Steven Hechler, DDS, MS, of Hechler Orthodontics in Overland Park, Kan, was recently selected to be featured as the “Orthodontic Provider of the Week” by Smiles Change Lives (SCL), an international non-profit that provides access to life-changing orthodontic treatment to children from low-income families. Each week, Smiles Change Lives recognizes the work of one orthodontic provider, a team of providers, or an orthodontic practice, that goes above and beyond the call of duty to support SCL’s mission of bringing improved self esteem and healthy, happy smiles to the faces of children in need.

Hechler has been a part SCL’s network of orthodontists since 1999. Since joining the organization, He has seen about a dozen new SCL patients pro bono each year. This includes children who are generally too severe for the SCL program, and ones who drive further distances for appointments. According to Hechler, “Smiles Change Lives give us the chance to give back to our community and young people in general as some of our patients come from outside our immediate surrounding area.”

Hechler joined SCL, in part, to help children improve their self-esteem. “Studies show that the first thing you notice about a person is their smile and teeth,” states Hechler, “Hopefully, we can allow these [SCL] patients to experience a more successful and pleasing life where they are not embarrassed to interact with others because of a less than desirable smile.”

Hechler was recognized throughout the week September 15 to 21, 2014.