Helping make smiles for Paraguayan children

Twelve year old Liz lives with her grandmother because her mother has more children than she can care for in her small home. Liz came to the Smiles for Everyone dental outreach with severe pain in one of her teeth, which she had been experiencing for a whole month. The dentist did a temporary filling and arranged for radiography at a nearby dental center. When they visited Liz’s grandmother to arrange for the further treatment they learned that the family had often used the services of a “dental mechanic”, an unqualified individual who performs extractions for US $2 per tooth, although it is illegal to do so. Through the work of the team, Liz received the proper dental care she needs and was very thankful to the team for the care she received.

Imagine these children growing up without access to the oral health care we take for granted. Now imagine having the power to provide treatment to 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 Paraguay. By partnering with us, you can put a smile on the face of a child from an orphanage or a family who doesn’t have access to dental care.

Why Paraguay?

In Paraguay children have an average of more than 3.5 decayed, missing and filled permanent teeth at 12 years old; which is among the highest in Latin America and the world. And among low income families, 95% of decayed teeth go untreated.

In this small landlocked country located just below Brazil, more than one in three Paraguayans are below the poverty line and one in thirteen live on less than $1.25 a day. So your gift today will make a life changing difference for a child or family in need of dental care.

SOURCE: WORLD DENTAL FEDERATION’S ORAL HEALTH ATLAS

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Click below to watch videos about our first mission trip to Paraguay

A team made up of Smile Brands Inc. employees and doctors from its affiliated dental groups recently returned from a dental mission trip to Asunción, Paraguay in December 2011. The executives and dentists spent eight days visiting orphanages and nutrition centers, bringing critical dental care to residents who otherwise have no access to basic health services.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to take our skills and knowledge to a group of people less fortunate than ourselves,” says Steve Bilt. “We feel as part of our individual and corporate responsibilities, it is important to extend our mission beyond the walls of our 350 affiliated dental offices. By traveling to Paraguay and visiting local communities with little or no access to proper dental care, we can greatly extend our vision of delivering Smiles for Everyone®!”

The Paraguay team ran temporary dental clinics for the community and participated in trainings and group coaching sessions lead by Hendre Coetzee and Norm Schultz of the Center for Advanced Coaching in an effort to provide the best possible service while gaining insight into best practices to create a model which can be replicated in other areas. Steve Bilt served as a dental assistant on the trip, joining dentists Dr. Roy Smith, Dr. Thomas Emeterio, Dr. Edgardo Gonzalez, Dr. Eniko Alicea and Dr. David Jones. Participating Smile Brands executives included Steve Ashlock, Vice President, Specialty Services; Claudia Perez, Director of Market Operations for South Los Angeles; and Brad Schmidt, Chief Financial Officer.

Known as SEAL Team One (Service Expedition Accelerating Leaders), the group performed over 1,000 extractions and restorations, ultimately helping over 300 Paraguayan children in desperate need of care. Smile Brands Inc., in association with Smiles for Everyone Foundation, is planning additional mission trips in 2012, to be announced in the coming months.

Smiles for Everyone Foundation, affiliated with Smile Brands Inc., is a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to improve the lives of people through the provision of essential dental services.

SEAL Team 1 – Paraguay

Team Member

Dr. Eniko Alicea

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Steve Ashlock

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Thomas Emeterio

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Edgardo Gonzolez

Houston, TX

Team Member

Steve Bilt

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. David Jones

Austin, TX

Team Member

Claudia Perez

Los Angeles, CA

Team Member

Brad Schmidt

Irvine, CA

Team Member

Dr. Roy Smith

Irvine, CA

International Ambassadors

Team Member

Dr. Roy Smith

Paraguay Ambassador

Lead Dentist, Monarch Dental, Pine Bluff, AR

Dr. Smith graduated from UT Austin and UT San Antonio Dental School. He had a private practice in New Mexico for 5 years before joining Monarch Dental in 1985. Dr. Smith practiced at the North Dallas and Mesquite offices for 12 years before transitioning to full time group operations management in 1996. He became VP of Operations and Chief Dental Officer for Monarch Dental in 2001.

Following the acquisition by Bright Now! Dental in 2003, Dr. Smith became Senior VP of Operations and established the Clinical Board of Directors, serving as Chairman. In 2006 Dr. Smith became Chief Operating Officer for Smile Brands Inc., serving in that capacity until 2011. In 2011 Dr. Smith was named Chief Dental Officer, narrowing his focus to clinical operations. In 2013, Dr. Smith reduced his schedule to part time, serving as President of the Texas and Arizona PCs.

Currently Dr. Smith serves as an independent consultant to Smile Brands, mentoring and supporting the clinical leaders in Texas, while serving on the Steering Committee of the Clinical Board. Dr. Smith is also on the Board of Directors of TMS Neuro Solutions. He has enjoyed serving on several dental mission trips to Guatemala, as well as to Paraguay with the first Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s Seal Team One trip in 2011. Dr. Smith has been married for 34 years to his wonderful wife Joanie. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. They enjoy travel, volunteer work and the arts.

Team Member

Dr. Edgardo Gonzalez, DDS

Paraguay Ambassador

Market Dental Director, San Antonio & Houston

Dr. Edgardo “Gordy” Gonzalez, a native of Laredo, Texas, earned his under-graduate degree at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, before completing dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Dental Branch. Dr. Gonzalez has been providing dental care for more than 35 years.

