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How the AACD is Helping Give Back Smiles

Written by Consumer Guide to Dentistry   Last modified on July 2, 2018

A number of great charitable organizations throughout the dental community bring much needed care to people from all walks of life. Consumer Guide to Dentistry has partnered with the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation for a number of years to help bring attention to their fight against pediatric tooth decay, the #1 chronic disease affecting children. Today we want to highlight another charitable organization that is helping victims of domestic abuse reclaim their smile through an initiative called Give Back a Smile.

What is Give Back a Smile?

Give Back a Smile (GBAS) is a program run by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Charitable Foundation (AACDCF). The program focuses on helping to rebuild the smiles and lives of adults who’ve suffered dental injuries from domestic or sexual violence using compassionate cosmetic dental services and support programs.

Through $16 million in donated dental services, primarily provided by AACD dentist members, Give Back a Smile has helped restore the smiles of more than 1,700 survivors of domestic or sexual abuse. The program is primarily setup to assist with adults over the age of 18 with damage to their front teeth. It does not address issues affecting the jaw, bite alignment or dental neglect.  

Are You Eligible?

If you have suffered dental injury through domestic or sexual violence, you are urged to visit the AACDCF program website and complete their application to determine if you are eligible for assistance. Applicants must either submit a $20 fee or complete 10 hours of community service before submitting their application.

Although AACDCF aims to assistance all victims, there are limitations based on volunteer availability. If there are no volunteers within 200 miles of your location, AACDCF will be unable to assist. Furthermore, the volunteer pool is considerably smaller for complex cases that involve more than the front eight teeth.

Smile Reconstruction

A number of dental solutions exist for damaged or missing teeth. Direct bonding offers a great solution for minor cases of cracked or chipped teeth. Porcelain veneers and crowns can be used to fix more substantial damage to teeth. And bridges and dental implants allow for the replacement of seriously damaged or missing teeth.

These treatments provide an effective, durable and aesthetic solution for damaged smiles and often require a considerable investment. The cost of a single dental implant can range from $3,000 to $4,500, and full mouth reconstruction with implants can cost upwards of $60,000. The cost of veneers, bridges, crowns and bonding tends to be lower, but may also cost several thousand dollars depending on the severity of the damage, where the treatment is performed and more. Many victims of abuse are unable to afford the cost of treatment. Which makes programs like GBAS essential in helping victims reclaim their smile.

A Helping Hand

Programs like Give Back a Smile are essential when you consider the following statistics provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victimized by some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • 75 percent of domestic violence affects the head/face.
  • Approximately 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. every minute; which equates to more than 10 million Americans.

To learn more about program eligibility, or to see how you can contribute to the AACDCF cause, email GBAS or contact them at (800) 773-4227. You can also follow GBAS on Facebook.