Operation Smile (with teeth!)

Operation Smile (with teeth!)

From Lex Keaton

I need surgery for my teeth. I suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta which is a brittle bone disease. Your teeth are bones. Mine are breaking off at a rapid rate. Will you help me get new teeth to smile with?

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

More Info

Dearest Friends and Family,

As many of you already know, I was diagnosis with Osteogenesis Imperfecta at birth. is a brittle bone disease that can be genetic or caused by a genetic mutation, in my case, it was a genetic mutation. I fall under Type III OI.

Type III

  • Bones fracture easily. Fractures often present at birth, and x-rays may reveal healed fractures that occurred before birth.

  • Short stature.

  • Sclera has a blue, purple, or gray tint.

  • Loose joints and poor muscle development in arms and legs.

  • Barrel-shaped rib cage.

  • Triangular face.

  • Spinal curvature.

  • Respiratory problems possible.

  • Bone deformity, often severe.

  • Brittle teeth possible.

  • Hearing loss possible.

  • Collagen improperly formed.

My Numbers:

  • Broken bones - estimate 400+ and still going

  • Surgeries 40-50, scheduled two more within the next year

    • These surgeries have corrected

      • Spinal curvature

      • Bone deformity, often severe.

      • Hearing loss

  • Medical Research Program - 1

  • Blood transfusions - 3 (friendly reminder to donate blood)

  • Lots of follow up appointments, lots of doctors who refuse to treat me, lots of arguing with doctors.

Since 2011 I have been searching for a doctor who would be able to help me with my teeth. Since the week before my high school prom, I’ve been losing my teeth at a rapid rate. This is caused by my brittle bone disease and there is no stopping it, there is no cure. I’ve been turned down by multiple doctors and been priced at 50,000 or more. I’ve been lucky enough to find a doctor at the San Antonio Dental School who is willing to do the work I desperately need.

Here is where I need your help.  Even though this is caused by my brittle bone disease, this is not covered by health insurance. My health insurance believes they can only cover this procedure if I get in an accident, even though we have letters from doctors proving it medically necessary. My dental insurance only covers up to $2,000 per year, with dental insurance plans, there are yearly maximums which allow the insurance company to cap off an amount they are not willing to pay. Because my bones are precarious, it is safer to do the surgery in 1-2 parts rather than play the insurance game to get the most out of our coverage. In other words, my jaw may not withstand 3-4 dental surgeries over the next 2 years.  This is very frustrating that as an adult I no longer have access to the care I need. Throughout the next several months, I will be undergoing a series of procedures that will cost a total of $20,000.

The Breakdown

For the next few weeks, I will continue to go to work, be a full-time student, take my dog to dog training, and spend time with my family. I also plan on fundraising and asking for financial help between now and February 2019.

December 2018

Extractions: $5,400

I have opted out of Temporary Dentures because I am trying to do this as cheap as possible. Temporary Dentures are often more expensive than the original dentures.

My mouth needs to heal (about 3 to 6 months, depending on how I respond to the procedure) before beginning the next phase which includes implant surgery and permanent denture fittings and adjustments.

January through February 2019

Implants: $5,400

March 2019

Permanent Dentures: $7.538

The Feelings

I feel sad for the loss of my teeth and scared for what I will look like with fake ones.  And, most of all, I feel embarrassed for having to open myself so far and wide with this request because asking for money SUCKS and talking about my teeth SUCKS and having people look at me funny SUCKS.  

But you all make me feel loved every day which makes this ask a lot easier.

So there it is.  Can you help me?

Before you make your decision, a word from my partner, Sarah.“If you've known Lex for any amount of time, you may have noticed they cover their mouth when they laugh or that they smile without showing their teeth at all. This is because their bone disease has caused most of their teeth to break off and appear discolored due to lacking enamel. In addition to insecurities surrounding their teeth, lacking a sufficient amount of teeth greatly affects the amount and quality of food we eat. I know Lex's diet is limited to how much and what kinds of soft foods they can stand to eat these days. Among all of the various health reasons to get Lex's teeth replaced, this is an opportunity to see Lex smile freely for the first time in their life! Please help us in reaching our goal for $12,000 to complete Lex's dental surgery in 2019!”

We love you all,Lex & Sarah

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Help Lex raise $12,000 by making a donation.