MiSmile founder Dr Sandeep Kumar is passionate about helping patients achieve their dream smile. After witnessing the essential support Operation Smile provides for people with cleft lip and cleft palate, Dr Kumar put his organisation’s substantial support behind the charity with an innovative initiative – sharing a donation for every Invisalign treatment performed. He shares the role corporate responsibility plays within his business.

The MiSmile Network is an umbrella organisation, comprising independent dental practices located across the UK. Their founder Dr Sandeep Kumar shares: “By 2014, I was the biggest provider of Invisalign outside London in the country”, says Dr Kumar. “I wanted to help other dentists in the UK grow their businesses too, and teamed up with Align Technology to develop MiSmile. Now we are a strong community of 350 practices across the country. The business is doing phenomenally.”

Dr Kumar outlines why he wanted to support a charity. “In 2016, my business was doing very well and my team was getting bigger and bigger. I felt a sense of responsibility to give part of what I was doing to those who needed it, as I felt I was in a very privileged position. I can’t do anything half hearted, and went to Madagascar with Operation Smile to see in person how the charity helps people with cleft conditions. What I saw blew me away. They were changing the lives of the patients, as well as the whole families. The moment of joy of the patient and parents’ faces was very touching.”

“Operation Smile is helping people to smile who wouldn’t be able to without support”, continues Dr Kumar. “I feel very connected with their work, because we’re also making people smile. The charity is at the heart of our philanthropic support.”

MiSmile started to contribute to Operation Smile in 2018, and aims to raise £1million for the charity. “Last year, we raised £70,000, with a total of £200,000 in the years we have been supporting them. We all feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves.”

If not treated, infants born with cleft conditions have nine times the risk of dying within the first year of life. They may be rejected by their families or communities. They may be unable to feed or have problems speaking due to the palatal perforation. Operation Smile provides treatment for people with cleft conditions, on medical missions or in cleft centres Operation Smile has set up and trained local medical professionals to run in developing countries around the world.

MiSmile raises money for Operation Smile in two ways: “We contribute £7 per case to the charity. £3 comes from the MiSmile community members, and £4 is donated by me and my team. As our community is getting bigger, the more we raise for Operation Smile, so it’s a real win win. Once a year we hold a conference and gala dinner, with a focus of raising money for Operation Smile through an auction and raffle.”

Dr Kumar outlines the role dentists can play in philanthropy. “As dentists, we are in a very privileged position. We work very hard and have had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to where we are, but dentistry is a very privileged and good profession. I believe you owe it to the world to share whatever you have. There are people who don’t have the same advantages we have.”

As MiSmile grows, so does the support for Operation Smile. “We are planning to launch MiSmile in UAE, and then will be announcing a collaboration with orthodontists. And every case we work on helps Operation Smile. That will never change.”

Mairéad O’Callaghan, Executive Director, Operation Smile UK commented: “Over the past seven years Operation Smile has felt the incredible support of Dr. Sandeep Kumar and the MiSmile network. Change happens when people come together, and this partnership is a shining example of that. Together, through our shared values and outlook, we have changed the lives of over a thousand patients, their families and their communities. In tough times like these that has never been more important, and we are incredibly grateful to the MiSmile network for their continued support.”

Dentists play an essential role on Operation Smile medical missions, including restoring or removing teeth with infections and decay, creating a healthy environment for treatment and giving essential preventative advice. There are a number of ways UK dentists can help support Operation Smile including fundraising, raising awareness in your practice or on social media.

Operation Smile carries out hundreds of medical missions to help people with cleft lip and cleft palate. Just £150 provides one child with cleft lip or cleft palate with a life-changing operation. For more information, visit www.operationsmile.org.uk/fundraise

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For more information about Operation Smile, contact the press office.

The Operation Smile press office is handled by Positive Communications:

Tracy Posner: Tracyposner@positivecomm.com

Emily von Speyr: emily@positivecomm.com

Georgia Posner: Georgia@positivecomm.com