Give Kids a Smile 2009
On the first Friday and Saturday of February, dedicated dental volunteers will once again join in a united effort to serve children in need. Give Kids a Smile is an annual charitable event that gives about $1.7 million worth of free care to children.
The team at Northwoods Dental in Plymouth was one of 197 dental clinics that participated in Give Kids a Smile last year. They provided exams, prophies, and oral hygiene instruction to 29 children. They also performed free restorative procedures, including eight sealants, 20 BWX/PAX, nine surfaces of composite, and two extractions.
"We all were happy to help these kids," said Scott Scharf, D.D.S. "I wish we could have done more. This year, we have additional staff wanting to help already. It was a very positive experience!"
Your team will have a positive experience, too. Please mark your calendars for Friday, February 6, and Saturday, February 7, 2009. Registering as a participant is easy. Just sign up on the form that the MDA will mail to you or call for more information at (612) 767-8400.
This year's program offers a new way to volunteer, called "Smile Factory". This term describes the free care provided to children after their regular Give Kids a Smile appointments. This is an excellent way for an oral surgeon, for example, to participate. He or she would sign up for the Smile Factory and accept a specific number of referrals of patients whose needs were identified during Give Kids a Smile. Some general dentists, too, may find this post-event program is a great way to formalize the follow-up care they provide to their Give Kids a Smile patients. If you select this option, the MDA will contact you for additional information.
The concept of "Smile Factory" originated with a non-profit organization called Give Kids a Smile - St. Louis. In 2002, Drs. Jeff Dalin, Ray Storm, Thomas Flavin, Mark Ortinau, and Jan Storm, RDH, founded Give Kids A Smile, which was the model used by the American Dental Association.