Teen regains her smile after lesion took it away

girl smiling
Marnissia Postell got her smile back thanks to The Dental College of Georgia.

Thirteen is a difficult age, as anyone who lived through middle school will tell you. It’s even more difficult when something you have no control over affects your appearance.

This is what happened to Marnissia Postell at age 13, when she discovered a growing lesion that pushed her front teeth down in her jaw.

After seeing a private practice oral surgeon, Marnissia was referred to The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University in 2017, seeing a graduate student at that time, and was later referred to Dr. Jasmine Silas, a prosthodontist (who restores missing teeth and jaw structures) at DCG.

“They did a biopsy and determined it was odontogenic myxoma,” Silas said. “It causes a painless swelling, but it gets really big.”

Odontogenic myxoma is a benign tumor associated with the formation of teeth.

The tumor was removed just before Marnissia saw Dr. Silas, leaving her with no teeth in front on the left side of her mouth.

girl with growth in mouth
Marnissia Postell before the surgery.

Marnissia is one of the youngest patients Silas has ever seen requiring such extensive treatment. After creating molds and 3D models of Marnissia’s jaw, Silas created a “beautiful prosthesis” for Marnissia.

“We made her even more beautiful than she was before,” Silas said. Marnissia was thrilled with the results, Silas added.

“She’s quiet and shy but she couldn’t stop smiling,” Silas said. “I think it looks great on her and she loves it.”

Her father, Adam Jones, was impressed with the results. “You can barely tell now where she had the tumor that was growing. It looks normal now,” he said.

girl smiling after surgery
Marnissia Postell after surgery.

Silas, a prosthodontic patient herself in the past, knew exactly how Marnissia felt and decided to become a prosthodontist after her experience.

“I could see from the patient’s point of view how much you want something done so badly if you have a smile you don’t like,” she said.

Marnissia returned to school only two days after surgery, and ever since then, she’s been proud to show off her new smile.

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Written by
Henry Hanks

Henry Hanks is Senior News & Communications Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-522-3023 or hehanks@augusta.edu.

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Written by Henry Hanks

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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