Reddit Users Help Fund Man’s $7,000 in Restorative Dental Work

reddittFor 99.7% of Americans, our smiles are one of the most important social assets we have.

But for Reddit user Tomato_Juice99, a 26-year-old man named Dakota Hickey, his smile is the source of immense pain and suffering that caused him to post this message on one of the site’s message boards:

“Not all days, but most my teeth hurt and I have no way to stop the pain,” he wrote. “I live in the USA and cannot afford insurance to get it fixed. If I had the money to get them all pulled and replaced I would, but the dental place told me it would cost over $7,000. My life has been going well for the most part lately and I feel horrible for even thinking of wanting to die to escape the pain.”

Hickey explained that his dental pain stems from an eating disorder he had as a teenager, when he would throw up after eating in an attempt to lose weight. All this vomiting, which exposed his teeth to stomach acid — and brushing the weakened teeth right after — took its toll.

Soon after seeing this message, Reddit user SushiAndWoW responded with an offer to pay for the entirety of Hickey’s dental work, Buzzfeed reports.

“If this is true, I will pay for your treatment,” SushiAndWoW wrote. “Either at a place near you, or if it’s more cost-effective, I will buy you a ticket to Costa Rica, and for you to get treatment at a reputable clinic here…. I can’t help everyone in the world, but I can help you.”

Hickey received offers of help from other Reddit users as well, from a dentist who offered to do the work for free to another user who offered to give his reward points so Hickey could stay in a hotel room as he received his treatment.

Due to the outpouring of support Hickey received from the Reddit community, he set up a fundraiser on so users could make donations toward the dental work he needs. And once the cost of his care is covered, Hickey said he plans to give any leftover money to those who suffer from similar dental conditions.

“Even if I can only help a few people out, it’s worth more than if I bought some material items for myself or paid off my car,” he wrote.

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