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Tucson wildland firefighter chosen to receive smile makeover

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TUCSON - A Tucson wildland firefighter and father is getting a new smile thanks to a team of local oral surgeons and their staff.

Isaiah Cotroneo, 39, was one of two people chosen this year out of more than 600 local applicants to receive a $50,000 smile makeover.

It is a part of the Arizona Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons’ Second Chance Program.

"It makes me feel amazing knowing that I have a second chance for a brand new set of teeth and it will help my health, help overall my whole life and how I approach things differently, how I talk to people differently,” said Isaiah Controneo.

Oral surgeons said Cotroneo is missing eight teeth and most of his other teeth are decayed.

In his application he said he decided to apply for this makeover because he is about to have a baby boy and he wants to be able to smile proudly with his new baby.

News 4 Tucson asked Controneo about the moment he found out he was chosen to receive this life-changing surgery.

“I didn't believe it to be honest with you It is still surreal and it doesn't happen every day and it happened to me. I am very very thankful for it,” said Controneo.

Oral surgeons said this Second Chance program is about helping people like Controneo who may not have been able to afford a surgery like this due to financial or various other reasons.

"Just being in the health profession you always think about giving back to the community and helping out the people in need so this has always been something that I’ve been interested in and thankfully my practice has always been interested in,” said oral surgeon Nikki Saghafi.

This is the third year of the Second Chance program and Saghafi said it continues to grow with more and more applications every year which is why they chose two people for the life-changing surgery this year.

Amanda Gomez

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