The Build Your Smile Dental Foundation
...because smiles have no borders.
Since 2014, the team at Prosthodontic Associates - a multidisciplinary dental specialty practice in Toronto, under the leadership of Dr. Izchak Barzilay - has volunteered with a Toronto based non-profit organization – Bridge to Health Medical and Dental traveling annually to rural regions of Uganda to provide dental services to the underserved communities.
What began as a passion project quickly grew in profound ways filling the entire team with inspiration, enthusiasm and a desire to expand our reach in helping those less fortunate. It is through this desire and dedication of the team, that the vision of our own foundation was born.
We are delighted to announce the formation of the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation.
The Foundation is comprised of dental professionals in various roles dedicated to helping those less fortunate both within our community as well as abroad.
The international initiative currently operates in underserved rural communities of Uganda, in collaboration with Kigezi Health Care Foundation (KIHEFO), a reputable local non-governmental organization. The main purpose of the outreach is to deliver critical dental care to impoverished communities which otherwise do not have access to dental care. Over the course of the outreach, the team travels hundreds of miles throughout the Kabale region where rudimentary school houses and class rooms are transitioned into makeshift dental centres. The dental services offered to the communities include emergency and pain management, dental extractions, restorations, dental hygiene services, preventive fluoride applications, oral hygiene instructions as well as nutritional counselling. The Build Your Smile Dental Foundation team firmly believes in everyone's right to access the highest standard of care and has supplemented the basic dental services with first of its kind prosthodontic treatment program. The extraordinarily rare program offers patients is rural communities access to otherwise unattainable treatment in Uganda - same day tooth replacements – through immediate denture fabrication and dental implant placement.
Education and sustainability are integral parts of the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation's philosophy and to ensure a lasting effect, the Foundation has introduced several academic initiatives. Lectures and hands-on demonstration presented by the volunteers to the Ugandan dental professionals are a big part of daily outreach clinics, as are evening seminars and interactive discussions. To expand the educational reach, the Foundation recently hosted an Inaugural International Dental Symposium in Kampala, Uganda. In a series of lecture presentations and demonstrations, multiple Canadian educators shared their knowledge with 300 Ugandan students, Deans and Program Supervisors. The Foundation was honoured to receive endorsements for the Symposium from The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau - Prime Minister of Canada, The Honourable Doug Ford - Premier of Ontario and His Worship John Tory – Mayor of Toronto.
Also, in the spirit of Dental Education, the Foundation introduced a Global Academic Grant – a scholarship program which sponsors one student per year through a full three-year Dental Officer training program in Uganda. The Foundation is very proud of the academic initiatives and envisions both the International Dental Symposium and the Academic Grant as long-term commitments to the communities of Uganda.
Locally, the Foundation initiated and established partnerships with two supportive housing facilities -Street Haven at the Cross Roads, an emergency shelter for homeless women, as well as The Grant House - a residential treatment centre for women afflicted with addiction.
The aim of the initiative is to improve dental awareness, provide dental care (at no cost) and recreate smiles to aid in re-entry into the workforce and community. Dentistry offered includes emergency care (trauma, infection, pain control) restorations, periodontal services, oral surgery and missing tooth replacement (dental implants or dentures), as well as oral hygiene instructions, smoking cessation support and nutritional counselling.
Residents are mainly homeless women, victims of domestic violence, addiction and mental health disorders sufferers, former sex workers and women released from incarceration. As a direct result of lifestyle factors, substance abuse, poor nutrition, inadequate oral hygiene, violence and poverty - dental disease, mouth and facial pain, oral infections and tooth loss are prominent. Providing dental services which have an immediate impact on function and esthetics, otherwise unattainable to the women served by the Phoenix team, improves the ability to eat, speak and smile, builds confidence and self esteem, offers hope and supports the ability to re-enter the workforce and in turn, recreates lives. Click Here http://www.streethaven.org/street-haven-heroes-and-sheroes.html to read more about the initiative.
It is our commitment to provide the highest standard of clinical care and education to all the communities we serve. Because smiles have no borders...
PA's HUMANITARIAN MISSION ABROAD
PA’s HUMANITARIAN MISSION AT HOME
Prosthodontic Associates is a world-renowned dental facility in Toronto, led by Dr. Izchak Barzilay. He and his team have provided free dental care to communities in Uganda for several years. In 2016, the team wished to extend their charitable work to those in need closer to home and created Phoenix Smiles, partnering with Street Haven to provide reconstructive dentistry to women experiencing homelessness.
Since then Phoenix Smiles has restored the smiles of five women who required extensive dental work, supplying all the necessary materials as well as the teams’ time and expertise. In addition, they regularly send much needed dental supplies to the women residing at the Street Haven Emergency Shelter including toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. And over the holidays, the team organized a drive to supply Street Haven’s clothing donation room.
“As prosthodontists we have so much to offer to our patients both here and abroad. Phoenix Smiles has partnered with Street Haven to provide smiles to those who have had their smiles taken away due to circumstance. A smile is so important in many ways and we hope that by providing the outer smile, we can enhance the inner smile.”
Click here to learn more about PA's work at Street Haven.
The PA team has been involved with a number of organizations, mainly on an educational level where we have volunteered our time and expertise to institutions like the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital and George Brown College.
In 2013, PA partnered with Bridge to Health and KIHEFO, a non-profit organization, delivering urgent medical and dental care to impoverished communities in Uganda, Africa. The team recently completed our 3rd annual brigade and with each year, we have been able to impact more lives in more unique ways.
Each mission has left the team with not only more experience but also more enthusiasm and desire to make a change in the lives of those less fortunate and those that would otherwise have no access to dental care. PA remains committed to its' continued support of Bridge to Health and KIHEFO and in the spirit of dental volunteerism wants to impact those closer to home. It is with this in mind Phoenix Smiles was born.
The Phoenix Smiles Team
Our goals include:
It is our hope to grow and impact as many lives as we can, so no one is left behind. We hope that the services we provide will allow the patients to gain self-confidence to possibly re-enter the work force, to function without hesitation on a social level and to show others how their lives have been changed.
It is our commitment to provide the highest standard of clinical care and to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the clients that we serve.
It is our hope that through collaboration with the Street Haven team, we can make an impact, raise awareness, provide change and offer hope within our community. To help improve lives, one smile at a time.
The PA Team