Utah dentists brighten the smiles of Indian children

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Three Salt Lake City dentists traveled across the globe this week to provide dental care to nearly 200 Indian children.

Dr. Scott Mcgavin is one of the three dentists participating in the Rising Star Outreach program, started by a Utahn to help children around the world. The trio will provide dental work to children living in leprosy colonies around India. The children don't have leprosy, but their parents do.

"We're going to go back and continue what we started a couple of years ago and do some dental work for some kids who otherwise wouldn't get dental work," said Mcgavin. "Even though they don't have leprosy, they're treated as if they do. Their opportunities in life are virtually non-existent."

Rather than extract teeth, the dentists will be fixing the kids' smiles.

"She didn't want us over there extracting teeth; she didn't want us to put anymore burns on them then they already had," said Mcgavin.

The dentists hope to expand the program and get a new generation of dentists involved and expose them to the other side of dentistry.

"You don't have to worry about who's paying the bill, you don't have to worry about what insurance they have. There's no collection issue. They're just people who are grateful you're there and it's just fun to help them for the fun of helping," said Mcgavin.

This is Mcgavin's second visit in three years. He plans on visiting again in the near future and possibly opening a clinic.

American Idol runner-up and Utah-native David Archuleta has teamed up with the Rising Star Outreach program to raise money for dental equipment.

For more information on the Rising Star Outreach program, visit www.risingstaroutreach.org.

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