Because I Saw My Dentist logo

New Because I Saw My Dentist Stories

Meet new faces in GDA's public relations campaign.
GDA’s PR campaign—featuring real patient stories—is in its second year, and we’re excited to share four new Georgia patients with you (and three new videos you can use on social media).

Watch GDA’s social media channels for posts you can use, or visit to download videos, graphics, postcards and your own member toolkit to use in your office.

“Because I saw my dentist, I am alive today.”

Julie GriffinJulie Griffin, Dunwoody, Ga.

Julie Griffin had no idea that a routine cleaning would uncover the unthinkable—tongue cancer. While examining her teeth, Julie’s dentist noticed an abnormal spot on her tongue. Unaware of what the spot could mean, her dentist sent her to receive a biopsy. Biopsies were conducted and an area of her tongue was identified as pre-cancerous. Julie underwent oral surgery to remove the infected portion of her tongue. Thankfully her last biopsy came back clear. “I had no idea that the cancer was there, and even after my dentist showed it to me. I could not have found it on my own,” Julie said. Before visiting her dentist, Julie did not have any symptoms or signs of a problem. She is grateful that her dentist discovered the cancer before it was too late. This life altering experience showed her that a regular dental exam is a necessary part of your general well-being.​

Watch Julie's Video

“Because I saw my dentist, I have a great smile and my teeth are healthy and stable.”

Craig GriffinCraig Griffin, Dunwoody, Ga.

Craig Griffin typically went to his dentist for routine cleanings and occasional fillings. But over time, issues with his teeth began to raise concern. His dentist informed him that he was losing enamel on his teeth and that there was no way he could live another twenty years with the same set of teeth. Craig would eventually need dentures if significant steps weren’t taken to save his teeth. He opted to get veneers to give him back his smile. Having two heart attacks in his forties and a family with a history of heart disease, Craig learned of the direct connection between oral health and heart health. “It wasn’t until I had a heart attack and was laying on the floor waiting for a paramedic, that I realized I needed to take my health seriously.” In order to prevent oral infections from impacting his heart in the future, he routinely sees his dentist every six months.

Watch Craig & Julie's Video

“Because I saw my dentist, my confidence level is back and I’m a much happier person.”

Mike GatewoodMichael Gatewood, Winder, Ga.

Michael Gatewood admits he was guilty of only going to the dentist when issues with his teeth worsened. He eventually hit a point where he only had a few teeth left that were viable. Professionally, Michael works with high-end clientele and his deteriorating smile began to affect his ability to do his job. “When you approach new customers and clientele, you really don’t want to hide your smile. I love to smile and laugh,” he says, “but it bears on your confidence level when you’re not happy with your smile.” Knowing that his oral health was important to him, Michael sought treatment from his dentist. Since then, he says his life has become much easier. He no longer hides his smile or experiences severe pain, and he can eat the foods he loves without frustration. Michael now believes you should take care of your body in more ways than one—by maintaining good oral hygiene, having a good diet and exercising regularly. He now has a great smile!

Watch Mike's Video

“Because I saw my dentist, I smile in photos."

Samantha ClarkSamantha Clark, Acworth, Ga.

Samantha Clark’s job in sales requires her to interact with her clients and approach them with a confident smile. Today she shares her smile with ease, but it wasn’t always that way. As a child, Clark maintained good oral hygiene and saw her dentist every six months. However, as a young adult, she let oral hygiene habits slip and stopped going to the dentist, not realizing the severe impact it would have on her oral health later in life.

By the time she was in her 30s, she lost a tooth and some of her front teeth were beginning to crumble and come apart. Her damaged teeth impacted many aspects of her life, from her self-confidence to the ability to eat healthy foods, like an apple. “I wasn’t feeling good, my self-esteem had really declined and I went from having a nice smile and doing theatre to a point where I didn’t smile in pictures,” she says. Seeing a dentist and finding a dental home changed her life. Now with veneers and implants, she has her confidence back. “Because I saw my dentist, I smile in photos, I can approach people and I’m thinking about getting back into community theatre and things I used to enjoy in my youth. I feel happier and healthier.”

Watch Samantha's Video

“Because I saw my dentist, I’m not afraid to smile or laugh as I was when I was younger.”

David DoDavid Do, Suwanee, Ga.

As a high school student, David Do’s smile is his prized possession, and the journey it took to achieve itis one he will not forget. David and his family moved to Suwanee, Georgia from Vietnam when he was five years old. His parents searched tirelessly to find their family a new dental home. David’s love for candy caused many problems with his teeth at a young age. He began seeing a dentist regularly who was able to correct his teeth issues early so he could have the smile he does today. “Without the help from my dentist, I don’t think I would be as healthy as I am now,” David said. His dental hygiene habits have improved as a teenager, and he sees his dentist every six months to make sure he is doing well keeping up his oral health.​