Larry “Smiley” Kleiman, a U.S. veteran who did two tours of duty in Vietnam, decided to visit a dentist about his teeth, and about the possibility of dental implants.
After all, Kleiman’s nickname is “Smiley,” but he no longer had any of his natural teeth.
The dentist who met with Kleiman, Dr. Michael Tischler, found Kleiman’s story to be deeply moving.
“He smiled, he had no teeth. His name was Smiley, and he was a fireman,” said Dr. Tischler. “He worked with dogs in Vietnam. And everything about him was just the kind of person that you want to help.”
The television show Inside Edition picked up the story as well, after Tischler decided to perform the $60,000 surgery for free, in appreciation for Smiley’s service in the military, as well as his subsequent work as a fireman and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Currently, Smiley Kleiman volunteers at his local firehouse and with a local K-9 unit.
Tischler’s company, Teeth Tomorrow, works on dental implants, and does a variety of oral surgeries.
Smiley Kleiman is an inspiration to us all, and we at Wilmington Oral Surgery were thrilled to see that the dental implants were going to return the “Smileyness” to Smiley’s face.
If you are a veteran of the U.S. military, we would like to thank you for your service, your work, and your dedication.