"The Humanitarian Foundation believes that children with special needs should live as fully and as independently as possible. We are passionately committed to helping to alleviate the suffering and to improve the quality of life by providing dental care for those who otherwise may go without, one smile at a time."

The Dental Program

How the Dental Program Works


The Dental Care for Children with Special Needs Program is designed for children under 18 with one or more of the following conditions:

Cerebral Palsy
Muscular Dystrophy and related neuromuscular disorders
Intellectual Disabilities, including Downs Syndrome for profound to 2 years overall delayed. Documentation from the child’s school licensed psychologist, or physician, may be required.
Dental Care for Organ Transplant recipients pre & post 

Medicaid patients are not covered by the program.  The Dental Care for Children with Special Needs Program is the secondary carrier when insurance is involved and acts as the primary carrier if no insurance is available, and covers the maximum allowable fees as determined by the Humanitarian Foundation.

How to Apply
The Dental Care for Children with Special Needs Program has representatives from local chapters of the Grottoes of North America who are known as “Drs. of Smiles.” These representatives serve as liasions with the parents, dental offices and hospitals to see that all paperwork is provided and properly completed. They also file the child’s application with the Humanitarian Foundation office for processing. The Dr. of Smiles maintains contact with the parent and dentist throughout the course of the child’s care.

To find the Dr. of Smiles closest to you, select your state from the drop down menu above.
All application forms must be completed and submitted to the local Dr. of Smiles. When no representative is available in your area or state, your case will be processed directly through the national office of the Humanitarian Foundation. Please call the office at 614-933-0711 or e-mail the Executive Director at dianna.bristle@hfgrotto.org.

Application Forms – Click on

Download Form #1 Parent or Legal Guardian must complete and submit to the local Dr. of Smiles, or directly to the Humanitarian Foundation if a Dr. of Smiles is not available

Download Form #2 The dentist must complete all items and spaces. The dental office may print off a pre-treatment evaluation, but it must be attached to a completed form. See Dental Office Procedures for more information.

Additional Instructions for Parent/Guardian and Dentist – Click on

Dental Office Procedures

Information for Parents of Children with Special Needs

We look forward to working with you to help your child maintain that beautiful smile.