Dr. Vidhyalakshmi Sampath has been serving patients at Bright Now! Dental for over 11 years. During this time, she has helped many patients improve their oral health and even detected a cancerous lump in a patient’s mouth, which ultimately saved the patient’s life. Dr. Sampath is an enthusiastic volunteer for Smiles for Everyone Foundation and has given her time and skills to help people in need throughout her community.
- What first got you interested in providing free dental care to your community? The credit for this goes to my parents. They have always instilled in me the spirit of paying it forward. I consider myself very blessed, to be in the profession that I am and for the life that I get to lead every day. Giving back is about remembering how many people helped us get where we are and to acknowledge our own blessings. I consider it a form of repayment of blessings. I am grateful to work in an esteemed organization with a visionary leader who considers paying it forward a very big deal. If I can use my skills to help fellow humans, to feel healthier and to be able to smile, I consider it the greatest blessing.
- Describe how you’ve partnered with the Smiles for Everyone Foundation. We had a “Day of Giving” event in 2012 at our Tower office in CO and one again in 2018 at our Lakewood office. We have also received support from the Foundation to help a patient get her much needed dental work.
- How does it feel to work for a company that shares your values about giving back? Very grateful. Not everyone gets an opportunity to work for a company with a leader like Steve Bilt, who has such values. Whether I shop on Amazon Smile or utilize my skills to restore a smile, I feel incredibly supported by Smile Brands.
- What are some of the risks associated with neglecting dental care? Dental care is affordable. Dental neglect, on the other hand, becomes expensive. It is not just expensive for the wallet but also takes a toll on the human body. There are so many factors that go into keeping our body healthy, and it all starts with the oral cavity. The mouth is the gateway to the body. Starting with how periodontal disease has a connection with other diseases in the body, to how malaligned teeth can affect headaches, periodontal disease, TMJ problems etc, and, right down to early detection of oral cancer, a neglected mouth can wreak havoc on the entire body, sometimes stealthily and silently. Having restored many smiles, I have also seen what a neglected mouth can do to one’s self esteem, and how rejuvenating it can be to one’s self esteem to get the smile back.
- What advice do you have for the 40% of adults who put off going to the dentist each year? It is important to have regular dental checkups. Our lives get so busy that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Regular checkups become reminders of what we need to do to keep up with daily care. A prime example is periodontal disease. This disease is very akin to Diabetes. It is either under control or active. So, the checkups will determine if the disease is still under control or not, and, the hygienist can help keep the bacterial content down by professional cleaning. If neglected, periodontal disease ultimately leads to tooth loss. Active periodontal disease maybe a sign of something else wrong with our bodies, like heart disease, higher risk for stroke or pancreatic cancer or even uncontrolled diabetes. Taking care of our dental and oral health is extremely important, to keep our bodies healthy in the long run.
We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Vidhya Sampath for her dedication to helping others and delivering smiles for those in need!