Helping make smiles for Nicaraguan children

When Magali came to the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s outreach in her community, she told the dentists about the severe pain and discomfort she was experiencing from two of her molars. She had previously sought treatment at many different dental clinics, but could not afford to have someone remove them. Dr. Alicia Reyes and Dr. Karen Cáceres were able to provide her the care that she needed, relieving her from her suffering. She was very grateful to receive this much-needed dental care. Magali was just one of 180 patients who were treated during this two day outreach in Matagalpa.

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 countries like Nicaragua. By partnering with us, you can put a smile on the face of a child, adult or an entire family who doesn’t have access to dental care.

Why Nicaragua?

In rural Nicaragua, where the poverty levels are high, most people don’t have access to dental care. Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC), our partner in Nicaragua, conducted a survey of 570 children living in the region of Matagalpa. Only one child had ever visited a dentist, and 458 of the children had cavities—averaging 4.5 cavities per child, three times the national average.

SOURCE: WORLD DENTAL FEDERTION’S ORAL HEALTH ATLAS

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SEAL Team 4 (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 the Central American country of Nicaragua, as part of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s (“SFE Foundation”) International Smile Projects. The trip took place from July 5 – 13, 2013.

One of our key partners in this trip was Acción Medica Cristiana (AMC).  AMC is a leading non-government organization (NGO) in Nicaragua, working to empower people in community health (HIV/AIDS, clean water and sanitation, essential medicines, traditional health, dental health, health models), food security, knowledge management, and disaster risk reduction and response. The organization is based in Nicaragua and has been in operation for more than 28 years. The leadership of AMC is medical professionals, both doctors and dentists.

SEAL Team 4 spent three days doing dental outreaches in and around Managua and three days in the areas that AMC serves in the Matagalpa and La Dalia regions.

SEAL Team 4 – Nicaragua

Team Member

Marc Cohen

Santa Ana, CA

Team Member

April Cole

Manassas, VA

Team Member

Dr. Benjamin Dorantes

Kent, WA

Team Member

Dr. Henry Thomas Green, Jr.

San Antonio, TX

Team Member

Dr. Sandra Horner

North Richland Hills, TX

Team Member

Heather Kent

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Kevin Lee

Centerville, OH

Team Member

Jim “Mac” McPartland

Cota de Caza, CA

Team Member

Gary Meeker

Santa Ana, CA

Team Member

Ivania Navas

Inland Empire, CA

Team Member

Carson Bilt

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Steve Bilt

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Griselda Orellana-Romero

South Gate, CA

Team Member

Dr. Shorouq Sahawneh

Costa Mesa, CA

Team Member

David Young

Irvine, CA

International Ambassadors

Team Member

Dr. Benjamin Dorantes, DDS

Nicaragua Ambassador

Lead Dentist, Bright Now! Dental, Seattle, WA

Dr. Dorantes has been affiliated with Smile Brands throughout his entire dental career since graduating from the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle in 2000. He has served as a Managing and Lead Dentist for the past 13 years.

During that time, Dr. Dorantes, who practices in the Kent, Wash., Bright Now! Dental office, has succeeded in growing the office and building it into a multi-million-dollar practice. Dr. Dorantes enjoys providing professional service and quality dental care across multiple age groups. In his spare time you’ll find him running, biking or spending time with his four beautiful children.

Team Member

Dr. Kevin Lee, DDS

Nicaragua Ambassador

Market Dental Director, Centreville, Ohio

Dr. Kevin Lee enjoys making frequent office visits and helping dentists grow their skills in his role as Market Dental Director, Midwest Cities Market (Dayton). He graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor of arts in biology and earned his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

After dental school, Dr. Lee joined the military and completed a dental general practice residency in the U.S. Air Force. While stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, Dr. Lee met his wife, Beth, a hospital social worker. She also happened to be his first patient when she came in to have her wisdom teeth extracted!

Following three years of active duty, Dr. Lee bought a dental practice but soon tired of the business side of the operation. He was thrilled to hand off those tasks when he joined a practice that was later acquired by Monarch Dental. In addition to snowboarding, golf and wood working in his free time, Dr. Lee is a professor of biology at the University of Cincinnati where he teaches undergraduate general biology, microbiology and anatomy and physiology. Dr. Lee was a member of SEAL Team 4′s International Smile Project to Nicaragua in July 2013.

