Every day billions of people across the world smile. They smile at their family, their friends, and even at strangers while doing everyday activities such as grocery shopping or crossing the street. We may forget that some people can’t smile, not because they’re not physically able, but because they don’t have the confidence to do so.
One dentist in Kansas City, Missouri is helping change that by offering free dental work to the less fortunate. And he recruited other dentists to help him, too, through handwritten letters asking them to open their hearts, time, and abilities. Some of his colleagues offered to take a new patient every month while one even told him “as many as it takes.”
Dr. Lyndal Holmes created a dental program at City Union Mission, a homeless shelter, 12 years ago in what used to be the dental school where he graduated in 1965. He’s changing the lives of men, women, and children by offering free dentistry, from cavities to dentures to extractions.
He said he hopes by restoring a smile, it will eventually restore the person and provide the second chance so many people need.
These acts of kindness can go far beyond a simple cavity as well. Total mouth restorations are available for the individuals who successfully complete long-term programs, such as overcoming substance abuse.
“Beat a substance abuse problem, you can get your GED,” Holmes told Fox 4 News.
He also said that between all of the dentists volunteering their time, nearly all the dental specialties are covered, and that two dental hygiene programs in the city have been providing assistance.
“Together we have all provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in dental care that has helped people turn their lives around and has positively impacted their second chance,” he said.