Restoring Smiles

by admin on March 8, 2013

This program was set up in honor of Dr. Borna Meisami, an Orthopaedic surgeon and a humanitarian who was deeply affected by the violence and atrocities against women. Borna passed away at the age of 40 in July 2007.

Three years ago on March 8, 2010 International Women’s Day a group of female dental professionals initiated this project to provide dental treatment for abused women in the GTA. Our goal is to assist those women affected by physical abuse through providing Dental Treatment in an attempt to eliminate pain, restore function and speech, and to some degree, the emotional trauma.

When a woman looks in the mirror and sees her injured face or her mutilated dentition, struggles to chew, can’t sleep, eat or speak due to jaw pain, avoids job searching due to being disfigured she is further traumatized and wounded. We hope to provide dental treatment as a concrete and real way to end her cycle and help her heal and move on in her long road to recovery.

For more information please contact Ms. Simone Taffe at:  drbmeisamifoundation@gmail.com

Women’s Day 2013

by admin on March 8, 2013

“Restore a smile, empower a woman, reclaim her life’  - this is the motto of an innovative program that provides free dental treatments to women affected by physical abuse. Operated by the Dr. Borna Meisami Commemorative Foundation, and supported by a consortium of volunteer female dentists and specialists, the goal of the foundation is to make a difference in the lives of victims of domestic abuse that are currently living in shelters. By providing dental treatment, the goal of the ‘Restoring Smiles” project is to eliminate pain, restore function and proper speech, and to some degree, alleviate the emotional trauma. For Women’s Day 2013, they pledge to support twice as many victims of abuse as in previous years.

Dr. Tina Meisami, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Etobicoke General Hospital, is the founder of this initiative and a recipient of the 2012 Etobicoke Guardian Urban Hero Award for this work. She notes that the group came together after noticing a void in services offered to abused women. “While the victims of domestic violence have access to medical support and services of various kinds, dentistry is not currently offered” says Dr. Meisami. She adds, “We wanted to do something within our own skills to help other women get out of the vicious cycle of abuse, neglect, poverty and their ramifications such as poor oral and overall health.”

Dental and facial reconstruction is often needed by the victims of physically abusive relationships but due to their circumstances it is sometimes difficult for them to afford the care they need.  In the past three years the foundation has provided $70,000 worth of advanced dental and facial reconstructive treatments to woman living in shelters in the GTA.  These treatments include full scope of dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, veneers, bleaching, cleanings, root canals, dental implants, dentures, orthodontic treatment, facial reconstructive surgery.

“Depression and anxiety issues can sometimes be solved by doing something as simple as fixing someone’s teeth,” says Maureen Fenn, a family dentist and member of the group.

Professional services are provided by the dental practices of Dr. Tina Meisami, Dr. Renu Varshney, Dr. Yasmin Mawji, Dr. Shiva Shadmand, Dr. Maureen Fenn, Dr. Julie Paris, Dr. Tunde Pal, Dr. Amelia Deliakis, Dr. Leslie Laing, Dr. Susanne Perschbacher, Dr. Josie Marciello, Ms. Anne McConvey and their teams. Administrative sevices and treatment co-ordination are provided by Ms. Simone Taffe, Ms. Mavis Hunter and Ms. Vanessa Emam. The required materials are donated by dental companies and labs including Nobel Biocare, Citagenix Canada, Dentsply Canada, 3M, Procter and Gamble, Henry Schein, Sinclair Dental, Kerr, as well as Gordana and R. J. Smith dental laboratories.  

The non-profit foundation and ‘Restoring Smiles’ project was set up in 2010 to honor the memory of Dr. Borna Meisami, an Orthopaedic surgeon and a humanitarian who was deeply affected by the violence and atrocities against women. Borna passed away at the age of 40 on July 1, 2007. The impetus for the project came from a desire to continue his work as a compassionate humane doctor with deep concerns about women’s social issues, in particular violence against women.

In 2013, the group hopes to reach out to more women and to provide more treatments to those in need.  For Women’s Day 2013, they pledge to support twice as many victims of abuse as in previous years. “We have the capacity to treat twice as many women as we did in 2012 and 2011,’ says Dr. Meisami. “But we first need to create greater awareness of the importance of dental treatments for abused women and to find ways to let those in need know about the services we provide.”  

The “Restoring Smiles’ project provides a concrete way to help victims of abuse continue on the road to recovery.

For more information please email Ms. Simone Taffe the Foundation Coordinator at:  drbmeisamifoundation@gmail.com or visit the website at:  http://www.drbmeisamifoundation.com/

 

Past Media Coverage:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/news-and-views/sarah-hampson/foundation-provides-free-dental-treatment-to-abused-women/article2328516/

http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/03/08/shelter-dental-care/