PA Gives Back
...because smiles have no borders.
For the last five years, the team at Prosthodontic Associates, under the leadership of Dr. Izchak
Barzilay, has been volunteering its time and professional expertise through Bridge to Health
Medical and Dental. Team members have been traveling annually to rural regions of Uganda,
providing complimentary dental services to these underserved and often impoverished
communities. Each volunteer finances their own flight and accommodations, and all donations
are allocated and earmarked directly to the purchase of equipment and supplies.
What began as a personal passion project quickly BECAME a mission and lifetime commitment for the entire team. Our goals and mandate are driven and inspired by enthusiasm and a desire to expand the reach in the delivery of dental services to those less fortunate locally and abroad.
The Build Your Smile Dental Foundation- a Registered Canadian Charity
- was born as a means to facilitate and sustain this mission; to bring the responsibility, excitement, and commitment felt
by its volunteers to an expanded audience.
’s principal volunteers are individual dental professionals from a variety of disciplines and roles, dedicated to and passionate about helping those less fortunate, regardless
of race, religion, beliefs or nationality.
’s international initiative currently operates in collaboration with Kigezi Health Care Foundation (KIHEFO), a reputable local non-governmental organization in rural Uganda.
The principal goal of the outreach program is to deliver critical dental care to impoverished
communities who would not otherwise have access to even the most basic oral health care. Over
the course of the outreach, the team travels hundreds of kilometers through the Kabale region
where rudimentary schoolhouses and classrooms are transformed into makeshift dental centres.
The dental services offered to the communities include emergency and pain management, dental
extractions, restorations including dentures and implants, dental hygiene services, preventive
fluoride applications, oral hygiene instructions as well as nutritional counselling.
team is dedicated not only to delivering on everyone’s right to access the highest standard of care possible, but in addition, has supplemented basic dental services with a first of its kind prosthodontic treatment program. In this manner, the program is unprecedented and
unique offering all its patients in rural communities’ access to otherwise unattainable treatment including same day tooth replacements through immediate denture fabrication and dental
Education and sustainability are integral parts of the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation
’s philosophy. In order to ensure a lasting impact, the Foundation has introduced several academic
initiatives; lectures and hands-on demonstration presented by the volunteers to the Ugandan
dental professionals, as well as evening seminars and interactive discussions. In order to expand
on our commitment to education, the Foundation recently hosted the Inaugural International
Dental Symposium at the Makarere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda.
At the symposium, multiple Canadian educators shared their knowledge with 300 Ugandan
students, Deans and Program Supervisors through a series of lecture presentations and
demonstrations. The Build Your Smile Dental Foundation
has also introduced the Global
Academic Grant – a scholarship program which sponsors one student each academic year and
supports them through the complete three-year Dental Officer training program in Uganda. The
Foundation is very proud of its academic initiatives and envisions both the International Dental
Symposium and the Academic Grant as long-term commitments to the communities of Uganda.
was honoured to receive endorsements for its outreach efforts from the Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, The Premier of Ontario, The
Honourable Doug Ford, and the Mayor of Toronto, His Worship John Tory.
At the local level, the Foundation
has initiated and established partnerships with two supportive housing facilities -Street Haven at the Crossroads, an emergency shelter for homeless women, as well as The Grant House, a residential treatment centre for women afflicted with addiction.
This initiative aims to improve dental awareness. It provides dental care at no cost to the women
involved and recreates smiles to empower these women for their re-entry into the workforce and
their communities. The ability to smile again creates a life altering impact for these women in
many cases. The services offered to the women of Street Haven and The Grant House include
emergency care (trauma, infection, pain control), restoration, periodontal services, oral surgery,
and missing tooth replacement (dental implants or dentures). Oral hygiene instructions are
provided, along with smoking cessation support and nutritional counselling.
The residents of these facilities are primarily homeless women, victims of domestic violence,
women afflicted with addiction and mental health disorders, former sex workers and women
released from incarceration. Dental disease, mouth and facial pain, oral infections and tooth
loss are a direct result of lifestyle factors, substance abuse, poor nutrition, inadequate oral
hygiene, violence and poverty. The services provided by the Foundation
have an immediate
impact on function and esthetics which are otherwise unattainable to the women served by the
team. These interventions improve the ability to eat, speak and smile, building confidence and
self esteem, offering hope, and supporting their ability to re-enter the workforce, positively
impacting their lives far beyond the dentist’s chair.
Additionally, the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation
proudly supports the Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program. By increasing access to oral care and providing complimentary dental
services to Toronto’s vulnerable Holocaust survivors, the program allows these deserving
individuals to age with dignity, enhance their dental function and esthetics, and improve their
overall quality of life.
It is our commitment to provide the highest standard of clinical care and education to each of
the communities and patients we serve.
Because smiles have no borders…
To learn more about the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation or to join this dynamic team, please visit www.buildyoursmile.org.
Street Haven at the Crossroads
Our partnership with Street Haven at the Crossroads began in 2016 as a way to bring smiles to the women in their care, who are often homeless or victims of domestic violence. Their new smiles improve their oral function and aesthetics and positively impact their self esteem and confidence.
It is our commitment to provide the highest possible level of care and to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for them while they undergo their treatment. We hope that through our partnership with Street Haven we will be able to raise awareness, provide change, and offer hope and positivity within our own community.
Our involvement with Street Haven extends beyond dental treatment to include supply donation and clothing drives. To learn more about our work at Street Haven, click here.
Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program
Build Your Smile Dental Foundation proudly supports the Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program. By increasing access to oral care and providing complimentary dental services, we help survivors age with dignity and significantly enhance their quality of life.