You can also listen on the ADA Member App and enjoy exclusive bonus content.
S3 E07: Dentist Volunteers: Changing the world one smile at a time
How volunteering not only sharpens your skills but also strengthens our entire profession.
Listen + Subscribe
An episode that’s all about giving back. Hear from dentists making an impact locally, nationally, and globally, and discover how service not only sharpens your skills but also strengthens our entire profession.
Special Guest: Dr. Rubin Sorrell II
“ I always say I'm one link in a grand chain, and I just hope that I make it stronger.“
- Dr. Rubin Sorrell II
- In this episode of Dental Sound Bites, it’s all about giving back. Hear from dentists making an impact locally, nationally, and globally, and discover how service not only sharpens your skills but also strengthens our entire profession.
- Our special guest, Rubin Sorrell II, is a fourth generation San Francisco resident of the Bayview Hunters Point community. In 2016, Dr. Sorrell founded his non-profit organization Dental Robin Hood, committed to closing oral health disparities and prioritizing consistency in preventative care. His efforts to his community directly contributed to his entrance to the UCSF School of Dentistry, Class of 2021. Today, he works in the community where he was raised at the Bayview Health and Wellness Center.
- Dr. Sorrell shared the motivation and experiences that led him to founding several programs that give back to the community: Anomaly Program, Cut N Care Initiative, and his plans for future programs.
- The group dives into the importance of community, not just serving but also appreciating how it can sustain and uplift us all as well.
- We also explore international volunteering. Dr. Stephanie Ganter and Bob McNeil traveled to Poland on a humanitarian mission to bring health services to Ukrainian refugees in the area. They share their volunteer experience while on location.
- Another way to get involved is through national events. We hear from Give Kids a Smile founder, Dr. Jeffrey B. Dalin, as he talks about the origins and impact of this program, and how you can get involved.
- Click for more information on Dr. Rubin Sorrell, Dental Robin Hood, his podcast, and Instagram.
- Watch and follow Dr. Stephanie Ganter and Dr. Bobby McNeill on their YouTube channel Between two Teeth.
- Find out where to volunteer with a Give Kids a Smile event, or how to plan your own event.
- Ready to start volunteering? Find opportunities that match your interest and skills.
- Learn more about the Lessons in a Lunchbox program, mentioned in this episode's bonus content, exclusively on the ADA Member App.
- Watch stories of dentists making a difference on ADA’s YouTube channel.
Wright: [00:00:00] Today we're talking about making a positive impact in the world and giving back through volunteering. I'm Dr. ArNelle Wright.
Ioannidou: [00:00:07] And I'm Dr. Effie Ioanidou. Whether you're a seasoned volunteer or you're looking for opportunities to start, we've got inspiring stories today and great resources coming right up.
Announcer: [00:00:21] From the American Dental Association, this is Dental Sound Bites. Created for dentists, by dentists. Ready? Let's dive right in to real talk on dentistry's daily wins and sticky situations.
Wright: [00:00:36] Super, super excited for today.
Ioannidou: [00:00:38] Yeah, and you know, two inspiring quotes that I would like to share, and I'm sure you would love them, ArNelle. So one is from RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. RBG used to say that “fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Wright: [00:00:57] Love that.
Ioannidou: [00:00:57] Amazing, right?
Wright: [00:00:58] Yes, yes, yes. Everything we talk about today, it's going to resonate. And that quote is going to shine right through everything.
Ioannidou:I know. And then we have another quote to kind of help us start off the discussion of the day. A Dr. Martin Luther King quote, that “everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
Wright: Yes. Oh, I love this so much. So in the spirit of Dr. King and on the National Day of Service that’s celebrated on his birthday, today, we are going to be talking about really donating our time and our talents. And I think our guest, our special, special guest today is going to talk a lot about how he does that very, very well.
Ioannidou: You're absolutely right. Today's special guest has a very powerful and a very inspirational story. So we have to welcome Dr. Rubin Sorrell, the second. So Dr. Rubin. Tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us about the work that you do.
