Changing lives and spreading care
Improving and enhancing the quality of life for low-income children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas through access to oral healthcare.
The finest dental professionals are ready to take care of you and your family!
Dentists Who Care is a non-profit charitable organization that was created in 1996 to help solve the problem of poor oral health among children in the Rio Grande Valley. Their mission is to improve and enhance the quality of life for low-income families who have no dental insurance through access to oral health care. To accomplish their goal, the organization directs the volunteer efforts of over 200 dentists and their dental assistants who donate their services on board a mobile dental unit. Basic treatments include a digital panoramic x-ray and a comprehensive oral exam by the dentists. If time permits, treatments such as cleanings, restorations, sealants, fluoride treatments or extractions are also performed. If the children need additional treatments, they are issued a voucher. As part of the Charity Dental Voucher Program, this allows for the children to receive comprehensive treatments from the comfort of the dentists’ offices at no cost to their families.
To date, the organization has provided over $9.5 million dollars in charitable care to over 27,000 children (and adults). Dentists Who Care has been recognized by locally elected leaders, municipalities and county commissioners as well as by former Governor George Bush. Recognition from their professional ranks has also been received including citations from the Texas Dental Association, the American Dental Association and the ADA Health Foundation.
Board of Directors
Saam Zarrabi, D.D.S.
Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics
Miguel Castillo III, D.D.S.
Gary Schwarz, D.D.S., M.S.D.
Adam Lalonde, D.D.S.
Los Fresnos Dental Center
Dr. Armando Salazar III
Krystle Garza, D.D.S.
Grayson Sellers, D.D.S.
Board & Staff
SMILE Voucher/ Event Coordinator
Apply for Help
SMILE Voucher Program
The Charity Dental Voucher Program has proven to be very successful and has been well received. Local dentists in the Rio Grande Valley contribute approximately three $300.00 vouchers per month. The vouchers are provided to the elementary school nurses and are given to children who are eligible. They qualify if the family is considered low income and the child has no insurance, Medicaid or CHIPS benefits. In addition, the nurse will contact the Dentists Who Care staff and arrange an appointment with one of the dentists who donate the cost of treatments if a child goes to the nurse complaining of pain that in turn affect the child’s health and well being.
Mobile Dental Unit
The Mobile Dental Unit, delivered in 1999, is built on a thirty-seven foot long RV chassis and has two complete dental delivery systems, digital panoramic radiography equipment, and a computer network. Upon entry into the MDU, each child has a panoramic x-ray taken which the dentist reviews by downloading it onto the monitor at his chair before he/she begins the comprehensive oral exam. If any problems are found and, time permitting, the child may receive treatment that day. This could include but is not limited to amalgams (fillings), sealants, and extractions. Children may also have their teeth cleaned. In addition to receiving treatment for their dental problems, each child receives an oral health care incentive packet (toothbrush, sample toothpaste and floss, and dental-related information). There are instances when the dental work a child needs is too involved for the dentist to do on the MDU. If this situation should arise, the dentist will issue a Charity Dental Voucher so that the child can receive the necessary treatment at his/her office free of charge.
Dentists Who Care (DWC), Cordially invites you to join us for our 26th Annual Charity CE Dental Conference on South Padre Island October 20-21,2023 at the Isla Grand Beach Resort. Every $1 raised will contribute to our campaign to help children & adults in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV).
The fact that all the Conference proceeds go toward charitable dental care in the Rio Grande Valley is a success that Dentists Who Care can feel proud of. By banding together, Dentists Who Care can be an example to the rest of the country in how a group of focused providers can autonomously alleviate the oral health problems of a community.
To accomplish our mission Dentists Who Care holds several fundraising and community-spirited events throughout the year from our Annual Charity CE Dental Conference, Golf Tournament, and our newly 5K Run-Walk.
Volunteers of the Year
17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Our 17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament was a Great Success!
