A WEDDING planner who hated cleaning his teeth after a serious accident has undergone a £27,000 make-over to give him a grin to rival Simon Cowell's.

Darren Hickey, 49, neglected his teeth because it hurt to brush them following a car crash he was involved in when he was younger.

Mr Hickey, who runs the Ridgmont House wedding venue in Horwich with his boyfriend and business partner Neil Parkinson, then suffered a stroke several years ago, and doctors feared he might not survive.

After spending more than a year in hospital, Mr Hickey decided he wanted to get on with the rest of his life — and wanted a winning smile to kick things off.

He said: “For years I was embarrassed about my teeth and I was reluctant to smile in wedding photographs.

"Now I cannot wait to show them off - I love dazzling the cameras when I am hosting weddings and I have a gleam like one of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex."

Darren's dental problems began when he was a teenager and he was involved in a serious car accident.

He lost a lot of his teeth and it was painful to brush the few natural teeth that he had left.

Then, at the age of 45 he suddenly had a stroke, with doctors at one stage giving him just hours for life.

After a miraculous recovery, he decided to transform his life, and his teeth.

The £27,000 procedure was paid for my Mr Parkinson and carried out by Dr Tariq Idrees of Carisbrook Dental in Whitefield.

Dr Idrees created a complete new set of upper porcelain teeth with a dental implant bridge.

On Darren's lower jaw he fitted a combination of crowns and veneers and he did lots of work improving Darren's bite.

Dr Idrees said: "Darren had no real bite in his mouth which meant he was over-biting when he was trying to eat. This made his cheeks roll in and made him look far older than his real age.

"We were able to build up his bite so that he could eat easily. The work really changed his life and made him look years younger.”

It is safe to say that Darren and Neil are delighted with the results.

Darren said: "It was a lot of money but you only have to see the before and after pictures of me following the treatment to see that it was worth it.

"It has completely transformed my appearance and given me so much more confidence."

Neil said: "We both decided that we would live life to the maximum and get Darren's teeth sorted.

"We are so glad we did."

As well as weddings, Neil and Darren host christenings, conferences, funerals and other special events at Ridgmont House, a country retreat which dates back to the 17th century.