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We believe a smile can change a life.

Our Mission

Restoring smiles and confidence for our underserved neighbors while advancing the clinical skills of dental professionals.

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Donate a smile

Donate A Smile

Your gift enables us to make our mission a reality in the community. Your support of Local Start Dental will make an especially big impact now, in our first year, as we work to complete the clinic upfit, pay for startup expenses, and fund our initial year of rent. We can’t open the doors and start serving patients without you! Right now, donors can participate in our Giving Campaign and be recognized on our Founding Donors Wall. Your generosity will ensure that we are ready to offer free and discounted care for patients who need it most right from the start.

Life-changing Oral Care and Learning

Our Vision

To be a state-of-the-art dental treatment and training center focused on high-quality tooth replacement services for veterans, the elderly, and low-income adults throughout the Triangle and, eventually, across North Carolina.


The Need for Local Start Dental

How Local Start Dental Works

To achieve our vision, we will:

Care for patients at low or no cost through a closely supervised, innovative earning practicum for dental students and advanced training for experienced dentists in North Carolina and around the country.

Collaborate with area nonprofit, health, and government agencies to identify residents with serious oral health needs that cannot be met through existing organizations.

Ensure financial sustainability through a unique, integrated annual funding model that supports operating costs through a combination of continuing education tuition, discounted patient fees Medicaid and VA payments, volunteer services and philanthropy.

Develop an innovative model that can serve other communities.

We are proud to partner with:

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Latest News

Join Us for a Hard Hat Tour

Join Us for a Hard Hat Tour

You're invited! Join Karla-Marie Santiago, Local Start Executive Director, and the rest of the team for a hard hat tour on August 3 and 4. This is your opportunity to see the clinic before we open our doors to patients. Space is limited to five individuals per tour,...

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We’re All Smiles for this Feature in Durham Magazine

We’re All Smiles for this Feature in Durham Magazine

Thanks for sharing our story, Durham Magazine! We're all smiles for a feature in the May issue. To learn more about how we're on track to restore smiles and confidence for our underserved neighbors while advancing the clinical skills of dental professionals, please...

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We have raised $1.7 million of our $2.1 million goal. All gifts are tax-deductible, and multi-year gifts are welcome. A Founders Wall and Plaque on permanent display in our lobby will recognize major start-up campaign gifts: Founders Wall Platinum: $250,000+ Gold:...

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