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Journal of Dentistry

Dr. Sadati is a 1994 graduate of Creighton University School of Dentistry and has been in private practice in Palm Beach, Florida, for 12 years. He has taken more than 1,000 hours of continuing education, including the Florida State University advanced postgraduate esthetic continuums I, II, and III; and the patient mastery continuum at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Sadati is an Accredited member of the AACD, and a Fellow of the International Academy for Dental-Facial Esthetics and of the Academy of General Dentistry, as well as a member of many other dental organizations. He enjoys traveling, singing, playing volleyball, and spending time with his family and friends. He and his wife, Olivia, have two daughters.

The AACD Charitable Foundation’s Give Back A Smile™ (GBAS) program restores the smiles of domestic violence survivors at no cost.

We have received many success stories and thanks from GBAS volunteers and recipients. This section shares the triumphs of the GBAS program.

Susan’s Story

My name is Susan and I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

As a child I witnessed in horror as my Father regularly beat my Mother. After she fled in fear for her life when I was 10 years old, I became responsible for caring for my younger brother and sisters. I also became the one to receive my Father’s brutal beatings. With black eyes, bruises, and knocked-out teeth, I missed a lot of school. When I was 15, I ran away to another state and never went back.

At 16, I married a man who promised he would never abuse me. That turned out to be a lie. One night, he beat me so badly with a belt that my whole body was black and blue. I put my young children in the car along with the few belongings I could grab and ran away. He found us… and things got worse. After I obtained a restraining order, all the tires were shot out of my car. While I was at work, he broke into my home and terrorized my children. When I returned, he held a knife to my throat and said he was going to kill me. Next, he put a gun to my head and then put the gun in his mouth and threatened to kill himself. I promised to take him back in order to trick him out of the house. I grabbed my children and ran. We were given police protection and we never saw him again.

Several years passed before I allowed myself to fall in love. This time the man was established and successful. For a long time we had a good, happy life. I opened a business and he took care of the finances for his firm and my business. The abuse started when his mistress contacted me, after which I asked to see our financial records. When I asked for a divorce he slapped me hard enough to shatter my front teeth. I obtained a restraining order and he was escorted from our home. He promised to destroy me and he made that his goal for the following three years. I lost my home, my business, and my smile.

Then a miracle happened! My daughter saw a segment on the “Dr. Phil” show about the Give Back A Smile (GBAS) program. She downloaded the application and sent it to me. I submitted the forms, including documented proof of abuse. My other daughter added a letter stating what she witnessed as a child. I received a response that Dr. Sam Sadati, an Accredited dentist in Florida, had volunteered his services and he would decide if he would accept my case. The day he agreed to work with the Foundation to give me back my smile was one of the happiest days of my life. What a beautiful gift!

My deepest gratitude goes to GBAS and to Dr. Sadati and his superb staff. They have restored my smile and, with their kind and respectful approach, they have also restored deep within me a renewed faith that there are good and giving people in the world. Gentleness and grace do exist. And now, when they appear in my life, I can show my appreciation with a beautiful smile!

Susan was a victim of lifelong domestic violence (Fig 1). The AACD’s Give Back A Smile program referred her to me to evaluate her case and decide if I would actually provide her with the dental work. The day Susan came to my office we sat down in our guest consultation suite and talked for a while. She was excited that her case had been chosen by GBAS, although extremely nervous about whether she would pass the last step of being accepted by us for treatment. I also learned that she was very scared of dentistry. After a thorough oral examination I found the following conditions (Figs 2 & 3):

  • advanced periodontitis
  • missing multiple posterior teeth
  • collapsed alveolar bone due to teeth missing for an extended period of time
  • overclosed vertical dimension
  • failing old restorations
  • occlusal disharmony.

Susan wanted to have a beautiful smile and to get it as quickly as possible. My plan was to give her a disease-free mouth, in addition to a beautiful smile. That is why providing her with a smile that included treating only the maxillary anterior six teeth did not achieve my goal. In order to make her smile healthy she had to have a full-mouth reconstruction.

The original full-mouth treatment plan, which included implants, was not an option, as Susan wanted to have her new smile as soon as possible. Most volunteer laboratories donate their services for a limited dollar amount or limited number of teeth to GBAS patients, and pro bono full-mouth reconstruction is not part of their commitment. In this case, GBAS had to provide the financial support to the laboratory for their significant additional portion of the work that they did not donate. The treatment plan that was executed was as follows:

  • full-mouth records (including study models, facebow, photographs, incisal edge position)
  • soft tissue management, including periodontal scaling and root planing, multiple placement of Arestin microspheres (OraPharma, Inc.; Warminster, PA)
  • full-mouth diagnostic wax-up
  • extraction of #8 and #2; bone graft replacement in the extraction sites
  • endodontic treatment of #6, core buildup of #6 and #25
  • splinted porcelain-fused-tometal (PFM) retainer for ##2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14; and pontic for ##4, 8, and 12
  • single PFM for #21 and #27 with ERA attachment (Sterngold; Attleboro, MA); single IPS Empress (Ivoclar Vivadent; Amherst, NY) restoration for ##22, 23, 24, 25, and 26
  • precision attachment mandibular removable partial denture replacing ##19, 20, 28, 29, and 30.

Two weeks after the delivery of the final restorations, Susan came in for the evaluation of her new smile (Fig 4). On that day we arranged for a professional make-up artist and hair stylist to come to our office for her glamour shots. Then, after presenting her with a beautiful bouquet of exotic flowers, we sent her to an upscale professional photography studio so that she could have photographs to show her new look off to her family out of state (Fig 5).

Susan certainly was not expecting to receive all these services and she probably would have been thrilled to just have her upper anterior fixed. I would not be honest, however, if I did not admit that it was done partly for my own gratification-I felt her deep heart and soul, happiness, and laughter as a result of her new, magnificent smile!

Acknowledgment

Dr. Sadati thanks Frontier Dental Lab in El Dorado Hills, California, for their contribution of services on this case.