A straight smile can do a whole lot more than just boost your confidence. Studies have found that people with straight teeth are twice as likely to be seen as competent, intelligent, trustworthy, and healthy, which can have a huge impact on both personal and professional opportunities.
At Samra Orthodontics, Dr. Mickey Samra takes these stats seriously. For the last two years, he has been offering free orthodontic care to straighten the smiles of local children and teens who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. “It is crucial that everyone in our community has the opportunity to receive orthodontic care. Studies show that people with better oral health experience better social and occupational opportunities. We strive to ensure that these opportunities are available to all, regardless of their financial circumstances,” Dr. Mickey Samra says. “We believe that everyone deserves to smile.”
Dr. Mickey Samra grew up in Lodi and Stockton and sees orthodontics as an opportunity to help his hometown community. Since starting his practice in Stockton in 2015, his approach has been to treat people, not patients, and this philosophy naturally led to lending a helping hand to community members in need.
Over the last two years Samra has been offering these free services as needs arose, but now the process is formalized with the recent creation of the Samra Foundation. Moving forward, Samra has pledged $50,000 a year to offer these services and anticipates being able to serve 10 patients annually with this amount.
There is no set process for selecting who will receive free orthodontic care, nor are there specific qualifications for patients requesting these services. Dr. Samra invites people to reach out (by calling the office or messaging them on Instagram) so that the team can discuss the patients’ situation, dental and orthodontic needs, and determine if they’re a good fit for these free services.
“These treatments typically last about two years, but this duration varies depending on the patient’s needs,” Dr. Mickey Samra explains. “It can take longer if dental treatments like cleaning and fillings are needed prior to getting braces. We work with likeminded dentists in the local community to help get this dental work completed.” Once any dental concerns are addressed, the team at Samra Orthodontics can get to work straightening smiles and changing lives. “There are a lot of tears on the day those braces finally come off,” Dr. Mickey Samra says, “both from happy patients and happy team members.”