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All aboard the Smile Train!

Vandana KatyalBOSS News, Uncategorised



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.

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

  • Dr Katyal’s courses are always very practical, interactive and based on up-to-date evidence. I have completed other orthodontic courses and I have found the structure and organisation of BOSS to be superior. Whilst Dr Katyal is very encouraging of GP dentists doing orthodontic treatment, she ensures that we understand our scope of practice, which allows patients to have the best outcomes. Looking forward to doing more BOSS courses in the future!

    Dr Brodie Hil, Dentist VIC
  • Boss is an amazing seminar well ran by Dr Katyal and her team. The group is small and Dr Katyal caters to the needs of the group. We bring cases along to discuss and we can interrupt to ask questions.
    It’s not like other seminars where you get lectured to and they take a few questions at the end . By which time you can’t remember the question you wanted to ask .
    The many lecturers are funny , informative and a pleasure to listen to . Ohh ohh I forgot … it’s held at the Hilton hotel and the food is unbelievable!!!

    Amy Lg, Dentist, Sydney
  • Many thanks to BOSS and Dr Vandana Katyal for providing me with a great learning platform for clear aligners. With a previous background in fixed orthodontics, I have always been interested in incorporating clear aligners to give my patients all options when it comes to providing orthodontic treatment in my practice.

    After attending BOSS lectures, Dr Katyal has helped grow my confidence in using clear aligners by providing one on one mentoring on clin-checks and also going through some of her own cases that she is treating with Invisalign which has been an eye opener for myself.

    I have now got multiple cases of Invisalign undergoing and I don’t shy away in presenting clear aligners as a treatment option for patients requiring orthodontic treatment in my practice.

    Amrinder Oberoi, Dentist, Sydney
  • I have been attending BOSS Courses since early 2016, and am so pleased to have found Vandana and her team! As Orthodontics is such a vast study in itself, BOSS breaks it down into practical and easy to understand concepts, which allows you to become more aware of the orthodontic status of all your patients. I have found so much confidence in being able to deliver orthodontic treatment to my patients after attending BOSS. If you’re someone who hasn’t done any orthodontics and are looking for starter courses, this course is fantastic. It is also a great opportunity for those who have had orthodontic experience in the past (like myself) to enhance, grow and learn more!

    Dr Radhika Singh, Sydney
  • I just attended the 2018 Boss Course 1 in Melbourne. It was a comprehensive introduction into orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. I have walked away feeling confident in my knowledge and abilities. I recommend this course to beginners and those with more experience. The group was small and the course felt tailored to our individual levels of experience. Dr Katyal was so kind and approachable and generously shared her knowledge. The course was heavily scientifically based and Dr Katyal frequently referred to the literature and gave recommended pre-readings to enhance our knowledge and make the most of the session.

    Dr Rachael McDonald, Dentist, Melbourne
  • Dr Katyal shares so much of her own protocol and is extremely generous not only with her time but with the well thought out information she provides along with the course such as inventory lists, marketing material and case presentation templates. She tailors her advice to your own experience and helps with appropriate case selection, points out possible pitfalls and helps you understand how to overcome them. The course is also up-to-date using the latest technologies in orthodontics and is heavily evidence-based.

    I would recommend it to anyone wanting to start doing some orthodontic treatment or looking for a more comprehensive course to assist in some ortho they are already doing.

    Dr Becky Dudman, Melbourne

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