Dream Smile Winner Matt Coates

Cornwall’s First Dream Smile Winner Matt Coates

Of all the special projects that we perform, Dream Smile, our Free Smile Makeover Competition is most special.

This is because we can combine our passion and gift of dentistry to change someone's life.

So, at the start of 2019 we started our hunt to give one special person living in Cornwall a BRAND-NEW SMILE FOR FREE!

About Dream Smile & Picking A Winner

The whole team were so excited about the idea of running the Dream Smile competition, there was a buzz of positivity in the practice as soon as the competition was announced!

We all realised that what we were offering was going to be life changing for the lucky winner and every member of the team felt privileged to be a part of it.

The Pure team saw the competition as our chance to give something back to the local community and sadly we were all too aware that choosing a winner was going to be a difficult task.

There are so many good, altruistic, deserving people in Cornwall who could really benefit from our help.

Nominations started to pour in, and we were taken aback by the number of people who had a story to be heard about why they should be considered.

Every single nomination was looked at by each member of the team, every story was read.

There were lots of tears shed; we started to keep a box of tissues in the staff room for this purpose alone!

It was very difficult to draw up a shortlist of people from the hundreds of deserving candidates but eventually we all agreed that Matt was the most deserving of all the people put forward to win the competition.

Once the decision was made, we couldn’t wait to tell Matt that he was our chosen winner!

We Surprise Matt - The Announcement

Matt had been nominated by his son, who told us how Matt had managed to turn his life around after reaching rock bottom.

Matt’s story was a particularly inspiring one; he now gives so much to so many people, selflessly, and is truly admired by his son, who oozes pride when talking about his Dad.

Matt, like so many people, was embarrassed by his teeth, hiding his teeth when he smiled or laughed, and was the kind of person who would always put others needs before his own.

We were certain that we had chosen the right candidate and knew that we could give him the confidence to smile and laugh freely, without ever having to feel self-conscious about his teeth again.

We were all like excited children on the day that Matt and his son were going to find out the happy news that Matt was the Dream Smile competition winner for 2019.

We had to play it cool when Matt arrived at the practice on the day of the announcement so that we didn’t give anything away, a difficult task indeed!

Watching the reaction from Matt and his son was priceless, heartwarming and emotional. Although it understandably took some time to sink in, it was obvious how appreciative they were and how lucky they felt to win the competition!

The entire Pure team felt delighted and proud to be a part of such a worthy cause and were eager to embark on the journey to change Matt’s smile forever!

Matt’s Treatment Planning

There was a lot of information gathering to do before Mark could start planning the treatment needed to provide Matt with a smile to be proud of.

The appearance of Matt’s new smile was obviously a very important element to consider, but equally, so was the functionality of his mouth.

Using scans, models, photos and a 3D (CBCT) scan, Mark was able to identify all the issues that needed to be addressed and corrected in order to be able to give Matt the fantastic, long-lasting new smile that he deserved.

The 3D (CBCT) scan showed that Matt had had surgery carried out on his jaw in the past and a metal plate and screws were fixed in his jawbone. Mark liaised with the surgeons at Treliske Hospital who had treated Matt’s broken jaw in the past and together they worked out how this needed to be dealt with to move forward with Matt’s treatment.

By showing Matt models of how his mouth looks now and models of how his teeth will look after all the proposed treatment has been carried out, he was able to get a good idea about how his new smile will look before he even started having treatment carried out!

X-rays and photos were used to show Matt what problems needed addressing and he was told what options were available to solve those problems, he was very happy to be guided by Mark on the most appropriate and best solutions for him. He had a few questions about his treatment but was eager and enthusiastic about getting started with his treatment as were the whole team.

Temporary Teeth Reveal

Matt was familiar with all of the staff by the time we were able to reveal the first obvious changes to his smile, he had already spent time at the practice having hygiene visits and surgery carried out, building the strong foundations for his new smile.

The whole team were enthralled to hear about the positive impact winning the Dream Smile competition was having on Matt’s life. Matt kept the team updated about all of the people in his life who were genuinely interested and excited for him, he had to send out messages to lots of people each time he’d visited the practice to keep everybody updated. It was as if the buzz of positivity first felt by the team at Pure when the competition was announced, was growing and spreading around the community.

Matt was given temporary restorations so that his worn-down bite could be adjusted and restored to what it should be, with the ability for any necessary adjustments or adaptations to be able to be made before giving him his permanent restorations.

Mark and his nurse Alice held their breath as they handed the mirror to Matt after the temporary restorations were done, waiting for his reaction.

