Making a lasting impact: Dentsply Sirona announces five-year partnership agreement with Smile Train and a US$5 million donation

Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products, has launched its partnership with Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organisation. For over 20 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for more than 1.5 million children in over 90 countries around the world. Dentsply Sirona’s commitment aims to advance the future of and access to cleft care.

Globally, one in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Clefts can have devastating effects on the quality of life of a child, both physically by compromising the ability to communicate and to eat properly and from social stigma resulting in feelings of anxiety and a lack of self-confidence. A child with a cleft requires more than just surgery. Essential cleft care includes nutrition programmes, dental and orthodontic care, speech therapy, and social and emotional support.

Smile Train’s sustainable model empowers local medical professionals to provide free cleft surgery and essential cleft care in their own communities. Hence, Dentsply Sirona is launching this partnership with Smile Train to improve oral health globally and to build a brighter, more sustainable future for children and families affected by cleft worldwide.

The company goes beyond traditional financial and equipment donations. The Dentsply Sirona and Smile Train partnership will advance the future of cleft care by:

  • Supporting global treatment standards and best practices for digitised cleft care
  • Leveraging digital technologies to make treatments more efficient and convenient for children
  • Providing high quality equipment to develop state-of-the-art centres for cleft treatment
  • Making their entire on-line catalogue of clinical education courses available to all Smile Train oral health professionals; and
  • Offering financial support for cleft surgeries

The company is focused on making sure that the benefits of Smile Train partnership have a lasting impact. Therefore, in addition to funding life-changing cleft surgeries and providing free dental equipment, the collaboration focuses on global, oral healthcare training initiatives to equip people in local communities with the skills needed to provide treatment and raise the standard of care to the highest level through clinical education and the use of cutting-edge technologies in the long term.

Additionally, the partnership includes the development of an International Smile Train Scholars programme, which will support in-person and virtual training and learning opportunities for Smile Train dental partners. A group of 16 scholars attended DS World 2021, participating in clinical education sessions and growing their professional networks.

“Our partnership with Smile Train will help children around the world gain access to cleft treatment and offer them the chance to live a happy and healthy life. By also focusing on global treatment standards and best practices, donating innovative technology, and supporting the training and development of local healthcare professionals, the partnership will have an empowering impact on communities and will provide access to the best possible cleft care, for years to come,” said Jorge Gomez, CFO and head of Dentsply Sirona’s Sustainability programme, Beyond. “Smile Train’s focus on comprehensive cleft care and community empowerment is inspiring. We are incredibly proud to partner with them to support their life-changing work.”

“We are pleased to welcome Dentsply Sirona on board as a corporate partner. This five-year partnership comes at a pivotal moment for Smile Train and will help advance the future of cleft care by supporting global treatment standards and best practices for digitalised cleft orthodontics,” said Susannah Schaefer, president and chief executive officer of Smile Train. “We are grateful for Dentsply Sirona’s generous support and look forward to working together to raise awareness about and deepen our impact around cleft.”