunswick

Toothless Moncton job seeker gets help from denturist

New Brunswick's dental community is stepping up to help a man in need.

Mike Sawler appreciates the gift of teeth and feels government should have provided more help

New Brunswick's dental community is stepping up to help a man in need.

Mike Sawler had 21 teeth removed about a year ago due to pain and decay.

Denturist Daniel Robichaud is giving Mike Sawler free dentures to help in his job search. (CBC)
Sawler says without teeth, his job options were slim — and he couldn't afford dentures.

Local denturist Daniel Robichaud heard about Sawler's story and is giving him the gift of a new smile.

"The actual cost of the dentures is approximately $1,500 per denture, so you're looking at more than $3,000, which is a lot of money," said Robichaud.

Sawler appreciates the gift. He says he feels lucky that Robichaud is doing so much to help, but sorry for other people who aren't as fortunate. He says he'd like to see more people have access to free or discounted dental work through government programs.

"It's nice to see the help from the public and people that do care," he said.

"But in the end I do feel the government should have helped me at least, you know, get some replacement teeth so I could accurately go out and look for work. Because without teeth, you're not presentable. You don't have the confidence, you don't have the self-esteem to go into a job interview and be confident."

Robichaud says there are many people with similar stories, and they don't always have happy endings.

"Unfortunately very often, this is what you see and circumstances are that the government will help to a point," he said. "But the government doesn't help everybody and there are ones who fall through the cracks."

Sawler expects to have his new teeth by mid-March and after going so long with so many foods off limits, he already has his first meal planned — chicken wings.