Dentsply Sirona supports Smile Train in setting a Guinness world record for Cleft Awareness Month

Manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies Dentsply Sirona have partnered with nonprofit organisation Smile Train since 2021 to advance the provision of safe, high quality, and expert cleft care from diagnosis through to care delivery. To date, Dentsply Sirona has helped to fund cleft surgeries for over 1,000 children.

To set the record, the campaign needs over 20,000 people all around the world to participate by submitting pictures of their smiles in an online photo album. The goal of this campaign is to set a new Guinness world record and raise awareness about the work that Smile Train and Dentsply Sirona do to help children with clefts. Dentsply Sirona invites people to support children in getting access to cleft care by sharing their smiles to get Smile Train set the record by 6 Oct 2023. The company will donate US$20,000 to Smile Train in support of additional life-changing cleft surgeries.

Erania Brackett in Columbia 

“We are proud to help the important work that Smile Train does to help children and all people with clefts around the world,” said Erania Brackett, senior vice-president of orthodontic aligner solutions and customer experience and head of sustainability at Dentsply Sirona. “I am excited to see our global community rally together for an ambitious campaign to set a Guinness world record.”

Every three minutes, a baby is born with cleft. People with cleft often have difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. This can also affect emotional and psychological wellbeing and development in children, especially when left untreated or unmanaged. Provided that access to care is available, the treatment of cleft lip or palates starts as soon as possible after the baby is born. Most children with clefts undergo a series of surgeries as they grow and develop. Depending on the severity of their cleft and other factors, a child could go through multiple surgeries as well as various types of dental treatments such as orthodontic, endodontic and implant treatment during their first 20 years.

“As an organisation that supports free cleft surgeries and cleft care, including oral health care, we are embarking on a global effort to honour all smiles by setting a world record,” said Susannah Schaefer, president and CEO of Smile Train.

Modern cleft treatment is safe, effective, and lifesaving but not everyone has access to it. Digitalisation is playing a role in increasing access to oral care. Together in partnership with Smile Train and the FDI World Dental Federation, Dentsply Sirona was said to support the development of the first global standard protocols for digitalised cleft treatment as well as a clinical education course that offers cleft professionals in-depth training on digital cleft care protocols, and support integrating digital technologies into their treatment plans. Combining technology, with infrastructure and education, these new protocols make the treatment process easier for patients, supporting cleft professionals in advancing cleft care with confidence.

Dentsply Sirona partnership with Smile Train is part of the company’s sustainability strategy, BEYOND: Taking action for a brighter world.