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Give a Shining Smile Back (GASSB) 


A smile can be the most eye-catching feature of a face. With this program, victims and survivors no longer must settle for missed, chipped, or decaying teeth. 


What is Give a Shining Smile Back?


Give a Shining Smile Back (GASSB) is a program that focuses on helping to rebuild the smiles and lives of victims and survivors who’ve suffered dental injuries from domestic or sexual violence using compassionate cosmetic dental services and support programs. The program is primarily set up to assist adults over the age of 18 with damage to their front teeth. It does not address issues affecting the jaw, bite alignment, or dental neglect. 


Are You Eligible?


If you have suffered dental injury through domestic or sexual violence, you are urged to complete an application to determine if you are eligible for assistance.


Although Shining Light in Darkness aims to assist all victims, there are limitations based on dentist availability. 


Who is Eligible? 

(Program applicants must meet all criteria)

  • Adult (18+) women and men who have received dental injuries to the smile-zone from a former intimate partner or spouse (husband, domestic partner, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend), family member, or sexual violence (sexual assault and/or rape).  

  • If hurt by an intimate partner or spouse: you need to be out of all abusive relationships for good. 

  • If hurt by a family member: you need to live in a separate home from that person for good. 

  • All applicants need to meet with a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate, case manager, counselor, faith leader, therapist, or doctor with experience in counseling survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault at least once (for proof).

  • The program does not help with dental neglect (such as cavities), gum disease, jaw injuries, or orthodontic treatment (braces, shifted teeth, and/or spaces between teeth).

  • The program does not replace or fix previous dental work done by any dentist.


In order to apply for the program, the following must be fulfilled:


  • Pay a $25.00 application fee paid by debit card, credit card, or money order only, payable to Shining Light in Darkness. Fees can be mailed to Shining Light in Darkness, PO Box 512458, Durham, NC 27717.


How Does it Work?


  • Potential applicants can request Patient Application via email at or call (919)791-5578 to receive an application for the GASSB program.

  • Email or mail the completed application to Shining Light in Darkness, PO Box 512458, Durham, NC 27717, or

  • Once we receive your application, you will be sent a letter letting you know if you initially qualify or not. By filling out an application, you are not guaranteed free dental work. 

  • We review applications first. If you initially qualify, you will be sent to a dentist who decides if you will receive care based on our guidelines. This is a volunteer program, and the dentist decides what kind of dental work fits within the guidelines. You are not accepted into the program until the dentist sees you for a consultation.

  • The program does not guarantee implants or patient-requested dental work. 

  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the dentist for an appointment.

  • Not showing up for appointments or last-minute cancellations can result in disqualification.


Programs like Give a Shining Smile Back are essential when you consider the following statistics provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victimized by some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

  • 75 percent of domestic violence affects the head/face.

  • Approximately 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. every minute, which equates to more than 10 million Americans.


To learn more about program eligibility or to see how you can contribute to the GASSB cause, email us at or contact us at (919)791-5578. You can also follow us on Facebook. 

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