Sorrell: [00:01:54] Wow. What an introduction and what an honor. What a privilege just to be a kid from the middle of nowhere, in a socioeconomic disadvantaged community, to be here with the American Dental Association with Dr. Effie and Dr. Wright. And I'm just so thankful. I'm born and raised in San Francisco. I work in community dentistry and I am the founder of Dental Robin Hood.
Wright: [00:02:20] We really want to hear all about your volunteering journey. Dr. Rubin, you mentioned Dental Robin Hood. Tell us a little bit about that. Tell us how that came to be.
We want to hear all about this project because it was really fascinating, as I did my research.
Sorrell: [00:02:34] So we stand on our four pillars and which begins with our Dental Robin Hood project, which means going out into the neighborhood door-to-door and giving out oral health kits and information of tips and tricks on oral hygiene and free and reduced care to the community.
Our second pillar is the Cut N Care initiative where we go into all the communities, barbershops, and beauty salons and give out those same oral health kits, but also information to the barbers and beauticians of telltale signs of oral cancer.
And our third is the Anomaly Program where we take at-risk youth and expose them to occupations in dentistry outside of being a dentist. So a dental office manager, dental assistant, dental hygienist, dental technician.
And our final one, our newest one, is our Baby Teeth, where we're partnering with at-home daycares to brush their teeth every seven to 14 days.
Ioannidou: [00:03:40] How did you come up with all these ideas? Tell me a little bit more about this. This is, like, brilliant.
Wright: [00:03:44] I know. Yes.
Sorrell: [00:03:46] Well, it's an interesting story for all of them, honestly. And sometimes the universe just opens up things to you if you stay open to it.
And so for the Anomaly Program, just going through my volunteering and just shadowing at different offices and knowing different people, I always found out that the dental assistants and the dental hygienist and all the support staff, they reluctantly found the oral health, which is after being at, like, clothing stores or after having a child, just trying to find a sustainable, respectable and a worthwhile job. And I thought, like, why don't they do that in the opposite?
And I'm, like, well, it's going to, it needs to be people like me who's going to expose them to that. So that's how the Anomaly Program started. So moving workshops, just expose all that.
For the Cut N Care initiative, I always found it interesting, about the barber surgeons, doing my history, where back if you ever went to a barber – you’ve seen the red, white and blue? And never knew what that meant. But, it really means emergency. And so your barber was your dentist. And so I just thought, why don't I just give the barbers and beauticians some of those signs? Cause they're in the face just as much as we are. Probably more. And it really manifested in something beautiful because, especially in barbershops, we move the conversation from sports, misogyny, and things like that to health, betterment, hygiene, past experiences, and that's what makes life about it.
And so Our Baby Teeth, my mother has owned and operated her own at-home childcare since I was in fourth grade. So it just came to me, like, this is our target population. These are the ones in need. Because the children that have more, have a better shot, are usually going to those facilities, those actual corporations and have those bigger established childcares. However, by and large, those socioeconomic disadvantaged residents, they don't have that opportunity to afford those types of childcares. Do you know how much childcare costs nowadays?
Wright: [00:06:17]: Don't even get me started. I have a six-year-old and a four-year-old and my six-year-old, he's in first grade now, but when he went into kindergarten, we were like, Oh my gosh, you're getting a little bit of money! You know? So that, you know, our four-year-old, we're…
Sorrell: [00:06:30] like, I need you to go to school. Right now!
I need that.
Ioannidou: [00:06:35] Absolutely. This is, like, one of the important points and the important problems in this country. It's unacceptable that childcare is so expensive.
Sorrell: [00:06:43] It's insane. Yeah. And so that's how we just stood on everything from Dental Robin Hood and also, just random, community outreach and just helping out at any other organizations.
However, but, if we go to our true roots and what matters to us, then it's those four programs.
Ioannidou: [00:07:05] This is so inspiring. I cannot be, I mean, so basically every other week you come up with a new idea, right?
