Just over a year ago, Anthony Zorbaugh Executive Director of The Source, a Christian Outreach Ministry that serves the homeless and needy in Indian River County, teamed up with an ardent supporter of the organization. Dr. Thomas J. Balshi is not only a Vero Beach resident, he is a Board Certified Prosthodontist (now retired) and Founder of The Institute for Facial Esthetics in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. In conversation, Zorbaugh shared his concerns over members who have dental needs. “Many of our members have dental issues that affect their appearance and ultimately can deter them from getting a job,” Zorbaugh shared while reaching out to Dr. Balshi for his professional advice.
Recognizing the need, together, they created Dignity Smiles, a dental restoration program designed for registered members of The Source. “Those members who are fully trained by our programs, a graduate of our Culinary Program and prove they are prepared to work as a respectable and dignified individual, may be eligible to enter the dental restoration program,” said Zorbaugh.
The program allows for dental services for one client per quarter, all of which is covered through the Dignity Smiles program. To that end, with Dr. Balshi’s dental restoration knowledge, and his connection to other dental professionals in and around Indian River County, a single Dignity Smiles dental partnership has now expanded by including several more dentists as partners. As a professor and surgical Prosthodontist, Dr. Balshi works closely with each Dentist while evaluating every step along the way. Additionally, his son, a member of the American College of Prosthodontists as a leader in the digital laboratory component, Stephen Balshi, is the President of CM Prosthetics contributing his dental prosthetics to those Source members in need of his services.
The first dentist to join Dignity Smiles was Dr. Sadesh Kumar DMD, the founder of Wickham Dental Care in Melbourne, FL. His full service community-oriented dentistry, with thirty-five people on his staff, specializes in esthetics, orthodontics and implants. Dr. Kumar and his staff have successfully worked with satisfying the dental needs of two candidates; Brigitte, shown with her new smile on the cover, who after receiving a full set of removable dentures, immediately landed a full-time job in the kitchen at a local Vero Beach restaurant; and then Scott, also with removable dentures, who reunited to live with his family after a long absence.
Recently, Dr. Claudia Pryszlak, DMD, a general dentist specializing in cosmetics and esthetics and owner of Viera Smile Studio located in Viera, FL, treated Joey, a graduate of The Sources’ Culinary Program, for an abscessed tooth. He now works full-time in a Vero Beach restaurant. The 2nd candidate in Viera Smile is Steve, a member of the Palm Bay Dignity Bus staff, who had removable dentures designed and fitted. Dr. Pryszlak and her team share a passion for making a difference in the lives of those they serve. Because of this commitment to patients, each team member is a highly trained professional who pursues ongoing educational opportunities to remain on the cutting edge of dental techniques and technology.
Also new to Dignity Smiles are Prosthodontists Dr. Adam Jones DMD and his wife Dr. Giuliana Diaz Jones DDS of Premier Dental in Vero Beach. This dental team, with the advanced training and technology necessary to handle the most difficult of cases, work with patients with missing teeth in need of dental implants with modern dentures, as well as those who are simply looking for a healthy, confident smile. Michael, a member of The Source, had massive amounts of decay behind a molar removed which eliminated his pain. Once homeless, he is currently living with a roof over his head and brings in an on-going income.
Dr. Denise M. Pieczynski, D.M.D. of Vero Beach is working in tandem with her highly qualified staff offering both Comprehensive General Dentistry and Prosthodontic care while creating a comfortable surrounding for their patients to relax in as they receive excellent dental care. Amanda, a member of The Source, has received hygiene care as well as Prosthetics for her upper and lower teeth with the combined skilled care of Dr. Pieczynski.
“Dignity Smiles allows our members to smile again. It helps change their mental and physical health. Proper dentistry makes a difference in their confidence and their lives and gives them the ability to find jobs and be a part of society.” Anthony Zorbaugh, Executive Director.