Farragut dentist with Smiles for Hope provides free dental care for women, children in need
Farragut dentist Dr. Smita Borole is helping give area women and children a fresh start with a new smile.
Borole, who is with DentalWorks Turkey Creek in Farragut, is involved in Smiles for Hope, a non-profit organization that “provides free dental care for women and children in need to help them smile again with confidence.”
“We have so many tears, so many hugs, so many smiles that happen at each clinic,” Borole said. “It’s hard to put into words.
“I take my 17-year-old daughter with me to each clinic and she’s heavily involved,” she added. “She put it in better words than I could ever. She said, ‘To know that you can come back from anything, that’s powerful.’
Smiles for Hope was born out of her learning the women needed more than just emergency care; they needed rehabilitative dental work to gain the self-confidence to get a fresh start.
As such, she and other volunteers came together and formed Smiles for Hope in spring 2017.
“These [women] are injured birds, as I call them,” Borole said. “A lot come from situations of domestic abuse, and some come from the penal system and some are recovering addicts.
“They have been through a lot in life and have broken wings and they are trying to fly on their own again, and our goal is to support women who are trying to do that,” she added.
Smiles for Hope conducts its clinics at Volunteer Ministry Center, which has a fully equipped dental clinic. Center personnel allows SFH to use it once a month “so we can provide this care,” Borole said.
“Presently, we are only serving the residents of the YWCA, just because of the resources,” she added. “We are a small group of volunteers right now. I am the only dentist, and we have an assistant and a hygienist who have been helping for the last two years. We are slowly growing.
“YWCA supports us in terms of being the liaison between residents [at the YWCA] and us, but Smiles for Hope is a completely stand-alone entity.”
YWCA first approached Borole in March 2016, when she was asked to fill in and provide emergency care for YWCA residents.
Borole said she discovered “what [YWCA residents] give us back [to Smiles for Hope team] is incredible.”
She has seen a resilient faith to keep going among the recipients. She also has seen how volunteers’ commitment and time have put smiles on the women’s faces.
“We had a lady who had not seen her daughter for 25 years,” Borole related. “She was in a relationship that forced her into a drug habit. She lost her teeth but got dentures.”
Then the woman lost her dentures because her boyfriend assaulted her.
“She was walking around without teeth,” Borole said. “Twenty-five years later, she got her life together and got back in contact with her daughter.
“All she wanted was to have teeth in her mouth,” she added. “When we were able to do that, she couldn’t quit smiling.”
Borole and her family have been residents of Knox County since 1996. They moved to Farragut three years ago. She had worked with DentalWorks in Powell since 2000.
“Then we opened the office Dec. 3, 2007, in Farragut,” Borole said about one of three locations in Knox County.
To learn more about Smiles for Hope, visit its website at smilesforhopetn.com.
“We got our state charter in October, and now we’re in the process of getting our 501(c)3,” she said, adding she expects to obtain that status this month.