We had a fun-filled day with a total of 19 teams participate in our 3-man team event at the beautiful Tierra Santa Golf Club in Weslaco, Tx., on Friday, April 21, 2017! Thanks to all the businesses and individuals who showed their support by being a sponsor and/or donating items for our charitable event! Also, thanks to the students from the UTRGV Pre-Dental Society and the staff from Compass Bank as well as to family and friends who volunteered their time! Special thanks to Nobel Biocare for being our Platinum Crown Sponsor for four consecutive years and to the following Gold, Silver and Bronze Crown Sponsors for supporting our organization this year:
Congratulations to the following 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Teams for winning a total of $1,500 in Prize Money, which consisted of $750 (1st Place), $450 (2nd Place) and $300 (3rd Place):
Congratulations to our Contest Winners:
Closest to the Pin (#4) – NEXGRILL Gas Grill – Jack Arnold
Closest to the Pin (#8) – $100 Gift Card – Larry Quesada
Closest to the Pin (#13) – NEXGRILL Gas Grill – Jesse Villegas
Closest to the Pin (#17) – Ogio Cart Bag – Rick Luna
Thanks to our Wonderful Donors:
Dentists Who Care Golf Caps – Valley OMS (Dr. Gary Schwarz)
Beer, Cooler Bags, Michelob Ultra Golf Caps and Golf Balls – L & F Distributors
Ogio Cart Bag – Golf Headquarters
Snacks, Water & Soft Drinks – H.E.B.
Jose’s Cafecito Catered Luncheon – Sponsored by Hewitt Dental, Inc.
NEXGRILL GAS GRILLS (2) – Home Depot
Rounds of Golf with Cart – Tierra Santa, Palm View & Shary Municipal Golf Courses
$100 Gift Card – BMR Bookkeeping (Belia Rosas)
Certificates for 1st Place Team Winners & Golf Decals – Dentistry on Purpose
Autographed Copy of Bagger Vance – National Hole-In-One Association
Special thanks to our Golf Tournament Planning Committee Members: Dr. Miguel
Castillo III and Debra Valenzuela.
Enjoy our beautiful Gallery of Pictures!
Door Prize Winners
WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR PARTICIPATION AT OUR 18TH ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT IN 2018!
Dr. Adam Lalonde
After working with a free medical care clinic in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Adam Lalonde discovered the rewarding excitement of dentistry. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and earned his DDS from the University of Detroit-Mercy Dental School in Michigan.
In 2004, Dr. Lalonde married his high school sweetheart Cara, who had been his next-door neighbor since the third grade! The appeal of settling down in a warmer climate, coupled with the community and irresistible atmosphere of the Valley, convinced them to say goodbye to Midwestern winters and hello to Christmas on the beach in South Texas. Dr. Lalonde purchased his practice in 2006 and has enjoyed becoming a part of the Los Fresnos community ever since.
Dr. Lalonde enjoys building patient relationships and delivering results that will leave patients smiling. With more than a hundred hours of continuing education credits just last year, he’s continually motivated to enhance his skills. He also maintains professional memberships in the American Dental Association(ADA), the Texas Dental Association(TXDA), the Rio Grande Valley Dental Association, and the American Orthodontic Society. Dr. Lalonde also serves on the Board of Directors for Dentists Who Care and plays a big role in the leadership of the organization and its future direction.
Dr. Lalonde stays active with his three kids: Ava, Ayden, and Beckett. On any typical day, you’ll find the Lalonde family on a soccer field or at one of Ava’s play rehearsals. You may recognize the kids from their pictures displayed around the office— Dr. Lalonde enjoys showing off what he believes are the world’s cutest kids. Besides spending time with his family, Dr. Lalonde is passionate about Notre Dame Football and vows they will never again suffer through another 3-9 season. Every fall, he pilgrimages back to South Bend, IN to attend a game or two.
Dr. Miguel Castillo
A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Miguel Castillo III graduated high school from Mercedes and completed his undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas – Pan American. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Marquette University School of Dentistry.
Dr. Castillo began practicing dentistry in 1997. Dr. Castillo focuses on cosmetic, orthodontic, neuromuscular, implant dentistry, sleep dentistry, and now offers Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.
Dr. Castillo has been able to expand the services offered in this practice by continuing his dental education after graduating from dental school. He has taken coursework at the Las Vegas Institute, as well as through the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, the International Association of Orthodontics, The Mid-America Orthodontic Society, and The American Dental Implant Association. He has gone through Mastership status and is has acquired Fellowship status through The American Implant Association. He has attended sleep medicine/dental medicine mini-residencies. He has trained and received certification from Dr. Chao with Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.
Dr. Castillo and wife Aracely have three children Alyssa, Kiyana, and Miguel IV. Dr. Castillo is an avid golfer and fisherman.
