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Let’s Talk About Dentists Doing Good with Dr. Adena Borodkin of Golden Valley Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Golden Valley, MN

Let’s Talk About Dentists Doing Good
with Dr. Adena Borodkin of
Golden Valley Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Golden Valley, MN

The best thing about being a dentist is helping people. Having a healthy smile is so much more than having perfectly straight and white teeth. Dental health impacts overall health and also impacts mental health and self-esteem. For many people who live in Golden Valley and the rest of the United States, dental care is available and accessible. That is not the case, however, in many parts of the world. Luckily there are organizations and volunteers who work hard to make dental care available to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access. Thousands of dentists volunteer their time and services and we thought it would be fun to highlight some of the organizations making smiles brighter around the world.

KIDS (Kids International Dental Services) is a non-profit that started in 2009 when retired prosthodontist, Dr. Robert Renner, decided to make the volunteer opportunities he’d enjoyed abroad available to more dentists. Teams of volunteer dentists now travel all over the world and treat thousands of children per day with preventive and corrective services. Most of these children would never have access to dental services. Dr. Borodkin participated in KIDS’ service trip to Guatemala in 2017 and 2018. It was amazing for her to be part of a group of generous individuals who could really change the lives of the kids they treated. It was really hard work, and many hours of traveling across the country, but somehow one returns with energy, perspective, and gratitude.

Smile Train is an organization that performs completely free surgeries to correct cleft lip and palate. This relatively common difference in the formation of the lip and palate can prevent children from eating, drinking, hearing, and breathing properly. Smile Train also provides instruction to local dentists and doctors so that they are able to perform surgeries in their communities. Finally, Smile Train provides pre and post-operative care including speech therapy for adults and children.

Mercy Ships provides free health and dental care in port cities all over the world. Ports are visited by a ship full of doctors and dentists on a ship equipped as a hospital and ready to perform all sorts of life changing procedures.

America’s Tooth Fairy strives to make quality dental care available to all children in the United States. They provide free and discounted clinics, mobile dental care for areas in which access to dental care is limited, oral health supplies for people to use at home, and educational programs for schools. Charitable Smiles is another group serving people in need in the United States. They match patients in need of dental care with dentists who donate time in their own offices. Children and adults can apply to be matched with a dentist.

The dentists in Minnesota routinely donate their time and talents to address those in need locally. Give Kids a Smile Day and the Mission of Mercy are two examples of such programs organized by the Minnesota Dental Association. Golden Valley Kids participated in Give Kids a Smile Day by opening our office on Saturday, February 2, 2019 and offering free treatment to those in need. In September of 2018, Dr. Borodkin and Brenda volunteered at the Mission of Mercy in downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota Dental Foundation turned the convention center into a giant dental clinic and thousands of people were treated over 2 days.

Dr. Borodkin loves sharing stories about her service trip experiences and hopes to participate in many more throughout her career.

What are your favorite non-profits to support?