After graduating from dental school and working at a private practice in Houston for three years, he moved to San Antonio in 1980. The following year Dr. Gonzalez helped open the first satellite office of Press Family Dental on the city’s south side. Press Family Dental was acquired by Monarch Dental Corp. in 1997 and in turn Smile Brands Inc. acquired Monarch Dental Corp. in 2003, which is when Dr. Gonzalez began his affiliation with SBI.

Known for wearing a smile to work every day, Dr. Gonzalez especially enjoys mentoring young dentists as a Market Dental Director and contributing to the profession as a member of the Smile Brands Clinical Board of Directors. Dr. Gonzalez was honored with the 2011 President’s Award from Smile Brands’ President & CEO Steve Bilt. Dr. Gonzalez was a member of SEAL Team 1’s International Smile Project to Paraguay in December 2011.

Paraguay International Outpost Team

Team Member

Judah Mooney

Paraguay Dental Team

President, Diaconia ADP

Judah Mooney, President of Diaconia ADP, founded his nonprofit organization to help break the cycle of poverty in Paraguay for single-parent families. Diaconia ADP provides micro-loans to women who want to support themselves and their families. Prior to founding Diaconia ADP, Judah developed a network of 350 nutrition centers across Paraguay to provide regular meals for over 20,000 children from families in poverty and designed a vocational training program for their parents to learn job-related skills.

Judah has worked with projects in 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that benefited thousands of needy children and families. As a member of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s International Outpost in Paraguay, Judah and Diaconia ADP provide much needed support to under-served Paraguayans without access to dental care. Judah is married to Mary and has a daughter, Emily Grace.

Team Member

Dr. Paulina Fernanda Sánchez

Paraguay Dental Team

 

Dr. Paulina Fernanda Sánchez was born on April 10, 1990 in Ascunsion, Paraguay. Her parents, Pablo and Ketty, are both from Chile and moved to Paraguay 26 years ago to serve as missionaries.

After high school, Dr. Sánchez began studying dentistry, which was her dream since she was a child. She always had a passion to do something in a field that helped provide care for others. In 2013, Dr. Sánchez finished her studies and began providing basic dentistry service and social support in poor urban areas and indigenous communities in the countryside.

She began working with the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s International Outpost in Paraguay in early 2014. She plans to continue to improve her knowledge and grow her skills while helping to care for those in need.

“This has been an enriching experience and has exceeded all of my expectations.” – Dr. Paulina Sánchez

Paraguay – Juan David’s Story

  Juan David is a child with a cleft lip who has undergone surgery three times causing him to be scared of doctors and needles. His parents brought him to our dental outreach in Paraguay, knowing his teeth needed care. After two days of spending time with Juan David, he was finally ready to receive [...]

Mbya Guarani Indian Community Outreach

The team in Paraguay had the opportunity to visit the Mbya Guarani Indian Community which is located in San Juan 2, about 40 minutes from the town of Campo 9. In addition to conducting a dental clinic they also visited the local school which has 140 children. They conducted dental hygiene talks for the children [...]

Paraguay – Cristina’s Story

  Cristina has five of her own children and two from her second marriage. Her first husband died in a farming accident and she married again, but her husband struggles to put food on the table. A little over a year ago their house burned down and they lost one of their children in that [...]

Ñemby, Caaguazu Outreach

Our Paraguay team traveled to Ñemby, Caaguazu to host a two day dental clinic serving the local community. Seventy-one people were able to receive dental care during the event, including many children. Ruth and Shirley were two of the children who were in attendance. Both of them had cavities in their front teeth and had [...]

Villa Elisa Outreach

During our team’s two day outreach to San Antonio, Paraguay where they provided care for 68 people they met Cesia. Cesia is fifteen years old and had a severe cavity in one of her front incisors. She never wanted to smile because she was embarrassed of the large hole in her tooth. Our team was [...]

Areguá Outreach

On February 19-20 the team in Paraguay conducted free dental clinics at the Iglesia Bautista Luz de Esperanza in Areguá, Paraguay. One of the 72 patients that they were able to help provide care for was Lorena Sotelo. Lorena is a twenty-five year old mother of three who had been experiencing severe pain in several of [...]

Bañado Sur, Asunción Outreach

Thirty-one patients received free dental services when the team recently visited the Bañado Sur community in Asunción, Paraguay. One of the patients was a 19 year old mother named Denisse. Denisse suffers from severe dental decay. The team was able to restore some of her teeth and will work to provide more care for her [...]

Ytororó Outreach

The team in Paraguay recently traveled to Ytororó to conduct a two day free dental clinic. Dr. Paulina Sanchez, Dr. Elen Ramirez, and Dr. Rossana Fernandez were able to provide dental care for 61 people from the community. Mr. Bernardo Alcaraz, a local in Ytororó, heard ahead of time that the team would be coming to [...]

Hogar Unidos por Cristo Outreach

On January 29-30 our team in Paraguay visited a local children’s home – Hogar Unidos por Cristo. They provided free dental care for 76 children at the home. One of them was a young girl named Daisy. She is a 20 year old deaf mute who had been living at the home for awhile. She [...]

Lambare, San Isidro Outreach

Damiana Achar, a 29 year old mother of six, lives in a very rural settlement in Lambaré, Paraguay. Her husband is a bricklayer and she collects recyclable items off the streets, struggling to raise their family. A few years ago, “A Roof for My Country”, a group of volunteers who builds simple homes for those [...]