Modesto teen gets wisdom teeth removed for free

More than four out of five college students reported they are facing financial challenges because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

That's why two Stanislaus County oral surgeons started a new program to help.

Wisdom teeth will no longer be a problem for 16-year-old Silvia Lopez. She is the second recipient of free oral surgery.

“If I had waited longer, it could have caused some problems -- not only for me, but for my parents,” she said.

Lopez got her teeth removed through a new program called Wisdom for Wisdom.

“This is just a small way for us to give back and support someone in their education so they're able to get to college and do something great with their lives,” oral surgeon Dr. Jacob Barber said.

To apply for the free services, students had to write an essay and even take a quiz.

“We wanted to make sure they put in a little effort, so they also had to show a little bit of why they felt like they wanted to receive it and were deserving of it,” Barber said. Doctors at the Greater Modesto Dental Impact and Oral Surgery Center launched the program in the Spring. They said it's a way to help Stanislaus County-area students, like Lopez, save on college expenses.

“My wisdom tooth, it had already been popping out a little bit and it was causing some discomfort, so as it is, I wanted to get them out," Lopez said. "When I saw this opportunity, I said, 'Well, this is a great chance for me to get them taken out and help my parents at the same time."

Doctors plan to continue this program and even offer another one for adults. In the fall, they're starting a new program called Second Chance. One lucky person will win a free smile.