Helping make smiles for Ghanaian children

Rahena, who is 10 years old and in grade four, had been in pain for several months, and had recurring swelling of her gums. She had gone to a local clinic for help and had been given pain medication, but it didn’t help solve the real problem, her poor dental health. When the Ghana International Outpost team came to her village, and provided her with the treatment she needed, the pain went away and Rahena was once again smiling and happy.

Imagine these children growing up without access to the oral health care we take for granted. Now imagine having the power to provide treatment for a child like this in need of this care.

You can.

Smiles for Everyone Foundation is providing dental care for less fortunate people in impoverished countries like Ghana. By partnering with us, you can put a smile on the face of a child, adult, or a whole family who doesn’t have access to dental care.

Why Ghana?

In Ghana there is only one dentist for every 100,000 people (compared to six dentists for every 10,000 people in America) and most of those are in Accra and Kumasi, the two largest cities. One out of every four children in the country has either lost a tooth due to tooth decay or had a decayed tooth, while 80 percent of school children have poor oral health.

SOURCE: WORLD DENTAL FEDERATION’S ORAL HEALTH ATLAS AND DR. CONTSTANCE ADDO-YOBO, GHANA’S CHIEF DENTAL OFFICER QUOTED ON GHANA WEB

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SEAL Team 3 (Service Expedition Accelerating Leaders), which included six dentists from Smile Brands affiliated dental groups and five Smile Brands support team leaders, spent a week in Kumasi and Cape Coast, Ghana, in West Africa, as part of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s (“SFE Foundation”) “International Smile Project” missions.

During this trip, from November 2 – 10, 2012, SEAL Team 3 partnered with two organizations: Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation, based in Kumasi, and FODACH (Foundation for the Development of African Culture and Heritage), in Cape Coast, Ghana, to provide dental care to over 900 patients in just six days.

As with the prior two International Smile Project trips, which were sponsored by Smile Brands Inc., the SEAL Team’s volunteer dentists shared their knowledge with local dental care professionals to enable them to carry on the work of the SFE Foundation volunteers. Two SEAL Team 3 members, Dr. Robert Crim, who practices at several Bright Now! Dental offices in the Tampa-St. Petersburg Market, and Dr. Karol Brown, who practices at Monarch Dental in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Market, have volunteered to be International Ambassadors to the International Smile Outpost in Ghana. In this role, Doctors Brown and Crim will coach and mentor local providers through regular communication and help facilitate their access to dental education courses. They will also provide ongoing support to ensure that the International Smile Outpost continues the mission of providing free dental care to those in need through continued outreach missions.

SEAL Team 3 – Ghana

Team Member

Sara Allsop

Franklin, TN

Team Member

Steve Bilt

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Karol Brown

Dallas, TX

Team Member

Marc Cohen

Santa Ana, CA

Team Member

Tracy Coleman

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Robert Crim

Bradenton, FL

Team Member

Dr. Kenny Duff

Ft. Smith, AR

Team Member

Dr. Leng Haong

Fresno, CA

Team Member

Liam Kelly

San Diego, CA

Team Member

Jim “Mac” McPartland

Cota de Caza, CA

Team Member

Dr. Tim Mathis

Franklin, TN

Team Member

Gary Meeker

Santa Ana, CA

Team Member

Dr. Imad Nouneh

Cleveland, OH

Team Member

Norm Shultz

Lynden, WA

Team Member

Jamie Viramontes

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Fred Ward

Dallas, TX

International Ambassadors

Team Member

Dr. Karol Brown, DDS

Ghana Ambassador

Lead Dentist, Monarch Dental, Dallas-Redbird Towers & Market Dental Director, DFW-South

Dr. Karol Brown, a native of Louisiana, earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry, with a minor in biology, from Xavier University in New Orleans. She earned her doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Oklahoma and served as a forensic dental volunteer in 1995 after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Dr. Brown spent a year as a general dentist resident at Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, Md., and has been affiliated with Smile Brands for 14 years. She currently is the Lead Dentist at the Monarch Dental Dallas-Redbird office and is also a Market Dental Director for DFW-South. Dr. Brown received a Smile Brands QUEST Award for Staff Development for Q2 2011 and earned the Dentist of the Year VIBE award for the Central Area for 2011.

