East Texas doctor offers thanks in form of big smile

Updated: Jul. 15, 2020 at 9:21 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Jessica Dunn, a nurse assistant from California, got a free smile makeover from Dr. Rick Coker, in Tyler, as a thank you for being a COVID-19 front-line worker.

We shared her story last week, and now we’re showing you the final product.

“My husband says that he’s seen me smile in this last week way more than he’s seen me smile in our relationship,” said Jessica Dunn.

Dunn — a certified nurse assistant — has always dreamt of a new smile.

“I’m having to get used to that I can actually smile now, and I don’t have to hide it,” said Dunn.

Her dream came true this week thanks to a dentist in Tyler.

“You don’t get into a health profession without the idea of helping people,” said Dr. Rick Coker. “That being an important aspect; that’s what we do, that’s why we do it.”

Coker wanted to thank a COVID-19 front-line worker with a new smile and Dunn’s story stuck out to him and his team.

“I’m very appreciative of the team behind me because I wasn’t responsible for the whole thing,” said Coker. “I’m really pleased. I think Bianka did as good a job as you could possible do."

Bianka Nethery is a certified dental lab technician in Tyler. She spent all weekend working to make Dunn’s new smile perfect before she went back to California.

“It’s a great feeling and for me,” said Nethery. “It’s paying it forward, or paying it back. It was very important for me to be a part of it and do it for free because I’ve been very blessed and if I can spread that, I was all for it.”

Dunn said she’ll forever be grateful.

“I’ve been in health care for ten years now, this will be my tenth year, and you never expect anything back,” said Dunn. “I just love what I do and I do it never expecting anything, but to have all of this happen because of it, it’s really amazing.”

After having her final checkup with Dr. Coker today, Dunn was given a free makeover at The Fairest Salon, in Tyler and a free photoshoot at Donna Cummings’ studio, in Tyler, to showcase her new smile.

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