Dr Hitesh Gupta, The Smile Factory (NSW)
Although he had assisted with various charitable causes in the past, it was only when Dr Hitesh Gupta volunteered with the Australian Dental Health Foundation that he was able to put his dental skill set in to use to help others. “For many years I have worked in private practice in Newcastle. After establishing my own practice, I wanted to give back to the local community. Being an active part of the local community has given me a greater sense of belonging. I’m raising my young family here and wanted to add value to the place we call home”, reflected Dr Gupta.
During their first Dental Rescue Day in 2017, Dr Gupta and his practice were able to provide 30 disadvantaged patients with pro bono treatment. The experience made a lasting impression on the Smile Factory team. Not only have they hosted many more Dental Rescue Days, but they have also continued treatment for a number of patients through the Adopt A Patient program. “ In fact, I reserve space in my books every week to treat patients through the ADHF”, added Dr Gupta.
While there have been many highlights since that first Dental Rescue Day there is one particular patient that comes to mind for Dr Gupta, “she was very conscious of her smile and felt it was holding her back in life. After 10 appointments we were able to save her teeth and restore her smile. At the end of each appointment, I could see her confidence growing. By the last appointment, we could see her self-confidence back. She is now actively seeking work and feels more motivated to be a part of the general community again.”
Overall, Dr Gupta has enjoyed helping patients referred to him by the Foundation and noted that his staff also found the experience valuable. He encouraged other dentists to consider volunteering, because “a small gesture from you can make a big impact on somebody else’s life. The ADHF makes it really easy to be able to donate your time to these worthy patients.”
The ADHF acknowledges the ongoing support of our major industry sponsor, Pacific Smiles Group; the significant support of the wider dental industry around Australia, and the ADA.
To find out more about making a difference through the ADHF’s Volunteer programs click here