A special orthodontist is giving thousands of dollars worth of time and service to bring life-changing smiles to children from low-income families.
He has been a major benefactor of the nonprofit program, Smiles Change Lives, headquartered in Kansas City. The group was concerned by a backlog of local applicants — children whose families couldn’t afford dental work.
“It got to the point of there being a two+ year waiting list for children to receive treatment,” said Brooke Vinson, Director of Program Services.
DDS professionals, like Dr. Burleson and his colleagues at Burleson Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in nearby Raymore, usually volunteered to take a few patients each year.
“Dr. B. wanted to further his investment in the Kansas City community,” said Vinson. “He told us to ‘send them all.'”
Last October, he came up with his own initiative: Share a Smile. For every new patient that starting treatment at the Raymore office, he would treat a Smiles patient for free. As a result, Burleson will be treating an unprecedented152 kids in 2014, eliminating the two year wait.
For his service since 2006, the group recently honored Dr. Burleson with The Distinguished Service Award.
Smiles Change Lives works with over 750 volunteer orthodontists across the United States and Canada. With Dr. B’s help, more than 6,000 children have been treated since 1997. Nine individuals were honored this year as remarkable ambassadors for the SCL mission of providing access to orthodontic care for children in need. Learn more at: www.smileschangelives.