Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation Add to Favorites

Our mission is to improve access to dental care for the underserved of Texas and to educate the public and profession about oral health.

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IRS EIN: 74-2897487
Website: http://www.tdasf.org
Email: judith@tda.org
Phone Number: 512-448-2441
Address: 1946 S. IH-35 Suite 300
Austin, TX 78704
TDASF provided 2,458 Texans with over $2 million in charitable ental care in 2017, including low-income families, the elderly, medically fragile, veterans, and those with chronic illness who must receive dental care before being placed on transplant lists or given chemotherapy. The need for dental care is great, and we address this need through our very successful programs:

Healthy Smiles for Texans (HST)
Texas Mission of Mercy (TMOM)
S.M.A.R.T Smiles

Impact Statement

Through our Healthy Smiles for Texans (HST) program and our Texas Mission of Mercy (TMOM) events, we have provided charitable dental care to over 40,000 Texans since 2001.

Along with our amazing dental volunteers, our small staff works hard year after year to achieve our mission. Our goal is to bring healthy smiles to the most needy Texans: those aging Texans who have not smiled in years; the disabled veterans who have so many other health costs that they are not able to prioritize oral health; the working poor in urban and rural communities across the state who struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their families' heads, that simply cannot afford even the simplest of preventative dental treatment. These are the people we strive to help. With the help of individual donors like you, we can bring hope and healthy smiles to thousands of desperate, suffering Texans. Many who live right here in Central Texas.

HST provides comprehensive dental care to aging Texans, those living with a disability or chronic illness, no matter where they live in Texas. Patients are matched with a dentist in their area and that dentist provides care to bring the patient to complete oral health, on a volunteer basis, at no cost to the patient. Care often includes extractions, dentures or partials, and gives people who have not smiles in years, a reason to smile again. This is an application-based program, and eligibility qualifications are required.

TMOM is a multi-annual mobile dental clinic that provides basic dental care on a first-come, first-served basis to people all over Texas. We visit four urban or rural areas throughout the state each year, holding one- or two-day clinic events. Care provided at these events includes cleanings, fillings, extractions, and a very limited number of front partials at some two-day events. There are no age, income, or insurance restrictions to receive treatment at a TMOM event.

The SMART Smiles program provides oral health education and preventive care to underserved, school-aged children, while helping to create a positive dental environment and implement a referral system for necessary dental treatment. SMART Smiles is a community led project attracting local dental professionals, and service organizations, local and state agencies, and other interested volunteers who want to be part of a rewarding project that makes a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of elementary children.

These programs are designed to relieve pain, improve oral health, and overall quality of life for people all over Texas. Because of the large volunteer involvement, we are able to stretch financial investment in our organization. For every $1 donated, we are able to provide $8 worth of dental care to Texans in need.

Needs Statement

For many uninsured and underserved Texans living with disabilities, chronic illness, or in poverty, oral health care must take a back seat to basic needs such as food and housing, and other much more expensive medical and accessibility costs, often resulting in chronic oral disease and severe pain. However, the impact of unchecked oral disease extends beyond the damaging effects found in the mouth. Oral disease can lead to poor nutrition, excruciating pain, serious systemic illness (such as diabetes and heart disease), and a diminished quality of life and life expectancy. Oral disease also has damaging effects on local communities by keeping children out of school and parents home from work, as well as overcrowding in emergency rooms by those seeking relief from oral pain. This in itself can lead to millions of dollars in unpaid hospital bills and a strain on local economies.

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2010, Texas continued to have the highest uninsured rate in the nation at 24.6 percent. The areas in Texas with the highest uninsured rates are also the areas with the highest poverty rates and lowest median incomes in the country. Only 4.6 percent of total health care spending in Texas is directed toward oral health, and Medicaid only covers life threatening dental procedures. Therefore, many Texans are left without access to basic dental care. Poverty plays a large role as well; only 36% of Texans in poverty visited the dentist in 2013, compared to the 77% of people making more than $50,000 a year. Without the ability to work, this population simply cannot afford the pain-relieving dental care they need to improve their quality of life, and in many cases, actually extend their life.
"Thank you so much for helping me and my sister... You have changed her life. A big thank you to all the volunteers, doctors, assistants, everyone that came out to help. They were all so kind, and very hard working. Thank you from the bottom of my heart." -Joe A., TDASF patient

"I am ever more grateful for the services that I received this past Friday in Mesquite, TX. I was treated with love and care by all the staff and volunteers. As a way to give back I want to become involved as a volunteer at the next event. Thanks from the bottom of my heart! Hugs." -Monique R., TDASF patient
We welcome volunteers from all over Texas to volunteer at our Texas Mission of Mercy dental clinic events. You do NOT have to have any dental background or experience, as we also need community volunteers. Please visit www.tmomvolunteer.org for more info and to register!