Many Tri-Cities businesses contribute money and services for good causes in the community, but Coquitlam General & Sedation Dentistry (CGS) goes one step further. The clinic's annual Mother's Day Dream Smile Makeover Contest selects one or two mothers in the community who could benefit from some serious dental work.
"Our dentists donate their time and expertise," says Shainaz, one of the clinics two administrative assistants. "We work in partnership with Solaris Dental Design Inc. and the Port Coquitlam Denture Clinic. The idea is to select a Mom who is uncomfortable with her smile due to dental issues, and create a smile that they're comfortable with."
The contest, now in its fourth year, runs from early March to Mother's Day. Contestants from the Tri Cities are nominated by friends or family, who share a story on why the Mom needs a smile makeover and submits a current picture of the Mom smiling.
"We try to help where it will make the most difference," Shainaz says. "We know that if you're not comfortable smiling, it can be difficult to eat, get a job, or simply enjoy life.
The idea came from the CGS clinic's owner, Dr. Shafiq Kara and his team when they were brain storming ideas on how to give back to the community.
"Dr. Kara feels that mothers give so much, especially his own, that he wanted to reach out and support other mothers in our community."
The prize is not insignificant – up to $25,000 in dentistry services to help the lucky winner wear a smile they can be proud of.
"We start with a full exam and a cleaning for sure," says Shainaz, "Then we'll take X-rays and create a treatment plan for the winner. We may not be able to do everything that we want to do; it all depends on the winner's general health, their daily habits as well as their oral health."
As of 2017, ten lucky Tri-Cities area Moms have won their dream smiles.
"We try to get the mouth into a stable and healthy place, as well as create a smile that the person is comfortable with," Shainaz explains. "Both Solaris Dental and Port Coquitlam Denture Clinic have been extremely generous in supporting Dr. Kara's initiative. And of course, our own dentist Dr Park, works pro bono for the competition. Both our partners and our dentists have donated tens of thousands of dollars since the contest began. It's a real gift you can give to a Mom you know."
The difference to the contest winners has been life changing.
"It's amazing!" says Shainaz. "Contest winners are like two different people before and after. Self-esteem is boosted, confidence is increased, and the smiles are dazzling!"
For more information on CGS or to the Mother's Day Dream Smile Makeover Contest, call 604.554.0118, email, check out their website, or drop by the clinic at 2957 Glen Drive, Coquitlam. CGS can also be found on Facebook and Twitter