April Baldwin is all smiles after weeks of waiting for her new dentures — paid for in July by an anonymous donor to the tune of $2,300.
"I'm feeling pretty good. It's going to be a little bit of an adjustment, but being able to smile again is worth it," Baldwin said.
In June, 37-year-old Baldwin was given only one option by her dentist — to have her teeth removed completely to avoid the constant pain she had been struggling with over the last five years due to gum disease.
At the time she also struggled with how she would be able to afford the dentures. Baldwin said she couldn't afford new teeth, being a full-time student and caring for her family while dental bills racked up as a result of having no insurance for the majority of her visits.
But the decision to have her teeth removed was recognized years previous. Baldwin said she kept putting off the procedure, but when the global COVID-19 pandemic eventually settled into Newfoundland and Labrador, she said it was the perfect time to have it done.
"When the pandemic started, and I knew that we would be locked away for a while, I thought this would be the ideal time to have it done," she said.
"I contacted my dentist and said 'Let's go ahead and have them extracted, I'll worry about the denture side of it later.' I was in so much pain all the time, I just wanted it to be done."
From there, Baldwin said, she figured she'd just start saving money for dentures. Whether it took six months or a year to finally get them was worth the time spent not having teeth if it meant the pain was gone, she said
A new smile
Baldwin's new dentures were fitted and ready to go as of Wednesday. She said the first time she wore them she took a selfie to see how her new teeth looked.
"I began to cry in the dentist's chair because I was just so happy," she said. "I think I've taken probably 1,000 pictures on my camera already."
The anonymous donor is still unknown to Baldwin, she said, adding that she is forever grateful for the gesture and being given back her smile and self-confidence.
"If it hadn't have been for them I wouldn't have [my dentures] today. I definitely know it would have been after Christmas before I could do it, or longer," she said.
"I'm very grateful for whoever it is. I still all the time wish I knew who it was."