Southern California including Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Beverly Hills, Valencia and Hollywood, California
In The Media
Giving Back a Smile
Signal Staff Writer
Soothing fountains, murals depicting scenes of nature and pleasant-smelling aromatherapy are things that a patient would not usually find in a dentist's office.
For Hollywood Dentist, Dr. Dell Ariel Goodrick, DDS, FAGD of Newhall, however, those things create a relaxing environment for his patients to receive dental work.
But having water-drip walls is just one way Goodrick gives back to patients.
For seven years, Goodrick has been a volunteer dentist for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry's Give Back a Smile program, which gives free dentistry work to survivors of domestic violence.
Goodrick, who recently finished working on his second survivor of domestic violence, said what he does goes beyond fixing broken teeth.
"It's helping to mend self-esteem," he said. "It's the best part of what I do."
Goodrick said that volunteering for the Give Back a Smile Program is a way to help others whose lives have been shattered.
Goodrick believes giving back smiles can improve people's self worth, allowing them to be comfortable with getting a job or starting a relationship.
Goodrick said the woman, who was a survivor of domestic violence, was referred to him through the Give Back a Smile program. When she arrived a couple months ago to begin treatment, Goodrick said she had lost some teeth and had some teeth broken as a result of domestic violence.
Now she has a full smile, complete with pearly-white teeth.
Although the dental work took a matter of months to complete, Goodrick said the woman was in the midst of a four-year healing process.
For survivors of domestic violence who want to receive dental work through the Give Back a Smile program, Goodrick said there is a process, that includes a visit with a counselor from the program before being connecting with a volunteer dentist in the survivor's area.
He hopes that since October is domestic awareness month, it will motivate other dentists to get involved with the Give Back a Smile program, and understand its full potential.
"There's a lot of need for this throughout the country," he said. "I encourage cosmetic dentists to use their talents for this (program)."
It's that caring attitude that Goodrick wants to bring to his practice as well.
"It's a very personalized office," he said. "We're not insurance plan people."
He said that dentists need to serve as advocates for their patients and not insurance plans.
"We create our relationship with our patient," he said. "Not with their insurance company."
Goodrick's services don't stop when the dental work is over. For the patients who have had major work done, Goodrick gives them a free portrait session, complete with a mini makeover, so that the patients can show off their new teeth.
He then hangs the portraits up along the walls of his forest-style office.
"It's for them," he said. "We applaud them for the change and investment they had in their lives."
In the rooms of his office, Goodrick has blown-up before-and-after shots of the teeth of his patients, which he said makes it easier for patients to discuss the type of work they want.
Regardless of how many years Goodrick has been a dentist, he still remembers what got him into the business to begin with.
Right after Goodrick had his braces removed as a child, he received a compliment that changed how he thought of teeth.
"The first compliment I got from a girl was on my smile," he said, adding that he was sold on dentistry since then.
For complete details about the Give Back a Smile program, visit www.givebackasmile.com or call 1-800-543-9220. For those who are interested in finding help with the Give Back a Smile program, call 1-800-773-GBAS or e-mail email@example.com.
Dell Ariel Goodrick, DDS, FAGD
By appointment, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am - 5pm
and Wednesday 8am - 2pm
Santa Clarita, CA 91321