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Special Issues
Nov/Dec 2009
Volume , Issue

Smiles for Success

Founded in 1995, Smiles for Success is the charitable arm of the American Association of Women Dentists. Smiles for Success is a nationwide program that helps women in job training programs who want to rejoin the workforce, yet lack the confidence to find a job because their teeth are missing, broken, or decayed. Smiles for Success provides no-cost dental care to these women to improve their self-confidence and appearance.

Smiles for Success is affiliated with more than 50 local job training programs across the United States. Last year, Smiles for Success volunteers donated more than $100,000 in services to women in need.

AAWD Past President and Smiles for Success volunteer Dr. Lilia Larin (San Diego, CA) knows first-hand how rewarding working with this program can be. Dr. Larin and her staff treated Loretta Salazar in late 2008. Loretta now has a beautiful new smile and is looking forward to what the future holds.

To Smiles for Success and the AAWD,
My name is Loretta Salazar. I have been without most of my teeth for going on 20 years. I’ve learned to cope without my smile for so long that it not only has affected my self-esteem, but my life as well. I have been so self-conscious about my missing teeth that it prohibited me from living my life the way I want to. I have not been able to look at people without feeling embarrassed or afraid that they would make fun, or perhaps judge me. When trying to find employment, I have not had the confidence I would normally have and have been too uncomfortable to speak or open my mouth.

Now that I have been offered the once in a lifetime chance to have my smile back through the Smiles for Success program, I really feel that I have a chance to get my life back. I look forward to the change with open arms and am eternally grateful for this program. The kindness and generosity shown to me has been overwhelming and I can’t thank them enough. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Lilia Larin and her staff, and they have been phenomenal. I really felt they cared by the way they treated me and I feel their sincerity with every visit. I look forward to seeing my smile whole again.

I have nothing but good things to feel and say about this program and the special individuals that are such a major part in the process. Thank you again, Smiles for Success and Dr. Larin.

Without you, I would not feel like a success.


Loretta Salazar

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