October 5, 2022
Meet Our Primary Charitable Partner: Give Back a Smile
As a social impact company, Professional Transition Strategies (PTS) seeks out charitable partners committed improving the lives of others within communities across the country. That’s why PTS supports The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation’s Give Back a Smile (GBAS). Since starting a partnership in 2019, PTS has donated upward of $200,000 toward the mission of healing some of the effects of domestic and sexual violence by restoring the smiles of adults who have received dental injuries caused by an intimate partner, family member or due to sexual assault.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women — reportedly more than car accidents, muggings and sexual assault combined. In the United States, an estimated 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. That equates to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Victims of intimate partner violence lose 8,000,000 days of paid work, the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
GBAS’ services are provided nationwide, and eligible program applicants are connected with volunteer dentists who restore their damaged smiles at no cost.
Since GBAS’ 1999 inception, more than 2,000 people have received life-changing smile restorations. On average, each GBAS recipient receives more than $10,000 in donated dental treatment. There are currently 150 survivors of domestic and sexual violence across the United States receiving Give Back a Smile services.
Surviving domestic violence is traumatic and can be a long journey of healing. Bruises and scars fade, but teeth cannot repair themselves. A restored smile can bring a sense of closure to the past abuse and helps increase self-confidence, self-esteem and employability. One program recipient describes her experience by saying, “GBAS has given me back my self-confidence and built my self-esteem back up. I am able to smile again and laugh without hiding behind my hands.”
“GBAS gave me back the dignity my abuser had robbed me of. I no longer look in the mirror and see a tarnished woman. I see a beautiful smile and light in that woman’s eyes.”
Dawn vividly remembers the day she left her abusive husband. She woke up in a hospital, skull fractured, ribs broken, face scarred. Her teeth were destroyed. She had lost everything — her job, her house, her self-respect. Her first three months of freedom, she slept on a mattress on the floor, still so fearful of her life that she faced the door with a loaded gun. Resilient by nature, Dawn spent months trying to rebuild her confidence, but when she looked in the mirror, she only saw her physical scars, reminders of a painful past. She only found jobs where she could stay hidden, covering up her facial scars with makeup, always putting her hand over her mouth to hide what once was a confident smile. She was ashamed of the way she looked.
Dawn’s smile was restored by GBAS and the impact on her life was enormous.
Learn more reasons why it’s important to give back to the dental community.