Partnership with Federal Dental Organization Bolsters Special Smiles Germany

By Dr. Imke Kaschke MPH, Manager, Healthy Athletes Germany

During the Opening Ceremony of the National Summer Games in Bremen June 14, the German Dental Association (BZAEK) and Special Smiles announced a declaration of cooperation and support.

German Dental Association President Dr. Peter Engel cuts the ribbon, officially opening Healthy Athletes at the German National Summer Games.

This declaration is an act of extreme importance because the members of the BZAEK represent dental groups throughout all federal states in Germany and influence healthcare policy and political – professional interests. The declaration allows Special Smiles Germany to expand contacts across-the-board and impact public perception. For future events, Special Smiles will get volunteers from all German Federal States, be supported with free equipment and materials, and have access to potential sponsors.

In return Special Smiles Germany will offer free education in areas where screenings will take place. This continuing education will be accepted as formal professional development by dental associations across Germany.

Thanks to the relationship with BZAEK, Special Smiles was able to organize a welcome evening event during a workshop of the European Organisation for Caries Research (ORCA) at the end of June.  More than 100 experts in the field of cariology from European Dental Schools were invited to work out a new Curriculum for Dental Students in the field of cariology. Special Smiles had the chance to present its organisation to these important dental experts from all over Europe. Many of these European experts treat patients in their schools and teach students about groups with a high caries risk. Furthermore Special Smiles skills may be included in a new curriculum.

Summer Games

More than 5000 screenings in 6 disciplines were provided to athletes during the Healthy Athletes event 14-19 June. Nearly 300 clinical and non-clinical volunteers supported the event. Students from multiple German universities took part, and the Bremen Dental Association helped organize Special Smiles. They provided the technical equipment, such as dental chairs, instruments and a tooth-brushing fountain with a caries tunnel.