How does the fundraising work?
Please visit the page "Patients: Apply for a Grant" to learn how you can apply for a grant through SmileRescue®. Once you've read about the qualifications, please fill out the online application to have your case considered for a grant. Send additional photos and supporting documents via email to email@example.com. Good luck!
How do you raise the funds to fix my teeth?
We create a campaign for each patient who is approved for fundraising. This includes YouTube videos, GoFundMe campaigns, online websites, social media, and other fundraising efforts to raise the funds required to fix your teeth. The source of funds can be any of the following:
- Online donators
- SmileRescue® reserve funds
- Your dentist
- Your friends and family
Do I have to pay anything?
The plan is for you not to pay anything, but that all depends on how successful your fundraiser is. If your campaign raises the requested funds in full, then there is no need for you to make any contribution whatsoever. However, if your campaign falls short of its funding goal then you may choose to make a contribution to complete the fundraiser. Occasionally, your dentist or SmileRescue® will make a final contribution to complete the fundraiser. The contributions from these sources are generally about 10 to 20% of the campaign's target goal. This means that you must still raise about 60 to 80% of the campaign's goals through online donators, family, and friends. If there is a significant shortfall, then you may have to cover this portion if you are interested in receiving treatment.
What happens if I don't meet my fundraiser's goal?
You must meet your fundraiser's goals in order to receive treatment. Here's what happens if you come close, about 10 to 20% off from your target:
- The non-profit may volunteer to pay for this portion of the treatment to close the gap. Of course, this is usually only viable if you're about 10 to 20% off from your target.
- Your dentist may be willing to make a small contribution, although this is strictly optional and up to the dentist
- You have the option of paying or financing the shortcoming by yourself
If you don't meet your fundraiser's goal, unfortunately, we will have to cancel your fundraiser campaign and you will not be receiving any treatment beyond your initial exam and X-rays.
How are the donated funds distributed?
Donations are received by the non-profit and distributed to the provider dentist once he or she meets milestones set forth in your treatment. Let's take a sample scenario where we raise $45,000 to give you all-on-four implants to replace the dentures you hate:
- $500 will be paid to your dentist upon completing a successful fundraising campaign to compensate them for the initial workup (don't forget your exam is free and this fee makes up for the initial cost they had to bear)
- An additional $4,500 will be distributed after completing the bone grafting treatment
- Another $20,000 will be paid out after placing the dental implant posts
- The final $20,000 will be paid once your treatment is complete and the final teeth are delivered
The board will determine milestones for payout throughout your treatment. The final payment is always made once the work is complete.
Can I switch my dentist?
You may not. We screen our dentists very closely to select top-notch dentists to participate in our organization. Should you deiced to terminate treatment prematurely, the remaining funds will not be released to you. The funds may or may not be released to your dentist, depending on the circumstances under which you terminated treatment. If it's determined that the remaining funds will not be released to the dentist, they will go back into a pool that contributes to future treatments. You will not be given any financial compensation under any circumstances. Also, you can not transfer these funds to another dentist and you must finish treatment with the same dentist that starts your treatment. Otherwise, you will lose access to the donated funds. If you feel there is a reason you do not want to continue treatment with your assigned dentist, you must submit a letter to the board explaining the surrounding circumstances. All exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the board of directors. The outcome will be determined by the non-profit board and you are bound by the board's final decision. If it is determined that your dentist was neglectful or malicious, we will find another dentist to complete your treatment and we will terminate the dentist that caused you harm. Again, this is a rare exception and you should make every effort possible to complete your treatment with your assigned provider within the perimeters set forth by the board.
Is there a time limit to finishing my treatment?
Yes, there is. Setting a time limit is necessary to ensure that dentists who participate in SmileRescue® are making efforts to finish complex treatments and not dragging their feet. Here are the crucial timelines you need to be aware of before getting started:
- You must begin treatment within 3 months of the day that you meet your fundraiser's goal.
- You have up to 18 months to complete your entire treatment. The only exceptions are if you must postpone treatment due to an unforeseen medical issue. This will require a letter from your physician, approval from your treating dentist, and approval from our board. Similarly, if your dentist wants to request additional time to complete your treatment, he or she must explain in a letter why your treatment is taking longer than the dedicated 18 months and the board must approve their reasoning.
- You can not reschedule your appointments more than 5 times. Your dentist's time is valuable and if you continue to reschedule your appointments you will lose access to the fundraiser. Should this happen, we will send you an official letter notifying you that your fundraiser has been terminated due to non-compliance. The funds will go back to SmileRescue® to be used for future treatments.
You will receive a full timeline once your fundraiser has met its goal. If you violate the terms of your contract, you will lose access to the charitable funds. All remaining funds will go back into a pool that helps other patients in need.
Can I use my dental insurance?
Generally speaking, no, you may not use dental insurance. Since the entire treatment is funded through the grant, neither you nor your dentist is permitted to bill any portion of the treatment to the insurance company. This is considered insurance fraud. However, you are more than welcome to use your insurance after treatment is complete to seek routine dental care or for any future treatment you require. You can also use your dental insurance in case you decide to seek treatment that is outside of the scope of what the grant has approved. For example, if the grant is paying to place crowns on all of your teeth, you can use your dental insurance to have your wisdom teeth removed. However, you can not use your dental insurance to pay for the crowns that are already being paid for by the grant. If we are made aware that you willfully billed your insurance company for work that was covered by the grant, we will terminate your fundraiser and you will be responsible for paying any utilized funds back to the non-profit. In other words, forget about your dental insurance during this process!
Who comes up with my treatment plan?
Your SmileProvider dentist will put together your initial treatment plan under the guidelines set by us. After performing your initial exam, they will submit the treatment plan to us. We will review the treatment plan to see if it offers the most ideal treatment course. If we feel that the proposed treatment is absolutely top-notch, we will approve it and you can get started right away. If however, we feel that your doctor can offer a more comprehensive treatment, we will advise them to improve the treatment plan.