ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than 70 low-income New Mexicans now have a new smile thanks to a free denture clinic in the south valley. “I haven’t looked in the mirror for years, now I’m going to look in the mirror and smile,” said Sonya Lopez who was in attendance today.
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Lopez says she thought she was going to have to wait five years to get a set of dentures, but thanks to the collaboration between the New Mexico Dental Association Foundation and the Global Denture Alliance, she was able to go to the clinic Saturday morning and walk out with new teeth.
The clinic at Los Padillas Community Center in the south valley, provided about $200,000 in donated dental care to patients who can’t afford it. “Just going to change these people’s lives, give them smiles, something to chew with, something to be confident with,” said Dr. Keon Ahghar of the New Mexico Dental Association Foundation.
“Give people a chance to actually improve their lives. If you don’t have teeth, you can’t smile, and you don’t feel good about yourself. It’s just giving back that feeling of ‘I can and I want to,'” said Sunny Smith, a lab tech with the Global Denture Alliance.
There were 60 volunteers who participated in the free denture clinic, the second of its kind in Albuquerque. The New Mexico Dental Association Foundation worked with low-income dental clinics to identify eligible patients. Each patient will be provided follow up care through the foundation.