Leonard Cure received donated dentistry from Smile Generation-trusted dental office
SUNRISE, FL – Smile Generation®-trusted dental practice, West Sunrise Dentistry, provided donated dentistry to a man who was wrongfully incarcerated for more than 16 years. Over the course of multiple appointments in February 2021, Owner Dentist Dr. Joshua Golden, DDS, and his team at West Sunrise Dentistry provided comprehensive oral health care to Leonard Cure who spent over a decade behind bars for a crime he did not commit. The Smile Generation, a referral service that connects patients with trusted dentists to get the oral health care they need, has partnered with After Innocence to reach underserved patients in need of comprehensive oral health care.
Mr. Cure, who served more than 16 years in prison for an armed robbery, was officially exonerated on December 4, 2020 after a judge signed an agreed order vacating his conviction and life sentence. Mr. Cure, now 51, was imprisoned in Florida based on a flawed prosecution largely based on eyewitness misidentification, official misconduct, and ineffective assistance of counsel, according to recent court records. Innocence Project of Florida attorneys collaborated with investigators in the 17th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, based in Broward County, to find the evidence that set Cure free.
“After learning about Mr. Cure’s story, I knew I could help him get the dental care he needed,” said Dr. Golden. “Everyone deserves to have a healthy smile, no matter their circumstances. I’m more than happy to help Mr. Cure.”
Many of those in prison have serious dental problems arising from years of inadequate care while incarcerated, as well as a general lack of good, affordable care since being released. Dr. Golden and his team provided Mr. Cure with the care he needs.
“Exonerees already have a difficult time finding the care they need and with the current pandemic gripping the nation, the ability to fulfill basic health care needs is becoming more of a challenge,” said Jon Eldan, Director and Founder of After Innocence, a non-profit organization that serves more than 800 exonerees nationwide. “Welcoming our exoneree clients into Smile Generation-trusted offices for pro bono services helps these deserving individuals take an important step in rebuilding their lives after wrongful convictions. To date, the partnership has provided exonerees over $557,000 in donated dentistry across 21 states.”
Smile Generation-trusted dental practices have always taken precautions to ensure patient safety. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, additional safety measures have been adopted to protect patients from the virus. In fact, dentists throughout the country have treated over half a million dental emergencies with no reports of COVID-19 infection traced to a dental practice, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an effort to build public confidence about the safety of dental practices, Smile Generation-trusted clinicians and dentists across the country launched a new grassroots campaign, #DentalSAFETY.
Smile Generation-trusted dentists are focused on providing oral health care to their patients to keep them healthier and happier. This includes educating them about the link between oral health and whole-body health – what PDS and its supported practices call the Mouth-Body Connection®. Research shows that harmful bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can indicate and even cause systemic conditions throughout the body. Maladies of the mouth, including periodontal disease, may be linked with other medical conditions including oral cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.