“ I had my second dental appointment yesterday and he totally fixed a major tooth! I am so happy, thank you so much I look so much healthier when I smile” – Grisellle.
In recent years, domestic violence has shed its status as a taboo topic, featuring ever more prominently on the nation’s social agenda. Both government and private organisations have launched campaigns and support for victims, initiatives which are having a profound effect by not only drawing attention to this serious issue but are also working to ameliorate its effects and hopefully end it altogether.
In the midst of all this exemplary work however, little attention has been paid to the oral health problems faced by those that have suffered at the hands of domestic violence. Faced with the problems that confront victims, oral health is ignored with potentially dire consequences. Broken, chipped, or missing teeth also have a deleterious impact on the confidence and social performance of these victims. Those most in need of assistance often do not receive it.
Time to smile again
The Rebuilding Smiles Program aims to change all that, providing oral health care to the victims of domestic violence through treatment provided by volunteers. The ADHF is working with its volunteers to implement a pilot for Rebuilding Smiles in South Australia and Victoria and, following a review of the pilot, the ADHF plans to expand Rebuilding Smiles into each state of Australia.
“The philanthropic and altruistic nature of the Australian dental profession is often underestimated and not fully appreciated. Projects like Rebuilding Smiles provide dental professionals with an ideal opportunity to give back to the community and provide services to those truly in need,” said David Owen, Chairman of ADHF.
If you would like to volunteer or become a supporter of Rebuilding Smiles , please Contact Us or call the Foundation Officer on 02 9906 4412.