Smiles for Success: Making a Difference in Women's Lives

In 1995, the AAWD started a new charitable foundation called Smiles for Success.

In 1995, the AAWD started a new charitable foundation called Smiles for Success. It was formed to give much-needed dental treatment to women who are going through the difficult process of entering the work force after receiving welfare. To date, more than 80 women have obtained dental treatment in more than a dozen states, and the amount of donated treatment exceeds $85,000. Many of these women suffered from low self-esteem, and their dental condition was a major factor. Smiles for Success has provided dentures, partials, crowns, and other necessary treatment to improve their smiles.

Smiles for Success partners with several job training programs, including Suitability, Dress for Success, the Women's Bean Project, and the YWCA of Oklahoma. Counselors at the training programs refer participants who are doing well in their program or who have just completed their studies. The programs are able to help with women's other needs as well, such as clothing, education, day care, group support, and follow-up.

Dentists who volunteer for the program donate all treatment, but they can be reimbursed for laboratory costs. The paperwork has been streamlined to "keep it simple," and they are free to call Smiles for Success board members for any advice they may need.

Funding for the program has come from the Henry and Henrietta Quade Foundation, The Foundation of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the ADA Fund for Dental Health, and individual AAWD members. Ivoclar, Church and Dwight, Penn Security, and Align Technology also have made contributions. We are currently writing grant proposals and looking for corporate sponsorship so we can continue to accept patients.

Information about Smiles for Success can be found at www.smilesforsuccess. org. To volunteer, donate funds, or ask questions, contact Dr. Kate Hakala at (303) 321-8967 or kate_hakala@msn.com.

More in Patient Education