Wisdom for wisdom: North Iowa woman gets free dental work after family's house fire

University student receives free wisdom tooth extraction to help offset college expenses

Posted: May 31, 2019 12:08 AM
Updated: May 31, 2019 6:48 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Having your wisdom teeth removed can be expensive. But a new program at a Mason City dental office is aiming to make it easier for one college student.

Alexis Wirtz, originally from Garner and now living in Wesley, is the first recipient of the North Iowa Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center's "Wisdom for Wisdom" program. Currently a student at the University of Northern Iowa majoring in chemistry teaching, she intended to get her wisdom teeth removed, but thanks to the program, she will be receiving a free wisdom teeth extraction to help offset her college expenses at UNI.

Wirtz applied for the program because of her family's struggle after a house fire, with money that her parents set aside to help pay for tuition being redirected towards rebuilding.

"I was still going to pay for most of it by myself, but they were going to give me a couple thousand dollars just to help me get started. Now, they're no longer able to give me that because we're trying to pay for a new house and build."

Out of the 80 or so applicants, she didn't expect to be the one receiving the free procedure.

"I feel like anybody else. You always feel like, 'it's not going to be me, I'm not going to be the one that's contacted.' When I was contacted, I was like, 'this is exciting.'"

Dr. Lyell Hogg notes that it was a bit of a challenge to narrow the selection for the extraction down to one.

"Her story's pretty amazing, seeing what she's been through and what she's done to get herself into school and continue that, so we felt she would be deserving of it."

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