Intelligent Touch Dental Laboratory has been a proud supporter of the Give Back A Smile program run by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) for many years. Give Back a Smile helps rebuild the lives and self-esteem of domestic violence survivors. They do so through compassionate dental services along with multiple support programs at no cost to the survivor.
At I.T.D.L, we know that restoring a smile does not take away the emotional and physical damage the victims have suffered. However, it goes a long way to help give back confidence and hope for their future. Seeing the difference we make in their lives makes it well worth it. We encourage doctors and other dental laboratories to give back within their communities to help make a difference. We are Intelligent Touch Dental Laboratory; Smiles, Changing Lives.
Check out this article on our Laboratory Giving Back!
Giving Back Smiles
By Hannah Feldman
Laboratory Gives New Life to Survivors of Domestic Violence
David Geffre, the owner of Intelligent Touch Dental Laboratory, started out as a one-person operation in a 12-by-12-foot basement doing model work in the laundry room. Now, with a thriving 32-person laboratory, he feels that he has been blessed. After years of education and hard work pursuing his vision of what a dental laboratory should be, he found himself in a position of success. He decided to take the skills and resources he’d gained and use them to the benefit of those less fortunate. Geffre involved his laboratory in the Give Back a Smile program offered through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
What The Give Back a Smile Program Is All About
The Give Back a Smile program provides cosmetic dental services and support programs to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Dentists, dental laboratories, and other dental professionals around the country volunteer their services to rebuild smiles and lives. Since it was launched nearly 20 years ago, Give Back a Smile has restored the damaged teeth of more than 1,500 domestic violence survivors. This work is valued at over $15 million. While Geffre takes pride in the quality of all of his work, he finds these cases particularly rewarding.
“After our work is done for the day, I’ll sit here at night and do ceramics on a case,” Geffre says. “But what’s really nice is that I’m not doing it for money or because I want to feel better. It’s more about the fact the industry’s been good to me, and I can give back by helping someone who really needs it.”
Commitments Made at Our Laboratory
This year, Geffre has committed his laboratory to donate four complete denture cases and four complete roundhouse cases. He rarely meets the patients who benefit from his work, but he’s very aware that every case he delivers is changing a life. Missing teeth and facial injuries can provide a constant, visible reminder of a past that many survivors can’t afford to correct. A new smile inspires incredible confidence and a fresh start.
“Maybe these victims of abuse stayed out of love, but also because of fear. We have to look at them with compassion and give back their smiles because when they see themselves—all of a sudden looking warm and changed—they also change,” Geffre says. “And even though I never see that person, it’s nice to know I helped in that effort.”
Despite never meeting most of the survivors he helps, Geffre knows the work he does is appreciated. His laboratory frequently receives thank-you cards, and the AACD has honored him with three Give Back a Smile Awards for achieving the charitable goals to which he’d committed.
The Reason Behind Joining AACD
Geffre originally joined the AACD because of its strong values and support of education. He feels that the organization has helped him strive for better results, pushed him to learn more, and challenged him to always find room for improvement. The AACD’s commitment to responsible esthetics based on oral health principles has attracted remarkable people. These people take great satisfaction in the Give Back a Smile’s charitable mission. Geffre is proud to count himself among the skilled practitioners who donate their time, money, and expertise to a cause that helps those most in need of esthetic and cosmetic quality.
“There are some dentists who are doing more charitable work than we are,” he says. “These practitioners and what they take on—the time they have invested is immense, so my hat goes off to them.”
Additional Volunteer Work We Do
Besides his work with Give Back a Smile, Geffre also does a great deal of work with Donated Dental Services (DDS), based in Minnesota. This expansive volunteer network has a program that operates in each state and provides free, comprehensive dental care to the most vulnerable, including the disabled and elderly who cannot get public aid. Dentists and dental laboratories work together to provide a wide range of services, including donated dentures, crowns, and bridges. While much of Geffre’s work with them is more local, he’s also accepted cases from Rhode Island, Ohio, and Washington.
“DDS knows that if they need a laboratory, they can automatically call us. No matter how much Donated Dental work we’ve done, we’ll always take the case,” says Geffre. He encourages other laboratories, dentists, and dental professionals to donate whatever time they can. Whether it’s through Give Back a Smile, Donated Dental, or any other organization of their choice, it’s a great opportunity.
“Never be afraid to grab a charitable case,” he says, “because the reward will always outweigh everything else.”