NASHVILLE, TENN., June 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Delta Dental of Tennessee launched its new Smile180 philanthropic initiative during their two-day Charitable Dental Clinic Sustainability Workshop held at the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville.

"Smile180 reflects the transformative power of a healthy smile to completely turn someone's life around. We know from our efforts with dental schools, children's hospitals and free and reduced cost community dental clinics that important work is being done each day to help restore smiles across our state," said Phil Wenk, D.D.S., CEO of Delta Dental. "It is essential to our core values to financially support their efforts. Smile180 will allow us to continue that critical work in communities all across Tennessee."

Delta Dental is committed to improving oral health and ultimately the overall health of all Tennesseans by supporting like-minded organizations and charities. Since 2003, Delta Dental of Tennessee has provided more than $13.1 million in community giving. In 2013, Delta Dental of Tennessee donated more than $1.18 million to more than 100 dental clinics, dental schools, charities, hospitals, and other organizations across Tennessee. This year, more than $1.2 million in gifts have been provided to help launch Smile180, including $567,500 presented to 13 dental clinics this week.

Gifts in 2014 include the following recipients.

Dental Clinics: Church Health Center, Memphis; Good Samaritan Ministry, Clarksville; Healing Hands Health Clinic, Bristol; Interfaith Dental Clinic, Nashville & Murfreesboro; United Neighborhood Health, Nashville, Interfaith Health Clinic, Knoxville, Keystone Dental Care, Johnson City; Reelfoot Rural Ministries, Inc., Obion; Remote Area Medical, Knoxville (statewide expeditions); Servolution Health Services, Speedwell; Trinity Dental Clinic, Maryville; Dodson Avenue Health Clinic, Chattanooga;12th Ave South, Nashville; Hope Smiles, Nashville.

Children's Hospitals: East Tennessee Children's Hospital, Knoxville; T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital, Chattanooga; Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis; Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at VUMC, Nashville; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis; Niswonger Children's Hospital, Johnson City.

Dental Schools: University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, Memphis; Meharry Dental School, Nashville.

Delta Dental of Tennessee combines the largest national network of dentists with a focus on the unique dental insurance needs of every individual we serve. Good oral health is essential to a healthy life and Delta Dental of Tennessee makes taking care of your smile easy with access to care, comprehensive benefits, exceptional service, and superior value. Delta Dental of Tennessee is an affiliate of Renaissance Health Service Corporation, which includes Delta Dental plans in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Ohio. For dental made simple, choose Delta Dental. Visit us at

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Paul Lindsley, 615-585-3487,