A Moncton man who has gone without teeth for a year now has a full set, thanks to the kindness of a local denturist.

Until a year ago, Mike Sawler’s teeth were decaying and the pain was overwhelming. After having 21 teeth pulled, the call centre worker struggled to speak and eventually lost his job.

He has been without work ever since.

“It was a sales floor position and when you’re dealing with the public, in the public eye, people always think the worst when it comes to a person with teeth,” says Sawler. “They automatically either think drugs or they didn’t take care of themselves.”

Sawler says dentures seemed like the best solution, but he couldn’t afford them, and social development denied his request to help cover the costs.

That’s when denturist Daniel Robichaud stepped in to help, offering to make Sawler a set of dentures.

“It’s not the first time I’ve done those, or the society’s done this, it’s just, you happen to hear things and if you can do something at that time, you help,” says Robichaud.

Sawler says he is grateful for the generous offer, but is frustrated with social development. He says he was turned down because he has roommates who wouldn’t provide their financial information.

“I felt really wronged because when I’m out working, I pay taxes and then one time I need help it’s like having a cold shoulder,” he says. “Someone just puts their hand out and says ‘nope, can’t help you.’”

Social development services says it can’t speak specifically about Sawler’s case, but under the Household Economic Policy, if an applicant is sharing a living space with someone, the space is considered and assessed as one.

Sawler says that doesn’t make any sense, because he was the only one who needed help.

For now, he is trying to adjust to his new set of pearly whites.

“It’s like trying to learn how to smile again.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Plowman