Wright: [00:07:10] You're a true creative. You're a true creative. Influencer, like without even before influencing was like a really thing.
Sorrell: [00:07:20] Right before it was a thing. And you know, I just, I'm just happy and blessed. A lot of people where I come from, didn't make it to this age that I'm in, didn't make it to see all their dreams. And so I feel lucky. I feel honored. I feel that my brother that lived in the same room as me, eight years my senior, has been in and out of incarceration for about the last 10-12 years, and we stayed in the same room. I don't think I'm any better than him.
And his story is no different from a lot of the people that I went to high school with, middle school with, and if they're even alive, then it's, it's a real feat to say, Oh, I don't, I never been to jail. Oh, um, this age. Oh, I. The basic necessities in life are things of pride where I come from. So I feel lucky to be in this position.
Ioannidou: [00:08:15] I'm very curious about your story. What motivated you to serve the community this way? And what motivated you to go to dentistry? You woke up one day and you said, I want to be a dentist.
Sorrell: [00:08:26] It's teeth.
Ioannidou: [00:08:27] Yeah, it's teeth.
Sorrell: [00:08:28] No. Okay. So. I was in 10th grade, but I always knew I wanted to do something to help people, but I also knew that I didn't want to depend on a corporation or somebody that could take away my livelihood whenever they saw fit or whenever budget cuts needed to happen.
But I didn't know what that was. So in 10th grade, I was in a black student union meeting and UCSF faculty and students came out. And from my point of view, I'm just like, wow. Like, and the first off, it was respect, like you coming all the way out here to talk about dentistry to us and you all already in it.
And even though they're still in our city, it's still like, it's a whole other side of the globe to us, you know. For us to leave from our side of town, which is Southeast, to go to those other places. It really was unfathomable. So I was just like, wow. Like, then the few experiences I had with dentists, I always seen, they were always mild mannered. They always look good. They always were really respectful.
And also they didn't necessarily deal with death. And when I was coming up, even closer to now, and these are the days of Myspace, and it was basically like, every other week, you'd see a memorial page to a teenager about how they passed on. And I was just too subjected to that.
And so I'm like, I don't really want to go into actually being a physician because I've already seen enough death in my lifetime. But I still want to help people. Something that's really going to contribute to not only their health, but also, like, their mind. Like a person's smile technically defines them. Like a person has a gap, whether or not if they're proud about that gap, it defines them in a way.
And so that's how I got into dentistry. What motivated me to do all of this. All right. So…
Wright: [00:10:31] he's getting into it. He's like, all right, let's go. Right.
Sorrell: [00:10:34] I'm in it. So I applied on three occasions within five years to dental school. Didn't get in the first two, didn't even sniff an interview. And in between that, I got, I was in a dental post bacc [baccalaureate], that was a partnership with SF State, and with University of [the] Pacific. I did that for two years.
I got my Master's in Public Health from A. T. Still University. And all the while I'm doing these cookie cutter, typical dental student volunteer things. And it's just not connecting. And I just sat back one day after my second, final denial – you know, it's never really over until you get that last denial, but you're never really gonna get that last denial because they're not gonna say anything.
So, I'm just like, this ain't working. Like, this, like, it's not connecting. I'm just like, well, how can I make an impact in oral health even if I don't become a dentist? Like, because, having that DDS doesn't define me and I could still make my mark. And so it was, just like, all right, I'm going to go out, buy over 200 oral health kits. I'm going to print out this sheet. And we'll just go in the community and we're gonna start right there. And from there manifested all the programs. And I just stay open to whatever the universe throws me. And I'm just glad to be a part of it.
Wright: [00:12:08] I love this. Yeah. This is so freaking good. I'm sorry. Excuse my expression. Can we just talk about how, like, that is such a bootstrapping story? It's totally Mindset. Like it's, you know, you went out there and you did it. You're like, okay, so I am going to bring the table to everyone. Instead of, you know, the other way around, like waiting for something to happen.
