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Over 800 Lives of Domestic Violence Survivors Restored by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation's Give Back A Smile Program
Date:10/13/2009

MADISON, Wis., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- October marks Domestic Violence Awareness month and on October 14, 2009, Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day, dental professionals across the country will reflect on over 800 domestic violence survivors whose lives and smiles have been restored by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation's (AACDCF) Give Back A Smile (GBAS) program.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091013/DC91525 )

Sadly, more than five million people in the United States are affected by domestic violence each year. These startling statistics reflect why the AACDCF's GBAS program was created. GBAS provides free cosmetic dental care to survivors of domestic violence. To date, over 800 cases have been completed by AACD dental professionals who have volunteered their time and expertise pro bono. There are currently 400 applicants being treated throughout the United States.

"After suffering abuse, it is difficult for survivors to find something to smile about, and even more difficult when they don't have a smile to show. AACDCF volunteers assist survivors of domestic violence by treating their dental injuries, restoring their smiles, self-esteem, and ultimately, their lives," said AACD Foundation Program Manager Lisa Fitch.

Finding Help Through Give Back A Smile

  • Domestic violence survivors, who have suffered dental injuries from abuse by a former intimate partner or spouse, can contact GBAS toll-free at 800.773.4227, visit www.givebackasmile.com, or e-mail givebackasmile@aacd.com.
  • Survivors must make an appointment with a counselor, domestic violence advocate, social worker, or therapist to complete the advocate section of the GBAS application.
  • GBAS conducts the initial review of the application; however, the dentist has the final say as to the eligibility of the applicant.
  • If eligible, the AACD connects the survivor with a local GBAS volunteer who provides treatment at no charge to the recipient.

Restore a Life. Restore a Smile.

As the national economy entered its deepest recession in almost 100 years, many across the country felt the increased stress, which resulted in a sharp rise in domestic violence. According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, 75% of battering occurs to the head and face. This means the dental office is in an extremely influential position to intervene and help stop the violence. In addition to the GBAS program, the AACDCF offers the Domestic Violence Intervention & Prevention (DVIP) program. This program offers a free video to dental professionals interested in learning from an expert how to approach difficult situations in the dental practice when domestic violence is suspected.

More Information

To find help through GBAS or to view the DVIP program video, visit www.givebackasmile.com, call 800.773.4227, or send an e-mail to givebackasmile@aacd.com. To make a donation to GBAS, contact the AACDCF, 5401 World Dairy Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53718-3900.

SOURCE American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry


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SOURCE American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
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