Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities. - World Health Organization
In some parts of the world, the dentist to population ratio is approximately 1 to 150,000. - World Health Organization
In underserved communities worldwide, many children do not have access to dental care. This lack of access has significant physical and psychological effects on children and their families. Dental care can impact their overall social well being by influencing self-confidence, how they grow, enjoy life, speak, taste food, and socialize.
When children do not have access to proper oral care, they can experience severe dental decay. These dental issues can cause pain, discomfort, disfigurement, acute and chronic infections, eating and sleep disruption. Oral health issues create a systematic cycle of despair that, for many children, becomes normality.
We, at Cura Smiles, are changing this cycle.
Our teams of dentists and students work to educate, train, and equip local dentists to provide dental care to their communities and increase awareness of the importance of oral health.
Learning opportunities to students in the U.S and abroad, allowing them to serve the underserved within their own communities.
Empowering future dental professionals with hands-on instruction of dentistry through assisting and observation of procedures.
Supplying ongoing funds for dental equipment and establishing new clinics where support is most needed.
"I remember a young girl named Margarita who was about 12 years old. She walked into the clinic one morning with her mother. The mother explained that her daughter was well under the average height and weight for a girl her age because of Margarita’s dental problems. Margarita would complain of severe pain on most of her teeth. Evidently, she was suffering from cavities. The pain was not the only problems according to the mother. The mother continued to explain that Margarita was being bullied at school because of her severe cavities on her anterior teeth. Her daughter did not want to go back to school because of her teeth.
As I spoke with Margarita before evaluating her, I made sure she knew that we were there to help. Her mother emphasized that this was a great opportunity to be treated for free since they could not afford to go to the dentist. Margarita let me treat her without any problem and she was so happy at the end. I remember Margarita saying that she looked beautiful now and that she would not be teased at school anymore. Mother and daughter cried with happiness that day."
- Karen Zapata, Nicaragua Cura Staff .
Cura Smiles is dedicated to expanding sustainable dental care to underserved communities locally and globally. We first identify underserved communities and then work with educational institutions and local dental professionals to provide the highest level of dental care and training.
Oral Health Education
Education is crucial to build awareness of the importance of oral health and ultimately decrease the frequency of cavities and oral disease. Educating individuals regarding proper diet, brushing and flossing can not only significantly improve oral health but also general health.
Prevention is a key component to long-term, sustainable improvement in oral healthcare. Proper home care and proactive maintenance improve oral and systemic health.
We are dedicated to providing sustainable dental care to people in need both locally and globally.
We believe in impacting lives and giving the communities we serve the tools to eliminate poor health behaviors and take positive steps towards a lifetime of optimum oral health. We want to empower and transform lives through the simple goal of preserving one’s smile. Traditionally, short term dental health care projects provide immediate relief and only a short-term impact on a community's oral health. At Cura Smiles, we believe in creating sustainable dental care systems. We educate, train, and equip local dentists to provide sustainable dental care to their communities and increase awareness of the importance of oral health and preventive care.
For the past 17 years we have provided dental care to under-served communities in Nicaragua. These communities have little or no access to dental care. Many children and individuals are living in pain with infected and decayed teeth. To ensure sustainable, long-term impact and to empower the people of Nicaragua, we train and equip local dental students and professionals to provide ongoing dental care.
We are in the process of taking the same model into Guatemala and working with their dental school to create opportunities to expand dentistry to more remote communities with limited or no access to much needed dental care.
Cura Smiles is based in San Diego, California. We believe in not only helping people globally but also in our own backyard. City Heights is a community in San Diego where many individuals and families lack access to essential medical and dental services.
We are currently building a dental clinic in San Diego at Mid-City Church of the Nazarene where we will provide dental services to the San Diego community. In partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University, we will provide training and service opportunities to the pre-health students. These future dental professionals will help run the clinic and experience first hand the joy of providing basic dental care to our fellow San Diegans who are in need.