Dentsply Sirona, FDI World Dental Federation and Smile Train deliver the first-ever global protocols for digital cleft treatment

As part of its sustainability strategy “BEYOND: Taking action for a brighter world”, Dentsply Sirona entered a three-way partnership with Smile Train and FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) in 2022 to improve quality and access to oral health, specifically cleft care globally.

Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, in partnership with Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organisation, and FDI, the global voice of the dental profession, have announced a major milestone in the push to advance global cleft care.

FDI and Smile Train, with support from Dentsply Sirona have developed the first-ever global standard protocols for digitalised cleft treatment. These protocols are expected to improve the accuracy and efficacy of the current treatments significantly by providing dental professionals with a comprehensive digital clinical approach across all stages of care.

To create these protocols, extensive research was conducted and consensus had to be reached amongst experts in this field. The workflows outlined in the protocols contain a wealth of information to guide dental practitioners in their work and enable best practice. The protocols encompass the fields of presurgical orthopaedics, mixed dentition, permanent dentition and oral rehabilitation. Each field features a remote monitoring and oral health component.

“These protocols will help bring health and opportunity to countless children worldwide,” said Prof Ihsane Ben Yahya, president of FDI. “It took an incredible amount of research and effort to put these workflows together. Thank you to everyone involved in this landmark achievement.”

To make the mass of available information and details user friendly to apply, an interactive tool was created to display all information and help the dental professional navigate through all the different stages of care.

“The new protocols set the bar for the evolution of digital cleft care, leveraging technology that will ensure access to high-quality care for marginalised communities, and reduce the burden of care for the cleft community,” said Susannah Schaefer, president and CEO of Smile Train.

In addition, Smile Train and FDI with Dentsply Sirona’s support have developed a clinical education course that aims to provide cleft professionals worldwide with additional in-depth training on digital cleft care protocols, as well as support them as they integrate digital technologies into their treatment plans. The partnership builds on an ongoing global partnership between Dentsply Sirona and Smile Train, which funded more than 730 cleft surgeries in the first year of collaboration.

“Together with Smile Train and FDI, we are working to advance the future of cleft care and go BEYOND for children with clefts worldwide,” added Erania Brackett, chief marketing officer and head of Sustainability at Dentsply Sirona. “The launch of these new global protocols is an enormous step forward on that journey, integrating high-quality digital, more sustainable technologies and workflows into cleft care.”