History of World of Smiles
In response to a 2010 Oral Health Needs Assessment, and several annual outreaches, World of Smiles Inc. was established to allow for the financial support of its programs.
It is intended to promote sustainability of comprehensive oral health programs in underserved areas in collaboration with local health care providers.
From its inception, The La Romana Oral Health Initiative (now formalized as World of Smiles Inc.) in continued collaboration with the New York Academy of Dentistry and US based dental school and residency programs, is dedicated to fostering humanitarian service as part of the educational process. Encouraging cultural and language sensitivity through international (or domestic) collaboration expands the clinical education and understanding of needs for all involved.
The initial focus of the program has been to service children of the schools of Fundacion MIR in La Romana, Dominican Republic. This has also included treatment of needy family members and faculty, children of a nearby orphanage and patients from the La Romana Family Clinic. The school now serves close to 1700 students drawn from the poorest neighborhoods and surrounding barrios and batayes (sugar worker camps).
To date, we have been able to treat 5,600 students of the school during each outreach (Typically 13-17 dentists/ students and residents). Care includes exam, fluoride varnish, necessary radiographs, quadrant treatment of caries, extractions as needed, root canals, and stainless steel crowns repairs of anterior fractured teeth. Special cases have included frenectomies, removal of globulo-maxillary cyst and supernumerary teeth.
The ultimate goal is to have the children reach adulthood with a full complement of teeth.
The program has been set to allow for dentists, dental students and residents and others to participate in a one-week outreach, limiting the financial impact on their practices or studies. The school is located in a secure area and participants stay on site controlling costs to participate.
What We've Achieved
- Establishment of tooth-brushing program for the younger grades.
- Establishment of a program to have teachers place varnish throughout the year.
- Removal of high sugar drinks from the school
- In May of 2016, a 6-chair dental clinic was opened at the school.