CHICAGO (CBS) — A Waukegan woman’s teeth stopped her from living her life. A reality show promised to help her. But four years later she says instead of having a perfect smile, she ended up nearly toothless.
Brooke Allen said she never smiles at work despite getting thousands of dollars worth of dental work as a contestant on a 2015 Lifetime reality show called “Smile.”
“People don’t take you seriously when you look the way you look,” the 34-year-old mother said. “See my smile?”
Dentists pulled 20 of her teeth to make way for what producers told her would be permanent dental implants.
“And they left these, and that was it,” Allen said of her bottom front teeth.
In text messages with Brooke, one producer told her the implants would be coming, but first her mouth needed time to heal.
In the meantime she was given dentures, which Brooke says are too painful for her to wear every day.
She followed up about the implants, but once production wrapped on the show, the producers stopped returning her phone calls.
“All the communications stopped,” she said.
Two years of pushing later she got an email from an executive producer saying “Smile” was no longer in production, and under the terms of their agreement they weren’t responsible for any medical treatment.
“You guys granted me a once in a lifetime opportunity, and then you took it from me again. You put me in a worse position than I was before,” Allen said. “I’m not here to bash anybody. I just want what they promised me.”
She still wants an explanation and wants to warn other reality television hopefuls that sometimes the opportunity really is too good to be true.
“I want to get on with my life,” she said. “I want to be beautiful and be happy and have confidence, and now I’m stuck.”
CBS 2 reached out to Lifetime and the production company for comment, but so far no one has responded.
CBS 2’s Megan Hickey spoke with a New York-based dentist who worked on Brooke’s case. She was unaware of her complaints.
“I wish her well. She got unbelievable care and definitely had a beautiful smile when the treatment was completed,” the dentist said, referring to Brooke’s dentures.