AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - News Channel10 has been following the story of 46-year-old Ruby Whitfield, the winner of the Smile Again program.
Smile Again was designed by doctors from Amarillo Oral and Maxillary.
The purpose behind the program was to provide a life changing surgery for one Panhandle individual.
Whitfield was the lucky winner of the free $50,000 oral surgery and recently went through her first oral restoration surgery.
Doctors who performed her surgery said they want to raise awareness on oral health as well as help those who could not afford dental procedures through the program.
Before her operation Ruby said other than being blessed by this opportunity her main focus was to educate her family and friends on the importance of dental hygiene.
"Your teeth make a first impression and your smile is everything and when you are not smiling it takes away from who you are," Whitfield said. "I wasn't able to smile. I wasn't able to be myself and in a few hours I will be."
Seven of Ruby's teeth were damaged and she was missing 10 prior to the surgery.
"Everybody smiles and many take it for granted," Doctor Kevin King said. "Ruby wants to smile. She'd say 'I don't want to smile or laugh like this' and she would cover her mouth up. She wants to smile and that is what we plan to give her."
For now she said she feels blessed and thanks God every night for this opportunity. She's grateful the doctors chose her.
The doctors from AOMS expect to continue the Smile Again program yearly.