Join Give a Smile today!
Any full member of the Australian Society of Orthodontists may volunteer to become a Give a Smile (GAS) Orthodontist. To apply, please complete the online registration form by clicking HERE.
Upon registering to be a GAS orthodontist, ASO members agree to be bound by the terms of the GAS program and treat their Give a Smile™ patients with the same high standards of care and professionalism that are offered to full fee-paying patients. GAS orthodontists commit to starting one GAS patient each year – either from the public dental health waiting list or self-screened.
How GAS works
Patients identified as being suitable GAS patients are selected from orthodontic waiting lists in the public dental health departments of all Australian states and territories (Screening). This is done by dental personnel (Screeners) in the health department.
The patient’s details are then sent to the GAS Liaison Officer in that state/territory who allocates that patient to a GAS orthodontist (Allocation). The GAS Liaison Officer keeps a record of allocations to GAS orthodontists and ensures, as far as possible, that each GAS orthodontist is allocated one GAS patient per year.
In states/territories where there are no public orthodontic waiting lists (NT, ACT, Tasmania) selection and allocation may be done in a different way – a way that better suits that state or territory. One method is self-screening. Self-Screening is where a GAS orthodontist elects to take on an in-need patient from their own community rather than by being allocated a patient from the public dental health system.
In instances where a GAS orthodontist wishes to have more control over the selection of their “no-fee” patient, self-screening has also proved to be useful.
Certain criteria must be met for self-screening to be used. Self-screening guidelines along with other relevant self-screening documents are available in GAS resources. The percentage of self-selected patients is still relatively low, and this is desirable as we would still like most GAS patients to come from the public system. For obvious reasons, self-screening is not advertised to the public.
Patient protection, allocation and screening
Patients who are offered treatment through the Give a Smile™ program have no obligation to accept the offer and they can, without any disadvantage, choose to remain on the public list. Patients who are treated through the Give a Smile™ program will have the same protection in law as all patients at the practice in which their treatment is provided.
Allocation of patients will be largely based on geographic matching of participating orthodontists and ‘in need’ patients in the area. This scheme allows for patients from distant areas to be treated closer to their home than might be otherwise possible.
Screeners have the option of using a Treatment Priority Index, for example, the Index of Treatment Need (IOTN) as the selection criteria for patients offered access to the Give a Smile™ program. However, the overarching consideration must be the extent of financial hardship in any given case. In the screening for potential recipients of Give a Smile™ orthodontic treatment, Screeners seek those who are in genuine need and use discretion, understanding, awareness and sensitivity in their dealings and decisions.
All GAS forms and resources are available in GAS Resources - please log in with your ASO members details to access these documents. All GAS orthodontists should read "Give a Smile - an overview for ASO members".