Michael Cooper felt a little goofy in the pictures taken at Dr. Talya Mintz’s office on Veteran’s Day morning.
“I look a little goofy. I don’t really remember how to smile. I’m out of practice,” Cooper, Spring resident, said.
On the morning of Veteran’s Day, Cooper – a U.S. Army Reserves veteran – was the recipient of a new smile courtesy of Dr. Talya Mintz at her Affordable Dentures & Implants practice in Conroe.
His procedure included a “snap on” denture that is anchored to Cooper’s jaw with implants placed by Dr. Mintz.
“I’ve always been the guy people come to for help and I’ve never had someone do something like this for me,” said Cooper who, like all military veterans, in order to qualify for full VA dental benefits, must be 100 percent disabled, have been a prisoner of war or have developed a dental condition during their service.
Michael does not meet these requirements. He had let his dental health go and was paying out of pocket for service.
He was in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1982 to 1988. On Aug. 6, 1986 he was in a severe accident which had lead to health problems the remainder of his life.
He was honorably discharged on Dec. 12, 1988 and went on to work for 24 years in the oil industry. At times he was on oilfield rigs for months at a time.
He pulled three of his own teeth while out on oil rigs.
“You can’t leave the rig to get your teeth done, so I did it myself,” he said. “You do what you’ve got to do out there.”
His sister introduced him to Dr. Mintz.
“I’m so appreciative for Michael and all veterans,” said Dr. Mintz. “Our veterans deserve only the very best dental care, and my team and I are truly honored to care for Michael and provide him with this special gift on Veterans Day.”
Now Cooper has to get used to smiling again.
“I’m so grateful,” said Cooper. “I look forward to actually being able to smile instead of a little grin and keeping my head down. I look forward to being able to look someone in the eyes and smile. I’m just so appreciative. Dr. Mintz has changed my world.”