Dentsply Sirona and Smile Train continue efforts to help children with clefts access life-changing care

As part of its ongoing global partnership with Smile Train to help children with clefts, Dentsply Sirona provided a new equipment donation and championed a series of fundraising activities to support communities in need access cleft care.

Following a successful first year of collaboration — with more than 730 cleft surgeries funded — Dentsply Sirona and Smile Train have continued their efforts to provide care for children with clefts through a series of fundraising activities in the second half of 2022.

Dentsply Sirona’s support of Smile Train, along with other initiatives in its BEYOND sustainability programme, has seen the company named as one of America’s 500 Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek — coming in at number 35 in the Health & Life Sciences category.

Helping cover the costs of cleft surgery

The first fundraiser was launched at DS World 2022, which took place 15-17 Sep 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendees were invited to visit the BEYOND booth to learn more about the partnership between Smile Train and Dentsply Sirona and donate in support of children with clefts. The momentum continued to World Smile Day on 7 Oct, when the general public was encouraged to make donations through a social media fundraising campaign leading up to Smile Train’s Giving Tuesday campaign on 29 Nov. For all three activities, Dentsply Sirona matched every US$1 donated (up to $200,000 in total).

Dentsply Sirona employees also participated in their own fundraiser, with the company donating $25 for every dental check-up booked between 7 Oct and 18 Nov — encouraging employees to take care of their own oral health while raising a total of $67,700.

The company strengthened these efforts with a cash donation of $160,000 which, in conjunction with the product donations made to Smile Train partner treatment centres, brought the total donations since the start of Dentsply Sirona’s partnership with Smile Train in September 2021 to over $1 million.

“We’re very pleased to have Dentsply Sirona as our partner,” said Susannah Schaefer, president & chief executive officer for Smile Train. “By combining our extensive network of care with Dentsply Sirona’s cutting-edge digital solutions, we can ensure that more people around the world have access to industry-leading cleft care.”

Bringing advanced digital solutions to partners in Brazil

To further amplify the impact of fundraising and partnership efforts made this year, Dentsply Sirona made a new dental and orthodontic equipment donation in Sep 2022 to Smile Train’s Cleft Leadership Center (CLC) at the Hospital de Reabilitação de Anomalias Craniofaciais (HRAC/Centrinho)-USP in Brazil.

The team will now have access to two additional Primescan intraoral scanners, an Axeos 2D/3D hybrid unit and two Heliodent Plus intraoral X-ray units. The digital impression and imaging equipment will make treatment more comfortable for children with clefts and speed up clinical treatment time. With a reduction in both chair time and the number of return visits, the clinic can now provide cleft care to even more patients.

The equipment donation is also expected to reduce the costs of acquiring impression and laboratory materials for the clinic and to help improve and modernise the research carried out by the hospital. More than 40 dentists on the team are transitioning to the digital workflow, with an average of 100 patients treated each day at the centre.

“We’re happy that our patients with clefts can benefit from the highest standards of procedures and protocols,” said Dr Cleide Felício de Carvalho Carrara, paediatric dentist at HRAC. “With the new equipment, our daily work is enhanced, patients’ appointments are faster, and all treatment is completed using a digital workflow.”

Partnering to advance cleft care globally

Globally, 1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Accessing essential treatment for cleft care can be challenging for many families — particularly in low-income countries. The collaboration between Dentsply Sirona and Smile Train is designed to help advance treatment standards and best-practice digital cleft care globally by ensuring that local dental professionals have access to both cutting-edge technology and high-quality clinical education and training.

“Recently, we have seen many examples of the amazing outcomes that can be achieved when our industry unites,” said Cherée Johnson, SVP, chief legal officer, and chair of the Sustainability Committee at Dentsply Sirona. “We are very proud of the way our community rallied around these fundraisers for Smile Train and were pleased to be able to support their important work with our own donations. We look forward to continuing our partnership in 2023 and helping provide even more children with the healthy smiles they deserve.”