So I really love just your tenacity and your resilience. Like, this is just such a story. So everybody listen up. This is like Mindset. It's just brilliance. Like, take a page out of Dr. Rubin's book. You guys, like, this is so good.
Ioannidou: [00:12:48] And you know what? The interesting thing is that you knew the community. So you knew you had a very deep understanding of the needs of the community, right? So this is where the connection happened. And I think this is so important when it happens organically from within, rather than the, you have the external saviors that will come and do this for you. Right? This is like within the community and it's, like, so beautiful.
And so it's an amazing act. Because people connect, I assume that people connect better with you and they are, like, open to be listening to you. Right?
Sorrell: [00:13:24] I had a patient literally on Friday, same age, went to high school for a couple of years at the same time. And I was like, well, so I walked him out.
I'm like, how do you feel? He was like, you know what? I actually feel like you have my best interest. I actually feel like you know where I'm coming from. And I actually feel like you're just not trying to treatment plan me up. And I really felt that in my heart. I'm like, wow, like that made my day.
Like, thank you. You don't know what that did. So it, it rings true. And I've had to deal with all types of adversity. Even when I went to undergrad. I went to North Carolina A&T, HBCU. In 2009, the market hit and I wasn't, I wasn't able to, for any of my family, to co-sign my loans. They were telling me, oh, Rubin, you might have to come back.
I'm like, oh no, I’ve seen so many others fail before me go out to school. And so I joined the military, did ROTC, commissioned as a second lieutenant in the army under quartermaster, a branch. Almost about the time when I finished my contract, 10 years later, it was all worth it. And I was in dental school and I was just like, wow, look at how that come.
Like I did that out of struggle and necessity. And now it's really a foundation because I didn't have no real meals in my lifetime. So it really taught me discipline. It taught me responsibility. It taught me that time matters. And so we can't take that for granted. Every day matters.
Wright: [00:14:55] They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? Is that the quote? Wow. Necessity is the mother of invention. Yeah.
Ioannidou: [00:15:01] How many quotes are we going to share today?
Wright: [00:15:05] Listen, I'm full of them.
Sorrell: [00:15:08] Give me some of that. Give me some of that “isms.”
Wright: [00:15:10] Okay, sorry.
Sorrell: [00:15:13] Is this still ADA?
Wright: [00:15:14] Yeah. Yeah. No, it is still ADA. Dr. Effie told you, we kind of just like to have a little good time right here. And so it's like, if you give it, listen, we're here for it.
Sorrell: [00:15:23] All right.
Ioannidou: [00:15:24] So with the story that you gave us now, we understand very well, I think, why you didn't volunteer in another organization, but just you just try to create your own, your own group. And I think, I mean, it's amazing. It's a great story.
Sorrell: [00:15:41] And as I got further into it, I understand the history of it. We're talking American Dental Association, National Dental Association. I know those that have came before me, and we need that connection even when we get out and start being able to make our own money. But we still need to have that community.
And so that's why I'm so engaged in San Francisco Dental Society, just made the Board of Directors.
Ioannidou: [00:16:07] Yay!
Wright: [00:16:08] Look at you!
Sorrell: [00:16:11] National Dental Association this past year named me Delegate of the Year. So I'm just really, like, just happy to be a part of a community because somebody who's people that are really there for you with no ulterior motive, but just to, because they've been there.
And so that's why I appreciate ADA so much.
Ioannidou: [00:16:34] There is a rumor that, uh, you want to give a special shout out to your cousins today. Why is that?
Sorrell: [00:16:39] Just as I said about that community, I would be nothing without mine. And that starts within the home. And if you know, cousins are like your extended brothers and sisters.
Especially, I want to shout out to my cousin, Jafria. She was the first grandchild. She was the first of our generation, first college graduate. In a time where nobody wanted to take a young kid out, like me, and just a second child and from a fatherless home. And she just took the time, nine years my senior, to just expose me to things, take me to step shows, take me to SF State, and take me to the movies, encourage me to go to that event. Do that thing.
