Every Smile Has a Story: Henry's Story

July 12, 2022

Every Smile Has a Story: Henry's Story

In February 2009, when he was only 28 years old, Henry Dogan suffered an unimaginable ordeal. He was driving along the highway when a semitruck came out of nowhere and ran him off the road. Henry said the doctors estimated his car flipped about five to eight times. The driver of the semitruck sped away, leaving him for dead on the side of the highway.

But despite this, Henry survived.

He was airlifted to Kennestone Hospital, where he spent three long months recovering and endured eight different surgeries, including having a wire put in his bladder. His teeth and jaw suffered extensive damage from the wreck; he described his mouth as “jaw on jaw” after the accident, and he lost several teeth.

For almost ten years, Henry dealt with his new reality without a solution. No insurance companies would pay for the extensive dental procedures needed to restore his radiant smile. The loss of his smile began to take a toll on him, and he became severely depressed. And the longer he couldn’t get treatment, the worse his teeth got.

Henry, who is a very smiley, happy person, was devastated by the loss of his teeth. He said he started to hate going outside, could barely look anybody in the eye anymore, and became so depressed he wanted to end his own life.

But every smile has a story, and this is not where Henry’s story ends.

Doctors at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic Step Up

In January of 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Henry and his wife were shopping at Publix. There, they came across an older man, who told them about the Ben Massell Dental Clinic and the great work the clinic and its doctors do for the community.

Henry went home and called the Clinic, not knowing if anything would come of it. But he said he was willing to wait if he had to, because having his smile back would mean the world to him.

And then, months later, he got the call. Henry said when he got the call, he fell to the floor in joy.

“When I went in, I didn’t know what to expect,” Henry admitted. “I was just so glad to get the call. But when I went in, the staff was amazing. They made me feel right at home.”

After seeing Dr. Kalaria at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic, it was determined that 90% of Henry’s remaining teeth needed to be removed. His remaining teeth were extracted, and he was given dentures. All at once, Henry said the physical pain was gone, and like a heavy raincloud was lifted from his life.

“At the clinic, they helped me feel not afraid to smile or talk anymore,” Henry said. “It blows my mind what a smile can do for a person’s confidence.”

After three months of dentures, Henry was told he was a great candidate for dental implants. He got implants on the top of his mouth in June, and continues to wear his dentures on the bottom half of his mouth until he comes back in a few months to get implants on the bottom. Like before, he was blown away by the kindness and expertise of the Ben Massell Dental Clinic and its staff, saying “Everybody was so kind. They are like family to me now.”

A New Henry

Henry is originally from Atlanta, where he played football for Marietta High School. After high school, he went to Ole Miss and played Defensive Back for two years. He hurt his back playing and had to retire his career early, but he also met his future wife during this time, who he would start a family with.

After college, Henry embarked on a successful rap career. In 2006 and 2007, he was flying in the rap scene with a deal from Universal Records, and even had endorsement deals with Coco Cola and McDonald’s. Henry explained that his career soured soon due to bad management and other factors, but that he was in talks to sign a deal with Sony when the accident happened.

“Because of the Ben Massell Dental Clinic and its doctors, my wife sees a different husband,” Henry said. “My family sees a different person. And my kids see a different father. I was so depressed I wanted to end my own life, but they brought me back to life.”

The Ben Massell Dental Clinic and its dedicated staff and volunteers make a difference in the lives of people like Henry every single day. Please consider a gift to help the Ben Massell Dental Clinic keep empowering lives and strengthening our community.