Dear Volunteers,

The team at Build Your Smile Dental Foundation would like to take a moment to appreciate you and all of the efforts that you have made in your volunteer activities, whether at home or abroad.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support – not only of the Foundation – but also your support of the worldwide efforts to battle COVID-19. At this time we are all doing our part – whether that means staying home or seeing patients on an emergency basis.

The Foundation has donated surplus PPE to hospitals and police stations in Toronto, Ontario. Our thoughts are with all of those who are directly and indirectly involved in fighting the virus.

Our Foundation has not stopped in our mission to provide smiles to those in need. We are currently watching and waiting to hear what global guidelines will allow but are eagerly awaiting the time when we can safely run our trips again. In the meantime, we hope that you will consider volunteering your time and efforts, when we are cleared to return to work, by providing smiles to your local communities.

We are excited to announce the expansion of the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation Domestic Programme, which provides services to those in need in our own local jurisdictions. More information will be released shortly, but we welcome your input about how you see including such a program in your practice, tailored to your community.

In the meantime, continue staying strong during this time. Remember to wash your hands and maintain your distance.

Yours in good health, Elyte

p.s. join us tomorrow morning (Tuesday, April 28) at 10:00 AM EST for a webinar presented by Mariela Gonzalez entitled ‘The New Work Environment: an HR Perspective’.

To register, please visit

p.p.s. on May 6th, 2020 we are involved in a webinar presented by the American Prosthodontic Society called ‘The New Reality in Dentistry After the Pandemic: A Global Perspective”.

Registration is free at:


Wow, what a whirlwind few months it has been for the team at Build Your Smile Dental Foundation! Let me take a few minutes of your time to fill you in on all the happenings on our end. Maybe, just maybe, you will be so inspired that you’ll want to join our team.

We started 2020 off with a bang. Our amazing team of staff and volunteers embarked on the journey of a lifetime and headed to Uganda. We completed the second Clinical Outreach trip and third International Dental Symposium. The amazing volunteers that made up our team represented all disciplines in Dentistry and beyond. They came from many corners of the world, joining from Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. It seems that our reach is beginning to grow – which will enable us to diversify our programming in the not-so-distant future. We can’t wait to share our progress with you as soon as things become finalized. Stay tuned!

Over 8 clinical days, we saw:

2034 smiles, including:

1423 children (oral hygiene, fluoride treatments, triaged for restorations and extractions)

503 extraction patients with 830 extractions performed

105 dentures completed and delivered 282 teeth replaced.

98 hygiene and restorative treatments carried out

20 implants placed, impressed, and will be delivered at next outreach, and

6 implants restorations and one natural tooth crown inserted.

Our dental symposium featured speakers from the University of Toronto, including Dean Dan Haas, Drs. Parvaneh Bahrami, Rakan Baaj, and Izchak Barzilay, and from the University of Rochester, Dr. Carlo Ercoli. We partnered with local Ugandan schools, including Makerere University, Gulu College of Health Sciences and Mulago Dental School, among others. An audience of over 150 eager dental professionals and students were in attendance and were excited to learn of the latest technologies in dentistry. We are so proud to be able to facilitate these partnerships between North American institutions of higher education, and their counterparts in Uganda to be able to one day make our services in Uganda obsolete.

The senior members of our team had the opportunity to meet with government officials in both Uganda and Ethiopia to discuss the development of new outreach and education initiatives as we continue to expand our outreach capabilities. We hope to hold exploratory sessions with both countries to see how we can best serve their communities who are severely lacking in dental care and services.Our core team then descended upon Chicago for the annual Mid-Winter and American Prosthodontic Society Meetings. There we held more meetings with delegations from Central and South America. We are excited about the opportunity to expand our work to communities within the Americas (and to be able to offer you shorter and more accessible trips to join!).

And on that note, I’d like to ask you for your help. We would love for you to join our team. Please let us know if you have any interest in volunteering locally or abroad (and please take a moment to share us with anyone who might be interested), or if you have connections with communities that could use our support and resources. Expanding our reach is a group effort, and your feedback is invaluable. And as always, we would not be able to do what we do without your financial support, so if you feel compelled to make a donation, please do so here.

…because smiles have no borders.

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

At the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation we are always finding reasons to smile, whether in Toronto or in Uganda. We are so grateful to receive stories like this one from the dental officers we have trained during our various trips. Treatment shouldn’t differ based on location – because smiles have no borders.

Meet 13-year-old Anita. She lives in Uganda with her parents, and three younger siblings. One day she was walking to school and was knocked down by a speeding motorcycle, knocking out her two front teeth. Her life has changed drastically since the accident – her academic performance has declined, and she began to be bullied in school. Her classmates began calling her ‘mapengo,’ which means ‘the one without teeth.’ Being from a poor family, Anita and her parents were unaware that this problem is entirely fixable.

Before: Anita in Uganda

Bruce is an active participant in our programming and is a dental officer in Uganda. He met Anita at a party and noticed that she refused to smile. Bruce explained to Anita and her parents that there was an easy solution to bring Anita’s smile best, and most importantly, it could be done completely for FREE! They made an appointment, and Anita received a denture. Now she can’t stop smiling.

After: Anita in Uganda

This is why we do what we do. This is why education is so important. The work that the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation does is only good and meaningful if it can continue in our absence. We are so delighted to see this case where it has done just that. It is the education aspect of our outreach trips that differentiate us from other volunteer trips. And it is this component that is changing more lives than we can reach during our week-long time on the ground in Uganda. Thank you Bruce for forever changing Anita’s life!

Contact Us

2300 Yonge Street
Suite 905 Box 2334
Toronto, Ontario, Canada



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canadian Registered Charity Number : 71007 9484R0001

© 2019 by Build Your Smile Dental Foundation Ltd.
Photography by Nathalie Crown

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