And she was the one who actually made our logo, her and her husband, for Dental Robin Hood. So yeah, I'm nothing without my community. And so I really praise them and I'm appreciative of them. And so that's just me. I always say I'm but one link in a grand chain and I just hope that I make it stronger.
Ioannidou: [00:17:47] Ah, you know what I appreciate, Rubin? I really appreciate that you remember and you appreciate where you come from. And I really, I think this is a quality that you don't find in many people. Right? You know, I think people reach a level and then they literally forget where they came from. And I think this is really big.
Wright: [00:18:08] Well, they get sidetracked too by their success. It's like, there's so many distractions. Life moves so fast and it's easy to, like, look to the left, look to the right and just kind of keep plowing ahead and working on your own thing. But it's really, really admirable that you mentioned those who pretty much are the shoulders of giants that you stand on. So yeah, that's so amazing.
Ioannidou: [00:18:30] Because these are the people that really know you, right? They know you from before, like from before dental school, from before volunteering. They know you from, you know, since…
Wright: [00:18:42] …before Dr. Rubin.
Ioannidou: [00:18:43] Yeah. No, there is no Dr. Rubin there. It's like just Rubin.
Wright: [00:18:47] Exactly. I was just going to say the same thing.
Sorrell: [00:18:52] Are you calling me by my first name still? Are we doing that? No. Nah. And it's so easy too, like you both said, because once we get out of dental school, we've have all these new friends that are doing all the same things as us. And they're in those high rise apartments and they're doing all that fun stuff and we forget where we can come from and I, you know, I'm no different.
So I just really got to remember where I came from. And so. It's a beautiful thing to me.
Wright: [00:19:22] Yeah.
Ioannidou: [00:19:22] You know, I, this is what happens to me when I go back to Greece. And I'm still friends with my elementary school classmates, some of my elementary school classmates. And when I go in there, I really feel that, you know, these people really being, you know, a Chair or this or that means nothing to these people, because these people knew me from the moment, from the time that I was like, you know, the little Effie in the block playing on the street with, you know, whatever we were playing with. I don't know. Stones and balls and whatever. But it's so different. And I never, ever, ever forget. So I do appreciate what you're saying. I think it's really important.
Sorrell: [00:20:04] Yeah, that's exactly what it is. And it's just like, I think of it as, I'm that example to let them know you can do whatever it is you want to do too. Regardless of what it is. And I'm that poster child of you can fail multiple times. I took the DAT four times. I had to get, I had to get a waiver. I had, I did, it took me five years to get in and I got into two schools and that, and that was all she wrote. But still I remember when I didn't get in on my second time, this was like 2015. From 2015 to 2017, where, like, everywhere I went, I was basically like a laughing stock. Like, you still doing that, bro? You still trying to be a dentist? You still doing that thing? How many times you going to get now?
Fast forward to 2023, it's never even a thought. It's never even a thing that would happen, but I hold on to that. Like, I remember when it was a thought of like, you're an idiot. Like, why are you even doing this? Like, you failed already multiple times. And I'm just like, it's meant.
Wright: [00:21:07] Yeah. Well, some people, they, if they can't see very far for themselves, it's, like, they can't wrap their head around, like, your vision and your dream too. So it's unfortunate that people just can't see as far as you can, but it's amazing that you continue to push forward and forge ahead and, you know, chart your own paths.
So I think you're definitely an example for everybody that's coming behind us. So, you are so busy. You have all these programs within Dental Robin Hood. We know that the creative mind that you are, that you must be working on something now. So tell us what you're doing. If there's anything that you want to share and, like, what you're planning on next, what can we expect from you?
Sorrell: [00:21:49] More life, more everything. Right now, as of August 2023, Dental Robin Hood was awarded its first contract with San Francisco Department of Public Health. And that was to be over District 10, which is the district that I'm from, southeast part of the city, for the Children's Oral Health Task Force.
And so, it's up to us to gather these different groups and organizations to tackle caries for our children. I'm taking it as a personal mission to control caries in my community, in my district. So that's one thing that we're just starting now and having our first actual meeting, our first everything starting January 11th.
