CARY – Approximately 1.5 million people are victims of intimate partner violence each year, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. These people are often left with broken smiles, both symbolically and physically.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation’s Give Back a Smile program works to restore victims' smiles through the volunteer work of dentists across the country.
Dr. Thomas Skleba, the owner of Cary Dental Associates, and member of organizations such as the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, recently became a volunteer for GBAS.
“When I leaned of the GBAS program, I knew I needed to become a volunteer,” he said. “Cosmetic dentistry is usually an elective type of treatment but in these cases it is so much more than that. I feel honored to be able to help make a difference in someone’s life. This is a great cause and a great way for Cary Dental to give back to the community.”
Dr. Skleba, and other volunteers restore damaged smiles to victims for free.
He said a woman he treated recently had one front tooth knocked out and another tooth broke in half.
“When victims find that they cannot smile because of damaged or knocked out front teeth it affects their ability to interact socially or even have a job interview,” he said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you see someone smile confidently for the first time since they were hurt. Giving back victims’ smiles is like giving back their self-worth. And that’s priceless.”
Dr. Skleba also volunteers for the American Dental Association’s Give Kid’s a Smile Day, Donated Dental Services and this past spring was part of the Mission of Mercy volunteer medical and dental team organized by the Collaborative Underserved Relief and Education Network or CURE, at Lake County Fairgrounds. The event provided badly needed care to more than 2,000 patients.
Dr. Skleba has had an office in Cary for the past 24 years, 11 years at the current location, 412 Crystal St., Cary.