Dr. Rob Berube of Facial & Oral Surgery in Augusta with nurses, from left, Makenzie Hays, MaryAnn McGrath, and Abigail Wright, with their Finding Our Smiles appreciation plaque. Submitted photo

Maine dentists have donated $102,000 worth of free procedures for low-income women and child survivors of domestic abuse through the Finding Our Smiles initiative, according to the statewide nonprofit Finding Our Voices, which runs the program.

Dr. Shanna Gagnon of Gagnon Dental, left, with survivor Amanda Vogel, for whom she restored eight teeth, filled a cavity, and provided cleanings. “Everyone in the office,” Vogel said, “from the receptionists to the hygienists to the doctor made me feel welcome and worthy. I have gone through things people could not imagine. I had a lot of self-hatred and now, because of Finding Our Smiles, I have self-love.” Patrisha McLean photo

Twenty-two Maine survivors have benefited from the 18-month-old program, which also restores health and helps to rebuild lives. The 28 providers include general dentists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, endodontists, and oral surgeons from York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Knox, Waldo, Kennebec and Hancock counties, as well as dental labs from three states.

Most Finding Our Smiles providers also donate dental care through more general programs for low-income Mainers.

The program provides cosmetic dental care that helps with job searches and promotions and boosts confidence, in addition to providing critical care for violent assaults. Participating survivors are treated as any other paying patient, with providers often donating whatever services are deemed advisable in the overall treatment plan, such as Invisalign and braces, implants, and even porcelain veneers.

Finding Our Smiles patient Amanda Vogel credits the office of Dr. Shanna Gagnon and Finding Our Smiles for “my new full-time job with health care benefits, including dental insurance.”

Augusta oral surgeon Dr. Rob Berube is a dental advisor to Finding Our Smiles.

For more information, visit findingourvoices.net.


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