Wright: [00:22:38] So wait, what does the contract consist of? Are you able to disclose that?
Sorrell: [00:22:41] Yeah, yeah. So, okay. There's this thing called CavityFree SF. So that's just like a big grant initiative that's been going on for about six years now. And so from there, they get the money from a soda distributor tax. And so that funds a lot of health programs. And one of them is the oral health task force. So there's one in Chinatown, there's one in the Mission where it's predominantly Hispanic, and there's us in district 10, which is predominantly African American. They've been doing it for five years now going on six. And I used to be Chair of the program, but at the time, the organization that was over it didn't mirror the actual community and they didn't really have the want to continue it after the first five year series of contract went on. So they just said, Hey, why doesn't Dental Robin Hood do it? You were already doing all your programs anyway. So, why don't do it?
Wright: [00:23:46] Talk about right time, right place, like being ready and not having to get ready. Like talk about that. Like, that's amazing. Yeah. Stay ready.
Sorrell: [00:23:54] Yeah. So that happened and I'm super excited to actually, I'm taking it as like, I'm going to make a real difference in these next two to three years on our children's oral health. And so that's one thing. That's a big thing. That's a major thing.
Wright: [00:24:12] That's a huge thing.
Sorrell: [00:24:13] And as I said earlier about, Our Baby Teeth, which is also going to be in that. I'm just looking to go door to door basically to every in-home daycare that we have, starting with my own, with my mother's, to make sure our children's teeth are healthy. And that's the way, so they can start school and get through school without having, it's not a norm for a child to have silver teeth all around.
And that's what we think is, and at least in my community. Like, Oh, that's just like a part of life. And it's really not. And so it's like, so I want to make that a part of it. And I hope too, this is a shameless plug, through my own podcast, My Daily Report Card, which focuses on consistency and everything, every day that you do matters. Something. It really revolves on did you, were you physically active today? Did you read today? What was a success to you? What made you smile today? And so we are over 500 episodes. Started about three years ago. And and that's continuous. We just keep on going. We'll be loading up one tonight as well.
Wright: [00:25:26]: Oh, nice. We'll be back.
Announcer Ad: [00:25:28] You can help more patients pay for the dentistry they want and need in just two steps. One, tell your patients you accept the CareCredit credit card. Two, let them know that they can scan your custom link QR code to privately learn about and see if they pre qualify for CareCredit with no impact to their credit score. It's financing simplified. For practice solutions or to add CareCredit, endorsed by ADA Member Advantage, as a financing solution. Visit carecredit.com.
Get up and get moving with ClassPass. ADA members will save 15%on credit packages you can use at top studios and gyms across the country, including SoulCycle, CorePowerYoga, F45, and PureBar. There are also On Demand audio and video workouts that include strength training, cardio, stretching, meditation, and more. Visit ada.org/CP to learn more.
Ioannidou: [00:26:26] There are so many ways to give back to the community and volunteer. Like Dr. Rubin, for example, you can start something in your own community.
However, there are other ways. You can choose to go internationally and volunteer in another country and find other communities that need your skills and your talents. This is what our friends, Dr. Stephanie Ganter and Bob McNeil did recently. And they spoke about this with us in our podcast last season.
So they traveled to Poland on a humanitarian mission to bring health services to Ukrainian refugees. And, you know, really, really an amazing experience. So take a listen to their notes from the field.
Ganter: [00:27:04] Hi guys, I'm Steff and this is Bobby.
McNeil: [00:27:05] Hey there guys, we are on location. This is our last day in location in Poland.
What is this mission about? This mission is about helping others, and this is a Ukraine mission. We're here to provide dental care with a bunch of other dentists, non dentists, pre dental students, and it's through the International Medical Relief Organization. We just want to help.
Ganter: [00:27:28] When I graduated from college, going into dental school, I wanted to help people. I know it sounds cliche, but I really feel like I am finally getting a chance to help people.
