Kristin Michelle Dennis, Recipient
A Smile Radiates the Impact of Bone Donations
Posted January 4, 2011
“I had never realistically imagined being on the receiving end,” says Kristin Dennis. She never put herself into a picture as recipient until a visit to an oral surgeon to determine what options she had to correct a problem with her jawbone. “Two teeth in my lower jaw had grown in improperly,” she says. “The roots of the teeth had punctured through my jawbone and into a nerve canal below where they became entangled with sensory nerves that control the feeling in part of my face.” The problem caused Dennis to have chronic headaches and, at times, slurred speech or a swollen mouth. “There were days when it hurt to talk, or even smile,” she says. Her oral surgeon told her that donor bone could be used to repair her jaw and protect any exposed nerves once the teeth were removed. “The actual weight and importance of the gift I would be getting through donated bone suddenly became very real, very tangible to me. Someone so special, so unique, had left this world, but a part of them still remained in hopes of giving something very precious to someone else… to me.” She smiles broadly whenever she thinks about bone donations.