In areas of economic hardship across the U.S., oral healthcare is often deferred or neglected due to costs or lack of access to quality care. Dentsply Sirona and its employees are supporting TeamSmile, a non-profit organization that partners oral health professionals with professional sports teams to provide life-changing dental care to children in underserved communities.
In 2007, a Kansas City dentist named Dr. Bill Busch watched an NBC Nightly News story about a young boy who died as the result of an untreated abscessed tooth. Knowing that this tragedy could have easily been prevented, Dr. Bill Busch decided to take action in his own community by reaching out to local dentists. As a result, TeamSmile was created. Its first outreach program took place in 2007 in cooperation with the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team. Since then, TeamSmile has expanded into a national non-profit organization with events taking place in cities and states throughout the country. Dentsply Sirona first gave its support to TeamSmile in 2017 at an event in Charlotte, NC and based on this positive experience, became a national partner.
TeamSmile events are unique in that they not only include high quality dental treatment but are also educational and entertaining. Children receive a screening as well as preventive and restorative treatments as needed including extractions, crowns, cavity fillings, sealants, and prophylactic care. The children are also taught the basics of proper oral healthcare and given a toothbrush and toothpaste. Since the events are typically in partnership with a professional sports team, the players, mascots, and even cheerleaders make appearances to help put a smile on everyone’s faces with creative activities. The organization aims to make the impact of each program last well beyond the day of treatment by establishing a dental baseline for each child treated and instill the importance of oral health and wellness for a lifetime.
Earlier this year, in March, Dentsply Sirona helped sponsor the TeamSmile program in Charlotte. The Company also participated in the Charlotte Charity Golf Classic, an annual tournament that supports the TeamSmile program.
During the Charlotte TeamSmile event, more than 200 children received free dental services. Dentsply Sirona made a financial donation of $10,000 and donated five units of its ultrasonic scaling system, Nupro Freedom, including foot pedals. Dentsply Sirona employees took the opportunity to volunteer at the event spending time with the kids before and after their treatments. Carolina Panthers players and cheerleaders were there taking photos with the families and encouraging the children to care for their teeth.
On July 12th, TeamSmile held an event in Tampa, FL. Dental professionals, supported by Dentsply Sirona, successfully treated 275 children throughout the day at the Tampa Bay Rays Stadium. Dr. Terri Dolan, Chief Clinical Officer at Dentsply Sirona, and Keith Clements, Vice President of US Distribution & Customer Support at Dentsply Sirona, presented a check to John McCarthy, Executive Director of TeamSmile at the event.
“We are thrilled with the partnership with Dentsply Sirona. This partnership aligns us with the largest dental manufacturer in the world. Dentsply Sirona donates resources so that we can provide free dental care, oral health education and the experience of a lifetime through the power of sports to at-risk children throughout the country,” said John McCarthy, Executive Director of TeamSmile. “To me, this partnership shows that Dentsply Sirona really cares. They are using their resources as a force for good, and they are making a positive impact on the lives of less fortunate children. We are truly grateful.”
In addition to the monetary donation, Dentsply Sirona contributed consumables and equipment. Local sales associates volunteered at the event interacting with the children, staying with them through their dental treatments and ensuring that it was a positive and stress-free experience. The Tampa Bay Rays generously opened up the baseball field to give the kids an opportunity to play baseball with trainers from the team. Dentsply Sirona employees also accompanied the children for face painting, balloons, and dancing to the music of a DJ.
I was excited and very pleased to volunteer for the Tampa TeamSmile event in July, as it’s such a great organization and worthy cause. I enjoyed the opportunity of giving back to the community while spending time with our local team, and the experience proved to be so much more. Once there, I realized the magnitude of what we were participating in by the sheer number of local children in need of quality dental care. Most of the children were excited, some were scared, but all were so sweet and happy to be there. It was moving to understand the impact we were having on these children, and helped me recognize how we directly influence and improve patient’s lives. This experience really drove home the importance of what we do every day for Dentsply Sirona, and the need to continually do more and do better.
Natalie Benz, CEREC Consumables Representative – South Florida
TeamSmile is increasing the number of events for 2019 with 32-35 scheduled, up from 29 events in 2018. Their goal is to provide care for 6,000 children this year. Dentsply continues to expand its support for this wonderful organization.
To learn more about TeamSmile please visit: https://teamsmile.org/