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Whiten Your Teeth, Help Fight Breast Cancer

Nearly 40 Gwinnett dentists offering teeth bleaching services for donations to Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation toward purchase of 3D breast cancer diagnostic machine.

Whiten Your Teeth, Help Fight Breast Cancer

Gwinnett dentists are offering teeth bleaching services starting Oct. 1 through the end of January to raise funds for new 3D breast imaging equipment at Gwinnett Medical Center.

The “Brighter Smiles for Brighter Futures” program was founded in 2001 by Lawrenceville dentist Dr. Bruce Carter, who was joined by Duluth dentist Dr. Slade Lail in 2002.

Dr. Tina Heil Herrington of Suwanee teamed with Dr. Carter as co-chairman of the program four years ago.

Fourteen more dentists from throughout Gwinnett County participated in 2003. Nearly 40 dentists, including five in Lilbuirn, are making the teeth bleaching offer this year.

During its first three years, the program raised more than $104,000 for Gwinnett Relay for Life, according to Dr. Carter. The Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation’s “Time Matters in the Fight Against Breast Cancer” Campaign became the beneficiary in 2004.

Brighter Smiles donations totaling $856,871 have been used in the past to purchase much needed and improved digital mammography equipment for the GMC Breast Health Center in Lawrenceville. This equipment has reduced waiting time for breast screenings and improved diagnosis, he said. Women now get their results the same day instead of waiting a week.

“We are set to pass the $1 million mark in donations, and we are only $39,000 shy of that goal,” Dr. Carter said. The campaign has a goal of raising $80,000 this year with the funds to be used toward purchase of a $210,000 Breast Tomosynthesis Machine, a new X-ray technology that makes three-dimensional images. “This will greatly improve the diagnostic ability of the physicians and will save patient lives,” he said.

Dr. Lail explained that dental patients can get their teeth bleached with a $199 donation to the foundation. There is an additional $20 fee for the bleaching kit.

Participating dentists provide their services on a volunteer basis and receive no compensation. The program is also supported by corporate sponsors and dental specialists.

The tray bleaching system can be used immediately or later. “It’s good for four hours of treatment,” Dr. Lail said, either all at once or in increments. He recommends that patients use the treatment while sleeping. “That’s what I do,” he said.

Participating dentists are located in Buford, Cumming, Duluth, Dacula, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Loganville, Norcross, Snellville, and Suwanee. For a list, click here.

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