Mother's Advocacy Gets Results for Son

July 19, 2018


State Representative Michael D’Agostino (D-Hamden) today applauded the efforts of a Fairfield dental practice for coming to the aid of a young Hamden constituent. Fourteen-year-old Conrad Carter was being bullied at school over the appearance of his teeth, affecting the youngster’s self-confidence and self-esteem. In desperate need of orthodontic work, Conrad’s mother, Tara Hughes, reached out to D’Agostino after she learned her dental insurer would not cover the cost for braces. D’Agostino’s office contacted the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach which identified First Impressions Orthodontics as a possible resource.

“After learning Conrad’s plight, the doctors and staff at First Impressions did not hesitate to accept Conrad as a patient and provide braces -- at no cost,” D’Agostino said. “I can think of no better example of a community coming together to support this young man and his family in their time of need.”

“Community service is in our DNA and compassion is one of our core values,” said Dr. Greg Mokotoff of First Impressions. “Classmates demonstrated a lack of compassion by their treatment of Conrad so First Impressions felt compelled to step in and help. It fits with our humanitarian dental missions both here and abroad and we’ll be leading a volunteer mission to Guatemala this fall.”

“The Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach is honored to have played a part in finding assistance for Conrad’s unmet oral healthcare needs,” said Josephine Bicknell, Director of Programs. “Dr. Mokotoff, who is co-leader of the Connecticut Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic pediatric department, graciously provided extensive treatment at his office. We are so grateful to him and his staff for all they have done for Conrad.”

“I thank God first and foremost for touching our hearts,” Ms. Hughes said. “A special thanks goes to Rep. Michael D’Agostino, his aide Sonja Jelks, Drs. Greg, Cass Burrell and Matthew Rhee and their staff for their dedicated work and services.”

"From the first moment I met Conrad I could tell he was an outstanding young man who was conscious about the appearance of his teeth,” Dr. Rhee said. “We knew that we could help him so we decided to take on his case."

“Our practice feels very strongly about community involvement,” Dr. Burrell said. “We are always looking to help others in need. We have asked Conrad and his mom to “pay it forward” (provide help to someone in need).”

“I would like to thank everyone for this once-in-a-lifetime chance for making my dreams come true,” Conrad said. He was fitted for braces in May.

Conrad Carter (the patient) second from left in rear, and Rep. Mike D’Agostino, pose with the First Impressions team providing Conrad’s treatment.

Left to Right, Dr. Matthew Rhee, Tara Hughes, Conrad Carter, Dr. Greg Mokotoff, Rep. Mike D’Agostino.