McNeil: [00:27:40] I am here because I want to be, I want to be helpful. I want to serve. I'm an oral max facial surgeon. And being able to come to a different country, meet people that I've never met before and, and frankly serve people that I never knew, hear their stories.
The blessing with dentistry is that we can take someone who can't sleep. They can't eat because they are having pain in their mouth and we can fix that. We come in and we can solve a problem and that's a blessing of dentistry. That's an awesome part of dentistry.
Ganter: [00:28:11] There's no exchange of money here other than giving up my time and my services and I've never felt more one with a community than this.
There's no amount of money that you can give me to replace the feeling I get when I see a patient so grateful that I did something so simple for them, such as either put fluoride on their teeth or take out a tooth.
McNeil: [00:28:35] I think when I do mission work, I always get help more than others get helped. And I had a lot of hugs from people from various parts of Ukraine after we were able to relieve their pain.
And I know we helped them by the looks on their faces and the gifts they gave us. Chocolates, they gave us cookies, they prayed for our well being, but I received a lot from this and I think with dentistry, it's very easy to get burned out and this gave me a different look on the abilities that we have as dentists.
We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and serve other people and this just adds a different element to it.
Wright: [00:29:16] That was so spot on. I love the part in particular where they talk about how volunteering and giving of your time and just being of service to others, it pretty much renders more to you than it does oftentimes to the person on the receiving end.
What would you say about that, Dr. Rubin?
Sorrell: [00:29:31] For me, especially being a person, even going through dental school and being in those events, not even knowing if I was going to graduate, it really meant so much to just give back and to, even if I was just standing there, just handing materials, it was good to just be an inspiration and just to the little children that were there to let them know like, well, he looks like me too.
Like, and so it's, it's everything.
Ioannidou: [00:30:00] They have amazing stories. I really like the point that Steffi made about this is not transactional. This is just service to the community in need. And it's beautiful.
Wright: [00:30:11] Another great way to get involved is through national events and organizations like Give Kids a Smile.
Since 2003, Give Kids a Smile, it has provided free oral health services and education to more than 7 million underserved Children. 7 million, you guys, 7 million. That is a lot of people. And the way that this organization has provided these services is through thousands of events nationwide. Let's take a listen to Dr. Jeffrey Dalin, a founder of this event. He's going to tell us about its impact.
Dalin: [00:30:46] The whole idea is just getting access for dental care for children who have no access. At first it started as, families might call this 800 number and say we need help. We lost our insurance. We don't have access. I could call up and say how about assigning me a couple families this month and I would take care of the entire family.
Four months later we put on our very first clinic. We saw, in two days, 325 children, and we did comprehensive dentistry on every child. It was wonderful. It was fun, rewarding, and therefore, Give Kids a Smile was born right then and there. And I thought, everybody can do this around the country. And called the American Dental Association, and within a couple months, they adopted it as their national dental children's access program. And the rest is history.
We have stories all the time. We get letters. We get thank you notes. My favorite still, of all time, is it was a middle school girl. We got the letter afterwards that said she had been a big trouble child all the time in school. Got in fights with other kids, was in the principal's office all the time. Came to school disheveled, didn't look good, didn't take care of herself.
She came to one of our clinics and apparently she needed a lot of work and we ended up doing, I think, a root canal, maybe an extraction, some fillings. Starting that next Monday, two days later, three days later, she showed up like the perfect child. Put together well, never got in trouble again, studied well, did well in school. And the guidance counselor at the school wrote us and said that she was in pain constantly and nobody was addressing it. We made her pain go away and she totally became a new child.
So you just think of stories like that and you just can't help but volunteer and work and give back. So just to think that millions and millions of kids have been seen just because we came up with this idea to have this Give Kids a Smile clinic. I don't even know what to say. It's, it's just, it's unbelievable.
We have very specific skills that nobody else in the world can do. We should be able to use our skills to deliver dental care to those who have no access to dental care. So my message to everybody here, if you've worked in a Give Kids a Smile program, I want to thank you.
