Abuse victims get dental makeovers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Abuse victims get dental makeovers

October 25, 2007

Thomasville--They say time heals all wounds.  But for survivors of domestic abuse, its not always so simple.  "A black eye can heal but a broken tooth can't.  So that's where as a cosmetic dentist I can get involved," says Dr. Thomas Oppenheim.

He says through his patients, he's seen the power cosmetic dentistry has to impact people's self-esteems.  "With domestic violence survivors it has an even greater impact because a broken smile is symbolic of a broken life, a broken heart, broken relationships," Oppenheim explains.  Fixing the broken teeth, and getting the broken lives back on track, is the goal of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry's "Give Back a Smile" program.

"I think it's a great program, it's a way to give people a second chance in life, a new start," says Oppenheim.  This month, Oppenheim's Center for Aesthetic Dentistry is offering half price bleaching services and donating the money to the program.  Oppenheim says, "We have our patients write the check directly out to the "Give Back A Smile" program."

So for victims everywhere, when they're ready to begin their new lives, "You get free, you get out of that relationship first, you know that's the biggest step you can do is get out of that relationship and get some counseling," Oppenheim says, . . .an opportunity to have a brand new smile is great place to start.

If you've been a victim of domestic abuse and would like to know more about the "Give Back A Smile Program", contact the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.


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