The BACD explains how its charity work with Smilestar has helped disadvantaged communities and ex-Royal Marines.
The British Association of Cosmetic Dentists (BACD) commitment is to making a positive difference to the lives of many people across the world. That’s why it continues to contribute to fantastic causes helping those less fortunate to benefit from essential dental treatment. Therefore this year, the BACD is delighted to have supported the president’s charity, Smilestar.
What is Smilestar?
Dr Mitesh Badiani founded Smilestar, a volunteer-based charity in the UK, in 2010. Specifically it aims to provide free, high quality dental care to disadvantaged communities in Africa and India. Smilestar’s team members include Dr Badiani and a combination of highly skilled general healthcare professionals, dentists, dental nurses, and dental therapists.
Each year, self-funded volunteers from various dental practices in the UK devote their time and services free-of-charge to support Smilestar. Therefore, donations are crucial to covering the cost of the vital aid work the charity provides throughout the year in Africa and India. These donations go towards setting up dental clinics and delivering much needed treatment. They also help local mobile clinicians and those with life-threatening medical conditions – among other related activities.
Smilestar has already helped to improve the oral health of over 5,000 people in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and India. Gujarat, north west India has even seen the set up of a charity hospital. The hospital not only treats general patients, but also provides dental care and other services such as eye surgery.
Furthermore, Smilestar jointly operates an amazing scheme with The Royal Marines Charity. This national programme is designed to help medically discharged ex-Royal Marines in the UK benefit from a choice of free dental care in the community where they choose to settle in after retiring from active duty. The usual resettlement process for Marines introduces them to the scheme. Those interested are passed on to Smilestar for details of their nearest participating dental practice.
Over 75 practices nationwide are currently signed up to this brilliant scheme, with many BACD member dentists already offering treatment. To date, Smilestar has supported over 475 ex-Royal Marines, which provides them with free dental care for the rest of their lives.
The BACD is proud to be part of the network of health and dentalcare professionals currently supporting Smilestar’s fantastic work. The Academy would like to thank its members for their generous donations to the charity over the last year. BACD immediate past president, Dr Rahul Doshi, says: ‘I’m pleased we’re able to raise £5,000 for Smilestar, which goes towards providing medication to vulnerable people in Africa. Moreover, some of our members have volunteered to go on trips abroad next year to help disadvantaged communities, while others have provided ex-Royal Marines in the UK with free dental care.’
Together, the BACD and Smilestar have made a progressive impact on the lives of many vulnerable people. As ever, the Academy will continue supporting such worthy causes in the next year and beyond. You can find out more about Smilestar and its collaborative work with the BACD at www.smilestarcharity.co.uk. As a BACD member, you can also contact the Academy directly to discuss accompanying Smilestar on one of its upcoming trips overseas.
For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit www.bacd.com.