Dr. Brown regularly participates in health fairs and college recruiting fairs. She also is a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Dr. Brown was a member of SEAL Team 3’s International Smile Project to Ghana in November 2012.

Team Member

Dr. Robert Crim, DDS

Ghana Ambassador

Lead Dentist, Bright Now! Dental, Wesley Chapel, FL & Market Dental Director, Florida

Dr. Robert Crim earned his under-graduate degree in 1976 and his dental degree in 1980 both from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. After college he moved to Florida and has been practicing dentistry in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area for 30 years, including the past nine as a Smile Brands-affiliated dentist. Previously he owned two private dental offices.

Dr. Crim has practiced at Bright Now! Dental offices in Clearwater and Tampa, currently serves as MDD for Florida, and sees patients in both the Wesley Chapel and Bradenton, Fla., offices. Dr. Crim received a Smile Brands QUEST Award for Staff Development for Q3 2010 and earned the Dentist of the Year VIBE award for the East Area for 2011.

Dr. Crim has performed outreach dental work throughout his career, in Congo, the Cook Islands, Haiti and South Korea. Dr. Crim was a member of SEAL Team 3’s International Smile Project to Ghana in November 2012.

Ghana International Outpost Team

Team Member

Dr. Thomas Agyarko Poku

Ghana Dental Team

Executive Director, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation

Dr. Agyarko is the regional HIV/AIDS Coordinator and venereologist for Ghana Health Services, a lecturer in Infectious Disease, and Executive Director of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation. He has worked with international agencies such as Care International and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Dr. Agyarko lives with his family in Kumasi, Ghana.

Team Member

Dr. Tinuola Esther Mark, DDS

Ghana Dental Team

Clinical Director

Dr. Mark, who has been a practicing dental surgeon for 24 years, is the principal dental surgeon at Ghana Health Service. She has training in Implantology, Orthodontics and is presently concluding a master’s-level program in Public Health, specializing in Health Education and Promotion. She has 15 years of experience in community health projects, working with international agencies such as Unilever, World Vision, and Ark Charity Foundation, and now is carrying on the work of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation (SFE Foundation).

Dr. Mark cares deeply about the less privileged and regularly organizes outreach programs for orphans and prisoners. She is married, has three sons and lives with her family in Kumasi, Ghana.

Lutheran School Kumasi

In Kumasi, Ghana our dental team visited the local Lutheran School to provide sealants for the children. Sealants, along with dental hygiene education, are one way that our team aims to help prevent dental health issues. On November 5, Dr. Esther Mark and Mathew Boakye visited the local school to select the children who would [...]

Atwima Bokoo Community Outreach

On August 15, 2014 our Ghana International Outpost team visited the Atwima Bokoo Community in the Atwima Mponua district in the Ashanti region. About 200 children showed up to get screened and receive dental health education. The team then provided scalings, polishing, and extractions for 60 of the children who needed care.  

Pakyi No. 2 Outreach

On Thursday, October 17, 2013 our Ghana International Outpost conducted an outreach to Pakyi No. 2 which is about 12 km from Kumasi in the Ashanti region. The team made a reconnaissance survey to the community to days before the program after informing the chief of the community about it. This enabled the team to [...]

Amoama School Outreaches

Recently the Ghana International Outpost conducted their first outreach at Amoama, a suburb of Kumasi. The team, led by Dr. Esther Mark, included Dr. Eva Opoku and seven others to assist, including two staff from the Otumfuo Foundation and one staff from FODACH (Foundation fro Development of African Culture and Heritage). There were also reporters [...]

Ghana International Outpost

When SEAL Team Three visited an orphanage and five schools in and around Kumasi, Ghana to provide free dental care to patients in need, First Lady Julia Osei Tutu, wife of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (King of Ghana), went to the Asem school to observe the team in action. After her visit, she [...]