REASON TO SMILE

Austin Dentist Provides Dental Reconstruction For Hate Crime Victim, Free Of Charge

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.05.00 PM 1The victim of a 2012 hate crime in Austin, Texas received the finishing touches on his six-figure dental reconstruction surgery this week.

After having nine of his teeth knocked out in an an attack during gay pride weekend in Austin, Andrew Oppelman was taken under the care of Dr. Gary Cash, D.D.S., who performed the entire procedure completely free of charge.

According to reports, Oppelman and his friend Nick Soret were ordering pizza at a food truck when they were attacked by Lambert Borgardt at random (well, Borgardt “accused Soret of hitting on him.”) Soret was the initial target of the attack but Oppelman took most of the damage after stepping in to help his friend.

Austin-based Dr. Cash heard the story on the news and offered to reconstruct Oppelman’s mouth — a job that took a year and a half and included new upper implants — pro bono.

Cash told KVUE the Victim’s Relief Fund helped to pay for a huge portion of the job, but he ultimately did it because the “people have been so warm and welcoming” to him since he moved there three years ago. “I figured that’s not the way someone should be treated from out of town.”

Borgardt reportedly fled the scene after the attack and remains free to this day. He is currently awaiting trial on charges of third degree felony assault.