These women have hidden their smiles from the world. That’s about to change

These women have hidden their smiles from the world. That’s about to change

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Through the years it took to raise her sons and to help provide for her family, Taulalo Paese never had enough money for dental visits.

It took a toll on her teeth.

"Chewing my food so it gets smaller takes a while. I'm pretty much at the table for almost an hour just trying to eat a meal," she said.

Health problems cost Kauikeolani Frost her smile and nearly all of her self-confidence.

Like Paese, she finds it hard to smile in public.

"As soon as I start to speak, their eyes focus on my mouth, and I'm treated differently," she said. "I lost my voice. I couldn't say what I wanted to say so I just stopped talking."

Oral Surgery Hawaii surprised both women Monday, announcing them as this year’s recipients for its Second Chance Program.

"They will smile again in family photos. It's a life changing experience," oral surgeon Dr. Blake Kitamura said.

Over the next few months both women will undergo extensive treatments to install implants to replace their missing or damaged teeth.

"It does not come out. It does not need glue. They're able to chew and speak without it moving around," Kitamura said.

Paese can’t wait for her new smile and the possibilities that lie ahead.

"Getting to apply to the jobs that I really love and then being more out there," she said.

Their procedures are valued at $40,000 apiece, and they'll get them for free.

"It's like winning the lottery," Frost said.

Oral Surgery Hawaii started the Second Chance Program three years ago. Each year it selects two women who need major dental work but can’t afford it.

Four patients have had dental implants done through the program.

"We saw what effect it had on people. It made us feel really good because we can see these people light up," Kitamura said.

This year 300 people applied for the Second Chance Program.

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