SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Three months ago, a La Mesa dentist announced he was offering a "smile giveaway" to one lucky San Diego resident. In Wednesday’s Zevey Zone, Jeff met not one but TWO News 8 viewers who won the contest.
Over the past three decades Dr. Jeff Gray has turned frowns upside down and to celebrate a successful career he decided to donate a $35,000 smile to a stranger in need.
Following a News 8 story a few months ago, more than 100 letters poured in for the "Smile Makeover Contest". One of those letters was written by Sandy Clearly.
For ten years, other than going to work, Sandy’s husband John rarely left his house because he was so embarrassed by his teeth.
Dr. Gray said he will never forget what Sandy said when she saw her husband's new smile after the dental makeover: “Oh my gosh! That is the guy I married!”
Dr. Gray also received a letter from Audra Vorapanya on behalf of her friend, Lucy Lieras. Even though Lucy had survived breast cancer and brain surgery, she could hardly look at herself in the mirror because of her missing teeth.
Now, because Lucy’s smile looks so good from Dr. Gray's dental makeover magic, she is thinking about dating for the first time in 18 years.
Dr. Gray told Jeff that they were only supposed to have one winner for the contest but his heart couldn't decide between the two finalists - so he picked two winners for the contest.
Not a lot of people can give away $100,000 of free dental work and be all smiles, but Dr. Gray did. He says, "It's been a blessing to take care of John and Lucy. It's amazing."
Dr. Gray also takes trips to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala to perform free dentistry in impoverished communities.
To learn more about Dr. Gray’s practice, click here.
Incredible Zevely Zone follow up tonight on the “Smile Giveaway”. La Mesa dentist, Dr. Jeff Gray, gives away $ 100,000 worth of joy! Watch tonight at 5:40 pm on CBS 8 and 10:40 pm on the CW San Diego @CBS8 @thecwsandiego pic.twitter.com/b8sdssPvaF— Jeff Zevely (@JeffNews8) November 28, 2018