Mission for Smiles
One of the major impacts Project Turquoise wants to make in our own local community is to help displaced families when it comes to their lack of dental care. So many people who live in the Metropolitan area do not have access to dental care and suffer from dental infection and pain as a result. With the help and partnership of centers such as Cornerstones in Reston, which helps people build more stable lives, we are able to serve this population and provide them some dental health support.
We decided to do a couple screenings at the Cornerstones shelter with our volunteers and found there to be many patients in need of dental care services. We met families from Afghanistan who are currently seeking asylum, and families from El Savador and Peru, all of whom are trying to build a new life in the United States. After meeting these people, we set up the mission at Pediatric Dentistry of Reston and Reston Family and Cosmetic Dentistry on Saturday, September 28th. An incredible team of dentists and specialists volunteered their time to come and help these patients. Without their commitment and service, our mission would not be possible. All supplies & costs were donated by dentists & dental vendors in the area.
Not only did our volunteers help us that day, but they are also committed to provide comprehensive treatment to a few patients who desperately need it. One 18-year-old man named Fasil was devastated to learn we need to extract one of his molars but knew it had to be done to alleviate his pain. Dentists on our team worked together to create a comprehensive care plan to save another molar by providing a free root canal and crown for him. This would be done on another day, as the oral surgeon was extracting infected permanent teeth on most of our patients, but Fasil was elated that we provided a solution to protect his teeth in the long-term. Although it is heartbreaking to extract any permanent teeth, we know this if often the only option since most could not afford dental care. Our pediatric dentists also worked with the younger patients. Many of the children were very nervous and had never seen a dentist before, but after learning more about the procedures, eventually let them treat the teeth that needed it the most and did amazing despite their initial apprehension!
We ended up providing over $35K worth of free dental services in that one day. Our team was inspired and our patients were so grateful. We hope to continue our vision to serve an immediate need in our community as well as abroad. For more information on our causes, please visit our website.