PELL CITY, Ala. (WBRC) - It was cloudy outside this Veterans Day, but inside the Affordable Dentures practice in Pell City, Bryan McClendon could brighten a room with his smile. That’s because the U.S. Marine Corps veteran is smiling with a full mouth of teeth for the first time since he was 15 years old.
McClendon lost his front two teeth as a teen. He’s also had partial dentures, but those broke over time. Bryan served from 1985 to 1993 including a deployment in Operation Desert Storm.
He says before Wednesday he’d rarely smile, and if he did, he learned to adjust his mouth following the Marine Corps motto, “adapt and overcome.”
“With them being out for so long it’s going to be an adjustment, but we’re so thankful for Dr. Shannon doing this for us,” McClendon said.
The procedure was performed at no cost by Dr. Kim Shannon, a U.S. Navy veteran. The dental care provided included a “snap-on” partial denture anchored to McClendon’s jaw with implants. McClendon didn’t qualify for full VA benefits to cover the surgery, but the Pell City dentist saw it as a way to show her appreciation for a fellow servicemember.
“I know that a lot of veterans are in need of dental care, and it’s hard for them to get it and a lot of times they end up paying out of pocket and that may make them not do the work, so this was my way of giving back to a veteran,” Dr. Shannon said.