A smile as big as you please

A full dental makeover brings a world of change for Dianna Tolan.

Best friends Dianna Tolan and Lela Milo promised that if one of them struck it rich, Tolan would get new teeth and Milo would get a new house.

“Now she doesn’t have to (pay up),” Tolan said, displaying even rows of white, white teeth in a broad smile.

This past December, Port Orchard resident Tolan was selected by Dr. Omer Anisso and the Islandental staff as winner of their first annual dental makeover contest. After five appointments to fix dental problems – with treatments including a root canal, whitening of discolored teeth and closing a front tooth gap – she has a smile that would beat Jimmy Carter’s.

Feeling confident about her smile has changed Tolan’s life in many small ways.

“Now I’m eating in public,” she said. “I never liked to eat in front of people because I didn’t like opening my mouth.”

Tolan marvels at the perfect half-moon indent her new teeth make when she eats an apple. She is also looking forward to running again and not feeling self-conscious, holding her mouth shut as she runs past people.

“It sounds corny, but it’s true,” Tolan said. “I don’t think I’ve been so happy in my life with my personal appearance.”

Tolan’s daughter Dawn Ross sees greater confidence in her mother.

“She’s a hundred times more bubbly and energetic,” Ross said. “She walks with her head high up and looks people in the eye and smiles now.”

Over the next two weeks, Anisso will put together a formal case study of Tolan’s makeover and submit it to professional journals. Eventually, he also plans to put up a website for his “Perfect Smiles Across America” project, as a reference for colleagues interested in doing benefit makeovers in their own communities.

The contest has already attracted goodwill; Silverdale actress Paige McCarty, who knew the pain of having her smile reconstructed after a car accident, sent her compliments by arranging for Poulsbo’s Kenneth L Salon and Spa to give Tolan a two-day hair and spa treatment.

She also arranged for Kitsap Limousine to escort Tolan and Milo to Bon-Macy’s in Silverdale, which assigned Tolan a personal shopper and completely outfitted her in a black skirt ensemble with hot pink piping. Flowers-To-Go presented Tolan with a red rose bouquet.

Come November, Anisso and staff will work on their second smile.

“I can’t wait to do the next one,” he said. “I’m just as excited to put it all together and spread the word among my colleagues. It’s been so rewarding personally and emotionally, I can’t imagine it won’t have a huge following.”

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