Annual Sharing Smiles Day event provided an opportunity for uninsured or underinsured children and adults to receive free dental care and treatments from Sunnybrook Dentistry & Braces volunteers
Sunnybrook Dentistry & Braces, in partnership with dental practice support organization Benevis, helped provide free dental care and treatment to over 200 children and adults across the nation during its annual Sharing Smiles Day event. Sharing Smiles Day, held on May 22, 2022, provides an opportunity for uninsured or underinsured children and adults to receive dental care and treatments at no cost, including dental exams and cleanings, emergency care, extractions, and restorative care. The event started in 2015 to support Sunnybrook Dentistry & Benevis’ belief that every family has the right to quality dental care in a convenient, safe, and supportive environment.
Three dentists from Sunnybrook Dentistry volunteered their time, Dr. Thomas Sagrera, Dr. Kineshia Roark, and Dr. Cristie Rives were part of 30 dentists who provided free dental services for Sharing Smiles Day. “Our volunteer team treated 17 patients and although our target was underserved young patients, we also treated adult patients needing surgical and simple extractions. The appreciation shown by the patients was palpable,” shared Dr. Sagrera.
This year 294 team members from Sunnybrook Dentistry and 22 other Benevis partner dental offices participated in Sharing Smiles Day. “I’m so thankful for my team; they had such servant hearts to come on their day off and help those in need,” shared Dr. Rives. Since the program began, Sharing Smiles Day has provided dental relief to more than 2,000 uninsured and underinsured patients across 16 states through the efforts of more than 1,200 volunteers. Sharing Smiles Day was a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community. “Our patients and parents were educated on dental care needs and prevention. Also, care was provided that alleviated areas of pain and eliminated decay that could have led to tooth pain/loss in the future,” said Dr. Roark. “It is such a privilege and pleasure to make a difference in the lives of the patients in the community to whom we were able to provide services.”
According to data from the Health Policy Institute, 49.6% of children with Medicaid coverage did not receive dental care in the previous 12 months. “Oral health is critical for good overall health and quality of life for everyone. Poor oral health can increase the risks associated with chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes,” said Dr. Dale Mayfield, Benevis Chief Dental Officer. “Sharing Smiles Day provides a much needed health service to our neighborhood families who may face gaps in coverage or insufficient dental insurance.”
For more information about Sharing Smiles Day, visit SharingSmilesDay.com.