- Over 40% of all Americans fail to see a dentist, even once a year... this number jumps to over 70% when you look at the percentage within the poor population.
- Over 52 million school hours and over 140 million work hours are missed each year due to oral disease.
- Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease... 53% of all 6-8 year-old Americans and 84% of all 17-year-old Americans already have had tooth decay.
- 3 major reasons for lack of providers in the Medicaid system:
- inadequate funding
- broken appointments
- burdensome paperwork
Background & History
The T.L. Gilmer Dental Society is the five county western Illinois component of the American Dental Association, comprised of approximately 55 general and specialty dentists.
The Give Kids A SmileŽ name was first used by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and a group of dentists who set up a temporary full-service clinic that treated nearly 400 children over two days in February 2002. It is now coordinated by the American Dental Association.
Since then the program has grown to a national scale, resulting in the treatment of over 4.5 million children. Events take place at over 2000 locations across the nation, with over 27,000 dental team volunteers and 12,000 dentists, providing free services to underserved children. As of 2010, over $170 million in free care has been provided to the children, all accomplished without government bureaucracy or taxpayer burden.
2012- The 6th Annual Give Kids a SmileThe 6th annual event took place Friday, February 3, 2012 at the Adams Co. Health Dept. at 3rd & Vermont.
2011- The Dr. Gary Bunger Memorial GKASThe 5th annual event was held Friday, February 11, 2011 at the Adams Co. Health Dept. at 4th & Vermont. Click on the Forms and Info tab above for Project Statistics. Dr. Bunger, who passed away in the summer of 2010, was a dedicated participant with Illinois mission events. He was very active with organized dentistry statewide, and he will be missed by many, particularly here in western Illinois.
2010- The Dr. Larry Macon Memorial GKAS
The 4th Annual T.L. Gilmer Give Kids A Smile Day was held in honor of Dr. Larry Macon, of Brown County, who passed away in the fall of 2009. Dr. Macon was an
enthusiastic supporter of mission dentistry. He will be sorely missed by his many friends in western Illinois.
2009- The Wendy Fitzgerel Memorial GKAS
The 3rd Annual T.L. Gilmer Give Kids A Smile Day was held in 2009. It was dedicated to the memory of a special friend, Wendy Fitzgerel of Kansas
City. Wendy gave generously of her time in helping launch Give Kids a Smile in western Illinois in 2007. Sadly, she passed away in the fall of 2008.