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All aboard the Smile Train!

All aboard the Smile Train!

Vandana KatyalBOSS News, Dr Katyal’s Publications, Uncategorised


Smile Train


I was touched to receive a letter this week thanking the BOSS team for its recent donation of AUD $7,000 to the charity Smile Train, whose mission it is to build a sustainable solution to cleft care around the world.

The truth is, the thanks is actually not only for BOSS, but for every dentist that has attended a BOSS course, because as part of its partnership with Smile Train, a portion of every BOSS course enrolment fee is donated to help deliver free corrective surgery for a child born with cleft lip and palate in a developing country.

All aboard the Smile Train!

The letter stated that BOSS’s recent donation will help support nearly 20 cleft repair surgeries for children globally. As a number, that’s great – but as a fact it’s actually quite incredible. When I thought about how a life can be transformed by even a slight smile improvement, it was almost overwhelming to consider the vast difference that correcting a cleft could have on these underprivileged children’s lives.

Smile Train’s ultimate goal is to give every child in the world born with a cleft the opportunity to live a full and productive life. By funding cleft repair surgeries and comprehensive cleft care, they can restore not only a child’s face, but also their fate, because, left untreated, these kids will face a lifetime of hurdles in terms of education (because of the way it affects speech), employment, and social acceptance. Smile Train can do for these children what their impoverished parents cannot.

One of the things that most impresses me about Smile Train is its policy of training local medical professionals and providing funding for equipment and financial aid, so these partners can administer free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care every day. So far, over 2,100 medical professionals around the globe have been given training and resources. This is a safe and sustainable way of providing quality cleft treatment for a fraction of what it would cost a mission group. It’s a wonderful example of ‘teach a man to fish’.

In the past 12 months, thanks to donations, Smile Train provided a free cleft surgery every five minutes. In fact, since its inception, it has given over a million children across more than 85 countries the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives by enabling them to eat, breathe and speak ‘normally’.

Through my work as an educator with BOSS and as a practicing orthodontist, my life is dedicated to helping more people to smile the smile they dream of, and supporting SmileTrain is a natural extension of this. I am proud to be able to share my knowledge with all of our BOSS course attendees, and for us to be able to help the world’s less fortunate at the same time.

I would like to thank everyone who has attended a BOSS course, and to let you know that you have personally contributed to making these kids’ lives better. Now that’s definitely something to smile about!

If you wish to make a donation, please send us a message with the amount you’d like to donate here.

What People Are Saying

  • I completed the BOSS UK Diploma in 2021 and when it became available, signed up for the AU course as well. I completed the AU course at the end of last year and can honestly say BOSS (now Digital Orthodontic College) has completely changed my approach to clear aligner treatments and increased my confidence with treatment planning immensely. The fact that the course is 100% online was a huge drawcard for me initially since I have two young children, work clinically part-time and run my own business. It allowed me the flexibility to study when I had the chance and didn’t result in any loss of clinical time. Dr V is extremely passionate about orthodontics and more importantly sharing her wisdom and that comes through in her approach to teaching. The course is extremely comprehensive (NB: the AU course has quite a few complex assessments) and covers everything starting from the basics of tooth movement, which sets a good foundation and is therefore suitable even for beginners. The monthly/bimonthly webinars allow students to share cases and is a safe space, non-judgmental and therefore an incredible learning platform. I had been doing clear aligner treatments prior to starting this course, but BOSS helped me see patients with new eyes and has overhauled my treatment planning approach. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in learning, or to extend their knowledge about, clear aligner treatments.

    Thank you so much Dr V!

    Dr Lora Banicevic, Dentist NSW
  • The Australian accredited 10905NAT Graduate Diploma of Digital Orthodontic Treatment offers comprehensive training in the field, gives the candidate the opportunity to do things in a self-paced manner, while getting a personalised 1-on-1 learning experience with Dr Vandana Katyal. It was an excellent choice for me and gave me the flexibility to get the well-designed training done in my own time frame. I would strongly recommend the course to any practitioners who is looking to upskill themselves with a no-compromise high quality course, while also having to juggle between busy practices and family schedules.

    Dr Charles Sun, Dentist WA
  • I started this course unsure of how much I would benefit. The in-person lectures were fantastic (although the course is now 100% online) where I made good friends and learned a lot. The online resources are extensive and second to none, accessible at your convenience. The webinars were great – usually with the right mix of teaching, cases demonstrated and the attendees’ cases being discussed. I was also invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacturing (from a dentist’s point of view) – which I enjoyed.
    Most of all the course gave significantly more confidence what can be done with aligners, how plan the setup efficiently with the end in mind and how to make the processes to get there smoother. As a result, a MUCH larger chunk of my work is now aligner based. My conversion rate for aligner treatments has definitely increased along with my confidence. The course has easily paid for itself. Full disclosure: I was invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacture to my BOSS batch mates, which I also thoroughly enjoyed doing. I declined any remuneration for this, although it was offered.
    Dr Shammi Moopen, Dentist VIC
  • Since I have joined the postgraduate diploma in orthodontics I have noticed all the applied practical learning/knowledge on my patients and I am only half way through the year. Dr Vandana is a genuine educator. She goes way beyond to simplify every lecture and I really like her evidence based information and that is available for us 24/7. Her webinars helped a lot for busy dentists and loved the feedback we get in the one on one sessions with our cases. It make us think every step of the way. But the best thing I like is to see she is giving back to the community and her association with Smile Train in helping children with cleft palate is just beyond words. Thank you so much for being nice and approachable.

    Dr Claudia Braybon, Dentist NSW
  • Received my Diploma in Digital Orthodontics from BOSS and couldn’t be more stoked! Huge shout out to Dr Vandana Katyal and the BOSS team for a wonderful year. I would recommend BOSS to every dentist no matter their level of experience with Orthodontics and clear aligners. Starting off with barely any orthodontic experience, I have commenced about 9 cases in the matter of months and BOSS gave me the confidence to predictably deliver results for my patients through clear aligners which are the future of modern orthodontics.
    Dr Sarang Sathe, Dentist NSW
  • I chose Boss’s clear aligner diploma because I wanted to know the latest evidence based practice to enhance my treatment planning and case execution. I now have a much better understanding of how to diagnose, what movements can be done and what will get me into trouble. The flexible nature of the course delivery also fit perfectly into full time work and my otherwise packed schedule. The monthly case presentation webinars are also great to not only get feedback from Dr Katyal, but also to validate your own thoughts self-assess and see how you are tracking with your learning.

    Dr Gregory Nguyễn, Dentist NSW

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