The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation (AACDCF) is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Give Back a Smile (GBAS), which rebuilds the smiles and lives of adults who have suffered dental injuries from domestic and sexual violence.
Since the program’s launch in 1999, AACD member dentists, dental laboratories, and other dental professionals have volunteered their time and expertise pro bono to restore the smiles of more than 1,700 survivors of intimate partner violence for a total value of $16 million.
According to the AACDCD, GBAS was started for the one in four women who experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime like Dawn, who, after a domestic abuse incident, woke up in a hospital with a fractured skull, broken ribs, a scarred face, and destroyed teeth.
Dawn had lost her job, her house, and her self-respect, the AACDCD says, and spent years trying to rebuild her confidence. She was ashamed of the way she looked until a domestic abuse advocate told her about the GBAS program. Dawn is now getting her degree in counseling and working toward her dream of advocating for other women in abusive relationships.
“GBAS gave me back the dignity my abuser had robbed me of. I no longer look in the mirror and see a tarnished woman. I see a beautiful smile and light in that woman’s eyes. I have become the selfie queen!” said Dawn.
To support the program, the AACDCF is asking for:
- Online donations
- Whitening Challenge participants
- GBAS Silent Auction bids (opening April 1)
- Help for those experiencing domestic violence
The AACDCF also is hosting a celebration in the Ultimate Skybox in San Diego during the 35th Annual AACD Scientific Session on Thursday, April 25, from 8 to 10 pm. Featuring food and live music, it is open to the public and sponsored by the Ceatus Media Group.
Tickets are $125 and limited to the first 200 people who register. Proceeds will benefit survivors of domestic and sexual violence through the GBAS program.