NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In celebration of 50 years of service providing quality dental benefits, the sixty-one employees of Delta Dental of Tennessee are "Paying it Forward" directing $50,000 in Smile180 grants to selected organizations across the state. The organizations chosen by popular vote include:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Nashville Rescue Mission, Wounded Warrior Project, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, American Cancer Society, Books from Birth, Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee, Operation Stand Down, Susan G. Komen, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hope Smiles Dental Clinic (Nashville), Interfaith Dental Clinic (Nashville), American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, East Tennessee Children's Hospital (Knoxville), Interfaith Health Clinic (Knoxville), Le Bonheur Children's Hospital (Memphis), Monroe Harding (Nashville), Youth Villages (Memphis & Nashville), and Second Harvest of East Tennessee (Knoxville)

"We have seen the direct results of Smile 180 firsthand across our state. We feel it is important that our employees have the same experience of giving to those most in need and restoring smiles," said Phil Wenk, D.D.S., CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee. "What better way to celebrate our 50 years of service than to provide gifts during the holiday season from our Delta Dental of Tennessee family."

Delta Dental of Tennessee's mission is to support efforts that improve the overall health and wellbeing of those in the community by improving oral health in Tennessee. Smile180, the philanthropic initiative launched by Delta Dental of Tennessee this year, reflects the transformative power of a healthy smile to turn someone's life around.

In November 2014, Delta Dental of Tennessee was named the #1 Middle Tennessee company for largest monetary donations per employee by the Nashville Business Journal at their annual Corporate Giving Awards ceremony.

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

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Paul Lindsley,, 615-585-3487Source: Delta Dental ofTennessee