Saint John dentist gives gift of $40K smile to bride-to-be

Saint John dentist Peggy Bown is giving a free smile make-over to worth $40,000 to a bride-to-be whose teeth were ruined by cancer treatments.

Woman's teeth were ruined seven years ago by cancer treatments when she was 18

Tori Bradley's teeth were damaged by cancer treatments seven years ago. A Saint John dentist is giving the bride-to-be implants and veneers worth as much as $40,000. 2:21

Tori Bradley was battling for her life seven years ago after being diagnosed with cancer as an 18 year old.

It was a tough fight and although she eventually won it, she came away with scars from the chemotherapy that still show themselves — mostly when she smiles.

"I have a lot of decay and a lot of pain and there's holes in my teeth and its just not — it's not fun," she says. "My entire treatments [were] without hair and eyelashes and my teeth were just the topper to the cake."

Self-conscious about looks

Bradley got on with life, she fell in love and is engaged to be married next spring, but has been self-conscious about the toll cancer treatment took on how she looks.

Saint John dentist Dr. Peggy Bown heard Bradley's story and she offered to help.
Saint John dentist Dr. Peggy Bown heard of Tori Bradley's story and offered to help. Bradley's 'smile' has been restored thanks to veneers and implants worth as much as $40,000. (Submitted by Peggy Bown)

"She just had this … you were just drawn to her," said Bown.

"The whole team liked her immediately and we thought that the fact that she had been through cancer treatments and she is obviously a survivor and she has now made it this far and she is getting married so we thought, 'Wow this is so amazing.'"

Dentist holds contest

Bown has been a dentist for 15 years. She opened her own Saint John practice last year and to celebrate her first anniversary decided to offer what she called a "smile make-over" to the most compelling story and deserving person she could find.

Fifty people came forward, including Bradley.

"It was very hard but there was something special about Tori," said Bown, who estimates reconstructing Bradley's teeth with implants and veneers will take months and could cost up to $40,000.

Bown is planning to have everything ready before Bradley's wedding and is excited to be able to help.

[The cost] is going to get up there but it's going to be our pleasure.- Dr. Peggy Bown, Saint John dentist

"The team and I got together and thought what could we do that would be a way to give back and celebrate what we do and celebrate what this practice is all about and to do a complimentary smile make-over on somebody, who would really appreciate it and deserve it, we thought would be great," she said.

"It [the cost] is going to get up there but it's going to be our pleasure."

Bradley is deeply appreciative and looking forward to flashing a big new smile on her wedding day.

"I just want to be able to smile at him without being completely uncomfortable and awkward and I want to be happy with myself too," she said.

"Just to be able to smile and be able eat the things that I want to without having to worry about being in pain and you know, to be able to look at my fiance and be able to smile at him without having to worry about it. Your teeth are a big thing."