And if you've never done it, try it. Once you do it once you're, you're hooked. That's all I can say. You just, you know what you're doing for these kids.
Wright: [00:33:10] Yeah.
Ioannidou: [00:33:10] In 2023, there were 1265 Give Kids a Smile events across 50 states. Hey, including the District, by the way. Wow. So the District of Columbia. And, 39 of, the 55% of the U.S. dental schools participated and led Give Kids a Smile events.
Wright: [00:33:33] We're going to try to get it to 100%. How about that?
Ioannidou: [00:33:36] Yeah,
Sorrell: [00:33:36] I love that.
Wright: [00:33:37] Reach for the stars. If you land on the moon, that's okay.
Ioannidou: [00:33:41] Absolutely. So if you are interested in helping with and setting up a Give Kids a Smile event in your area, then look for the link in our show notes.
And I think it's a great opportunity together with Dr. Rubin's ideas, but this is a national opportunity. And I think it's really very important.
Sorrell: [00:34:01] I personally have so many good experiences with Give Kids a Smile at UCSF and just being from a student to a dentist in all facets. And it's just a wonderful, beautiful program. And I hope all the dental schools get involved with it too.
Wright: [00:34:16] Yes.
Announcer: [00:34:18] On the next Dental Sound Bites.
Wright: [00:34:20] Are you feeling frustrated about contracts and fees? Don't know how to break up with your provider? We're bringing in experts with tips to help you become a pro at negotiating.
Ioannidou: [00:34:33] This was a very, very nice experience to meet you, Rubin, and share the stories and your history in San Francisco. And you have to take me on a tour, by the way.
Sorrell: [00:34:45] Let's go. I'm fourth generation. I'll show you places.
Ioannidou: [00:34:48] Let's go. Show me places.
Sorrell: [00:34:50] Say less.
Wright: [00:34:51] You guys are having fun.
Sorrell: [00:34:53] I'm sorry. I know I’m going to have to take her for a second.
Wright: [00:34:59] Yes. East coast, west coast.
Ioannidou: [00:35:04] Thank you so much for making the time to be with us. You're so busy. You're doing so many incredibly important things. So this is an honor for us to have you here to share your stories and all these amazing things that you're doing in the community. That's great.
Wright: [00:35:19] Yeah. And Dr. Rubin, why don't you tell all of our listeners how they can find you, how they can find out more about you and Dental Robin Hood and all of the amazing things that you're doing with your work?
Sorrell: [00:35:30] Wow. Just the pleasure was all mine. It was really an honor. And just to know where I come from and to be on a stage with you two, it is really mind blowing and I make it easy for people. So I got a link tree. It’s smile for life. First, you're going to see it in the notes. It’s basically going to lead you to all my links. Dental Robin Hood. It's going to take you to also my personal Instagram, rs2dds. We got the My Daily Report Card podcast, we got playlists. And it's like, I remember in like, I heard a Nipsey Hussle interview, and he said that his, sometime, the music back then, in the previous generations, you could live by, you could take those lyrics and live by, and that's what I want the brand of Dental Robin Hood to be.
You can come to this brand, you can come to that link tree and even if you don't have a father, if you don't have a mother, you can live by this.
Wright: [00:36:30] So wonderful. That's beautiful. So wonderful.
Ioannidou: [00:36:33] Yeah. So if you're interested in doing volunteer work or you want more details about the stories you have heard in this episode, we will have all the resources and information linked for you in the show notes on ADA.org/podcast.
Wright: [00:36:48] And if you like this episode, share it with a friend, then be sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you are listening so you can get the latest episodes.
Ioannidou: [00:36:57] And you can also rate it, write a review or follow us on social media. And don't forget the conversation continues on the ADA member app.
Catch all the exclusive bonus content and everything you didn't hear in the show. Yes.Announcer: [00:37:13] Thank you for joining us. Dental Soundbites is an American Dental Association podcast. You can also find this show, resources, and more on the ADA member app and online at ADA.org/podcast.
The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the American Dental Association.