Dr. Ben Burris
Dr. Ben BurrisDr. Ben Burris, 39, of Jonesboro wants to see a winning smile on every face.
In 2008, the orthodontist founded the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation to help children who can't afford orthodontic care. Since then, more than 100 chapters in 30 states have been formed, donating more than $10 million worth of care to more than 2,000 children.
"The best part of my job is treating the kids," Burris said. He said he had seen their self-confidence improve with straighter teeth.
"We like to say we don't save lives, but we sure change them," Burris said.
The Beaufort, S.C., native bought an orthodontic practice in Jonesboro in 2004 because he saw a need there.
Since then, he has opened 15 across the state, mainly in rural areas. He said he plans to open another clinic in Searcy and Texarkana.
Burris' clinics, which have the names Braces by Burris and Central Arkansas Orthodontics Associates, have served about 7,500 patients and have about 85 employees.
Burris also started and writes for the nationwide trade publication The Progressive Orthodontist, which comes out quarterly and focuses on the business side of the practice.
Burris recently was named a finalist for the American Business Award's Executive of the Year in the Health Products & Services category. The awards ceremony will be held June 20.
"To me, it's a lot of fun to be able to give back," Burris said.