Matt was overjoyed with the transformation and smiled widely as he thanked them both. Alice was teary-eyed at Matt’s reaction, and Mark felt over the moon! The rest of the team saw Matt’s smiling face as he left the surgery and we were overwhelmed with happiness! More tears of joy were shed!

Bringing real joy to anybody is rewarding, but when that joy reaches far and wide for one particularly deserving person it seems like the joy is magnified.

The Final Reveal

On the day that Matt was having his final restorations placed, the team were bustling with joy and excitement!

We decided that the entire team should be there to see Matt’s face light up when he saw his definitive restored smile for the first time. The Dreamsmile project involved every member of the Pure team, so we were eager to all be a part of his final restorative appointment and share in his joy and happiness.

Matt was thrilled that we were all so keen to be there to see his reaction, and the team were not disappointed! There were broad smiles of delight from each of us and the air was charged with a positive, elated energy when he looked in the mirror for the first time.

It was wonderful to learn that Matt was so happy with the results of his smile makeover, he admitted that he can’t even get in the car without having a cheeky little look at his gorgeous new smile nowadays!

To see the boost in Matt’s self-confidence, and to see him proudly grin at the world after being so obviously embarrassed by his teeth when we first met him, was magnificent and heart-warming.

Matt is loved by every member of the Pure team, he is such a good soul, a truly wonderful person who has shown that he is incredibly grateful and appreciative for all that the team have done for him.

Being involved in this project has meant a great deal to all of us at Pure Dental Health, and to be able to change the life of somebody as worthy as Matt, by giving him back his confidence and happiness, has been incredibly gratifying and uplifting.

A Few Words From Principal Dentist Mark Durnall

Over the last 12 months all of us at Pure have been on an incredible journey; watching Matt's growing confidence has been amazing!

Personally I can see how Matt has changed; he now has the confidence to smile without holding his hand in front of his mouth, he is holding his head up higher when talking to you, not dipping it so that you can't see his teeth. There are lots of small subtle changes in him that show how much of a difference it really has had on him.

I am particularly proud of Matt because he really is making an effort to look after all the work we have done. No matter what treatment and care we carry out, seeing our patients’ taking the time to look after their new teeth is wonderful for a dentist to see.

At Pure we obviously provide all aspects of dentistry ranging from a simple examination; checking for decay and oral cancer, to complete rehabilitation, like we have done for Matt. I personally focus on complex care and treating Matt has been an honour, he is one of life's true gentlemen. He has been lovely throughout treatment and was a guy who really needed a break in life.

Big Thanks To Pure’s Suppliers

At Pure we work as a team, enabling us to care for the most nervous and complex patients, it has made me very proud of the entire Pure team; they have all shown compassion and have given their time to help look after Matt throughout his treatment. I could name them all individually as everyone has played their part in helping Matt achieve his dream smile.

There were multiple people and companies, all of whom gave their time and materials for free to enable us to rebuild Matt's smile. They are experts in their specific fields; I must thank each and every one of them as they have all given so generously!

James Ronald my lab technician from The Lab Dental Design Studio has worked his usual miracles. When you look at Matt's smile you are seeing James’ truly gifted artistry, he is the one that has created Matt's smile, not me! He hand-makes and sculpts each tooth adding tiny detail, which takes hours of planning and dedication. He has decades of experience and has given his time for free, which is incredibly generous.

Implantium kindly gave 4 Implants and all the components to fill in the gaps in Matt's mouth.

Henry Schein gave various materials and sundries which helped hugely as there were multiple appointments which involved the use of lots of dental materials.

GC were kind enough to provide filling materials for us to use to rebuild some of Matt’s worn-down teeth.

Hive Business gave their time and made a huge effort to bring Matt's journey at Pure to life with their amazing video diaries.

Christian generously gave his time and digital genius to create the initial promotion and his ongoing support to help spread the word about Matt's journey is massively appreciated.

An incredible amount of time, effort and expense has gone into recreating Matt's smile, but at the end of the day this is irrelevant. No value can be placed on helping to change someone’s’ life forever.

Knowing that we really have helped someone and the joy of seeing Matt smile without care, really does bring a tear to the eye.

Thank you to every single person who has helped to make this all possible.

See how we did in our smile make over competition in 2020!


Mark Durnall

Dr Mark Durnall has a special interest focused on full mouth rehabilitation. He has extensive knowledge on occlusion and restorative dentistry with a focus on implantology. He places and restores around 250 implants per year, making him one of the most experienced implantologists in the country. He has lectured nationally on implantology, enabling other clinicians to provide implants to their patients. He is highly experienced in the treatment of peri-implantitis and complex implant rehabilitation surgery. He is also a member of ITI and British Association of Cosmetic Dentists (BACD), British Dental Association (BDA).