Dr. Armando Salazar III
Meet Dr. Armando Salazar Skill and compassion go hand in hand when providing exceptional patient care. As a dental professional, I am committed to continually advancing myself with the latest advancements in dentistry so that I can provide the most up to date treatment options for my patients. As a doctor, I recognize that each of my patients is a unique individual who has placed a great deal of trust in me and my team. This is just one reason why I greatly value each and every patient relationship. My ultimate goal is to deliver the most comprehensive, cutting edge dentistry to all my patients. Armando Salazar III DDS Dr. Armando Salazar grew up in Kingsville, Texas, on the ranch. His love for fishing, hunting, and the outdoors has been a significant part of his life since he was a little boy. His hobbies also include spending time with family, and watching the Dallas Cowboys. He attended Texas A&M University- Kingsville where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1999. After graduating, Dr. Salazar began working as a dental lab-technician. This is where his love for creating beautiful smiles began. Practicing extreme precision with each dental case he worked on became a daily ritual for him. It wasn’t long before Dr. Salazar wanted to work directly with patients and learning more about dentistry. He went back to school … dental school this time. Dr. Salazar completed his doctoral training at the University of Texas, School of Dentistry in 2006 with honors. While in dental school, he met a girl (Dr. Phoebe Thurber) and asked to borrow some dental x-ray film. Phoebe loaned him the film and they started dating soon thereafter. They quickly fell in love and married. The x-ray film was never returned, according to Phoebe! In 2005, the Salazars moved to the Valley and established his very own practice in Port Isabel. Currently, the Salazars are proud parents of a wonderful daughter, Sophia Isabella and a new son Armando Salazar IV. Dr Salazar loves practicing and serving the Port Isabel/ South Padre area. He supports the community by donating to local charitable organizations and being a part of a variety of local organizations. Dr. Salazar attends continuing education courses each year to assure he is always providing “cutting edge” technology to his patients. His primary clinical focus is on restorative dentistry, occlusion, functional esthetics, and temporalmandibular disorders. He currently has hundreds of hours of continuing education and is a member of Seattle Study Club which is an elite, peer-based, ongoing learning symposium; it is composed of a group of local specialists and general dentists working and learning together with the common goal of providing patients with technologically advanced and first class dental care. In fact, Dr. Salazar was recently recognized by Mega Doctor News (August 2014 ) as an “Outstanding professional with the Most Advanced Technology in Laser Dentistry.”
- Member – Seattle Study Club
- Member – Dentists Who Care, charity organization.
- Member – Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society
- Member – Texas Dental Association
- Member – American Dental Association
- Member – Academy of General Dentistry
Board of Trustees- AMI Kids RGV Charity
Dr. Gary Schwartz
Gary M. Schwarz, D.D.S., M.S.D.SPECIALITY: D.D.S., M.S.DEXPERIENCE: 25+
D.D.S. – DOCTOR OF DENTAL SURGERY
M.S.D – MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DENTISTRY
DENTAL SCHOOOL – BAYLOR COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
HONORS & AWARDS:
SILVER MEDAL GRADUATE
MAGNA CUM LAUDE (2ND IN CLASS 1978)
ORAL SURGERY AWARD
ODONTOLOGICAL HONOR SOCIETY AWARD
O.K.U. HONOR SOCIETY AWARD
DELTA SIGMA DELTA AWARD OF HIGHEST ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN DENTISTRY
OPERATIVE DENTISTRY AWARD
CERTIFICATE IN ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY – BAYLOR MEDICAL CENTER 1978 TO 1983
M.S.D. – COMPLETED MASTERS THESIS WITH RESEARCH ON NASAL SEPTAL CHANGES SEEN IN RAPID PALATAL EXPANSION SURGERY 1983.
MEMBERSHIP & AFFILIATIONS
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS
AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION
TEXAS DENTAL ASSOCIATION
RIO GRANDE VALLEY DISTRICT DENTAL SOCIETY (OFFICER)
MEMBER & FELLOW AO
GRAUDATE MISCH INTERNATIONAL IMPLANT INSTITUTE WITH COMPLETION OF PROSTHETIC CONTINUUM
SOUTHWEST SOCIETY OF ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS
TEXAS SOCIETY OF ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS
MEMBER OF CRANIO-FACIAL ANOMALIES TEAM OF SPOUTH TEXAS INC.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF PLASTIC AESTHETICS AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY
FOUNDING MEMBER – DENTIST’S WHO CARE INDEIGENT CARE ORGANIZATION
MEMBER OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES – VALLEY BAPTIST HOSPITAL AND HEALTH SYSTEMS
FOUNDER-DIRECTOR SEATTLE STUDY CLUB OF SOUTH TEXAS
RECOGNITIONS & AWARDS
AGD NOMINEE TEXAS DENTIST OF THE YEAR – 2010
READERS CHOICE “ORAL SURGEON OF THE YEAR”
TEXAS MONTHLY “SUPER DENTIST OF THE YEAR”
NASAL SEPTAL CHANGES SEEN IN SURGICAL RAPID PALATAL EXPANSION – AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ORTHODONTICS – 1984
Dr. Saam Zarrabi
Dr. Zarrabi graduated from UCLA with a BS in Economics in 2005, and from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in 2008.
