Program to provide more than $1 million in cosmetic dental services

Give Back A Smile, founded by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, will assist survivors of domestic violence.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More than five million people are battered every year in the United States. Seventy-five percent of women who are in an abusive relationship receive battering to the face and head area, and are not financially able to correct the injuries suffered.

Those startling statistics reflect why the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) founded the Give Back A Smile program in 1999 in conjunction with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Since then, more than 850 AACD member dental professionals have volunteered their time and expertise pro bono to restore the smiles - and the lives - of survivors of domestic violence. To date, 280 domestic abuse cases have been completed for a total dollar value of $1,601,352.Currently, 167 applicants are being treated throughout the United States.

"Through the Give Back A Smile program, AACD members assist survivors of domestic violence by treating their dental injuries, so that they may reclaim their smiles, their self-esteem, and, ultimately, their lives," said Erin Roberts, AACD Charitable Foundation Director.

Finding Help Through Give Back A Smile

* Domestic violence survivors who have suffered dental injuries from abuse can contact the NCADV by calling the GBAS national toll-free number, 800.773.GBAS(4227). All applicants must apply for the program through the NCADV.
* The survivor then undergoes screening sessions with the NCADV
and a local counselor of their choice to determine if they are eligible for the program.
* If eligible, they are then referred to the AACD for acceptance.
The AACD connects the survivor with a local GBAS volunteer who provides treatment at no charge to the survivor.

Making a Difference

In July 2001, the AACD was one of only eight organizations in the world to receive the Award of Excellence and the prestigious Associations Advance America Summit Award for its GBAS program. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), of Washington, D.C, sponsors this yearly national competition to recognize the charitable organizations that make the most effort to advance American society.

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