Nicaragua International Outpost Team

Team Member

Dr. Teresa Bobadilla

Dr. Teresa Bobadilla is 54 years old and of Nicaraguan nationality. She is a dentist with specialty training in Public Health, and has 30 years of professional life. Dr. Teresa is a founder of the Nicaraguan non-governmental organization Accion Medica Cristiana (AMC) and since 2010 has served as its executive director.

She shares, “I enhanced my work in clinical care by opting for a lifestyle of service to help the poorest of our country in the dimension of health and overall development. I am founder of several social and academic organizations, and an advocate for women and the poor.”

Dr. Teresa is motivated greatly by her faith commitment and is a great believer in education and for people to strengthen their capacities and be protagonists in their own future. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren.

Team Member

Dr. Alicia Reyes

Dr. Alicia Reyes is Nicaraguan and 51 years-old with 25 years of professional experience. She has volunteered in AMC’s health program for over 20 years, providing health services and training community oral health promoters for AMC and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health. Dr. Alicia and her husband Dr. Francisco Gutierrez, a program director at AMC, are co-founders of the AMC project in the Department of Matagalpa, one of the locations for SFEF outposts.

Dr. Alicia worked with SFEF SEAL Team in July of 2013 on the tour to Nicaragua, and has led the follow-up outposts with a team of dentists and support from SFEF.

Dr. Alicia and Dr. Francisco have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Dr. Alicia has a private dental clinic in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Team Member

Dr. Belinda Forbes

Dr. Belinda Forbes is from New England in the United States and earned her DMD at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Belinda shifted her career to community health when she volunteered in Nicaragua using her skills to pioneer a dental health program with a local church. A few years later she was commissioned formally as a missionary of the United Methodist Church and since the year 2000 has been assigned full-time to Accion Medica Cristiana or AMC, a Christian, ecumenical non-profit health and development agency founded and run by Nicaraguans to serve their own people in some of the most remote and impoverished parts of the country. Her work with AMC has included private dental care in a Managua clinic for 17 years and coordinating dental promoter training. Currently Dr. Forbes serves as AMC’s International Liaison for Community Health, facilitating partnerships such as the one between AMC and Smiles for Everyone Foundation. Dr. Belinda is married to Dr. Gerardo Gutierrez, a program director at AMC, and they have 2 children.

Nicaragua – Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth is 27 and already suffers from severe dental issues. For years she has had trouble eating and been embarrassed to laugh or smile. As a school teacher in Nicaragua she earns $40 a month which has made it difficult for her to afford the care she needs. When our team visited the community of [...]

La Raza Newspaper Article

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Aguas Amarias Elementary School Outreach

On July 3-4, 2014 our Nicaragua International Outpost in partnership with Acción Médica Cristiana conducted a two day dental outreach to La Dalia, Matagalpa. Dr. Alicia Reyes coordinated the outreach which visited Aguas Amarias Elementary Shool. Four other dentists, Dr. Dina Mendoza, Dr. Karen Cáceres, Dr. Ada Arguello and Dr. Anielka Arnuero joined in the [...]

La Dalia/Matagalpa Outreach

Dental Care Report The AMC / SFEF International Outpost in Nicaragua provided dental care in the cities of Dalia and Matagalpa on February 28, 2014. The dental team consisted of 10 participants and provided the following services: February 28th La Dalia VARIABLE Total Patients 120 Children Under 19 Years Old 55 Adults Over 19 Years Old [...]

Granadillo #2 Outreach

Granadillo #2 is a small farming community located in a remote area about five hours outside of Managua. Three volunteer Nicaraguan dentists and several AMC personnel performed 295 dental procedures for 81 children during the course of two days. Click the link below to watch a video and hear stories about some of the lives [...]

Hogar de Fe Orphanage Outreach

On August 30 -31 2013, Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC) organized the first initial outreach for the Smiles for Everyone Foundation (SFEF) Dental Outpost at the orphanage Hogar de Fe in the community of Los Brasilles (20 minutes outside of Managua). Six volunteer dentists worked for a total of about 21 hours, served 79 patients (the [...]