Involved with multiple professional dental organizations, including the CAMBRA Coalition & Crown Council, as well as membership in the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Dr. Z remains current on technology, science and methodology. His Board Seat assignment to the Pacific Dugoni Foundation Executive Committee and the Board of the National CAMBRA Coalition reflects his commitment to the field of dentistry.
With a personal commitment to improving oral health and the lives of young leaders, his charitable concerns are evidenced through his work with The LEAP Foundation and Dentists Who Care. This commitment to assist those less fortunate is encouraged throughout his professional and personal relationships.
Awards & Recognitions
2018 FW Inc. Entrepreneur of Excellence – Finalist
2018 FW Inc. Entrepreneur of Excellence – Finalist
DR. SAAM ZARRABI is a finslist in FW Inc.’s annual EOE 2018 competiton.
On the cover of Small Business Today – Houston 2017
On the cover of Small Business Today – Houston 2017
Take a look at the Small Business Today issue here.
Feature by Fort Worth Magazine
Feature by Fort Worth Magazine
DENTISTS WORTH KNOWING – 2017
LEAP – Contributor 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017…
Zappos Insights – Culture Revolutionary “Embarking on a Journey to Improve your Workplace and the World”
Professional Organizations: AAPD, AGD, AACD, TDA, TAGD, Crown Council, YPO (Young Presidents Organization), CAMBRA Coalition
Pacific Dugoni Foundation Board Member – Executive Committee (September 2015 – Present)
Board of the National CAMBRA Coalition
Dentists Who Care
BS Economics – UCLA 2005
DDS – UOP 2008
Dr. Michelle Zamora
Michelle Lea Zamora has been a steadfast figure in the banking community for 20 years holding a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Masters in Business Administration. She also hold certifications in Global Business, Project Management, Human Resource Management
and Organizational Leadership from Colorado University. Her leadership and depth of experience include: Treasury Management,
Merchant Services, Retail Management, Community Development, Commercial Lending and Commercial Business Banking Management.
She continues her distinguished career as a Commercial Relationship Manager at Vantage Bank Texas. Staying abreast of changes in the
industry in an effort to meet the needs of her customers is very important to her.
She is a self motivated and career focused but more importantly she lives life with intention. As a woman in business, she has the tenacity to breakthrough barriers with a mindset that overcomes. She believes education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world as stated by Nelson Mandela. Her commitment to the greater good is demonstrated by her passion for serving her community. Zamora has played an active role in the Rio Grande valley through service to others by leading with impact.
She has a strong desire and passion to give back to the community; Serving as a steward of the community’s trust and knows her fiduciary responsibilities. Most importantly, she committed to making a difference and the overall well-being of my community.
Board of Directors Membership includes:
Idea Public Schools RGV – Board Member
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley – Board President
Disability Chamber of Commerce RGV – Advisory Board
Rio Grande Valley Partnership – Board Member
Risk Management Association Board Member
National Society of Hispanic MBAs
Dress for Success- Board Secretary
Habitat for Humanity – Board Secretary
United Way of South Texas – Board Member
Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce – Board Member
Business Development Fund of South Texas – Trustee
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program – Rio Grande Valley Chairwoman
Mims Elementary PTO Treasurer
Mission Junior Service League Member (Treasurer)
Mission CISD- District Educational Improvement Council
Mission CISD -Student Health Education Advisory Committee
❖ Senior Vice President Commercial Lending – Third Coast Bank SSB
❖ Women of Distinction Professional Award Recipient – 2019
Award presented by RGV Hispanic Chamber.
❖ Capital One Shingle Award Recipient– 2005
Award presented by Rob Stuart for having reached 150 % of Treasury
Management goal within the 1st quarter of 2005.
❖ Vantage Bank Texas Culture Award – 2018
Award present by CEO, Sam Munafo, for excelling in the cultivation of
Live with intention
journey to find my purpose and achieve my goals
mindset that over comes
tenacity to break through barriers
the mind of someone who overcomes
-Mary Ann Radmacher
Michelle LeaZamora, MBA
Senior Vice President
Commercial Lending at Third Coast Bank SSB