Restoring smiles to people across the world has always been the mission of The Smile Foundation. The Smile Foundation began with Dr. Johnson's desire for mission work: "Mission work brought me to dentistry." Before attending UAB Dental School, Dr. Johnson participated in dental mission trips to Peru, Mexico, and Costa Rica: "Dental care is of such great need everywhere but not accessible in many countries, which is why I think that it is important to do this trip annually."
Since 2007, Dr. Johnson and his team have traveled to Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Cancun, Mexico to serve by providing dental care for a week of each summer. Every year, Dr. Johnson takes a different team including dentists, dental residents, hygienists, students, and teachers.
As each year was filled with success, Dr. Johnson hoped to register The Smile Foundation as anon-profit. After years of working and waiting, in 2013, The Smile Foundation received non-profit status and is currently aiming to expand beyond Isla Mujeres to restore more smiles across the world.
DR. LAUTEN JOHNSON, FOUNDER
Dr. Lauten Johnson is the founder of The Smile Foundation. Additionally, he has served at Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry since its very beginning in 2010. Dr. Johnson completed his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) at UAB and obtained his Alabama State Dental License in 2006. He completed his residency in pediatrics in 2008 and is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Johnson is also certified in the use of oral sedation and has privileges at Children’s Hospital and, when needed, can take a child to general anesthesia. In 2006, he won two clinical awards in excellence at UAB. First, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Pre-Doctoral Student Award which is given to the student with the greatest proficiency and interest in Pediatric Dentistry. Secondly, the Birmingham District Dental Society Award for outstanding clinical ability. Currently, Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association. He loves spending time with his 3 kids: Callie, Sanders, and Mary Carmen.