Bulletin of Dental Education

UMKC SOD Celebrates 10 Years of Teamwork With TeamSmile

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Team Smile event with Kansas City Royals

In 2007, the Kansas City Chiefs football team hosted the first TeamSmile, a one-day outreach event where volunteer dental professionals provided dental care at Arrowhead Stadium. More than 100 children were screened, treated and educated on the importance of oral health. University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Dentistry (UMKC SOD) student and faculty volunteers were there to lend a hand, and they are still helping 10 years later. Today, TeamSmile's outreach and UMKC SOD's participation have expanded to include events with the Kansas City Royals baseball team and Sporting Kansas City soccer team.

Michael McCunniff, D.D.S., M.S., Director of Outreach at UMKC SOD, recalls, "In preparation for the inaugural event in 2007, Dr. Bill Bush, a TeamSmile cofounder, contacted me to see if the school of dentistry had any portable dental equipment that he could borrow. Not only did we provide them with equipment, we also supplied student and faculty volunteers. "

TeamSmile event with Kansas City Chiefs

"TeamSmile continues to provide a unique opportunity for our students and faculty to give back to the community by delivering care to children who otherwise might not have access to dental education and care," Dr. Cundiff continues. "Just as important, our dental students experience firsthand how to personally and organizationally think outside the box in order to meet the dental needs of vulnerable populations. At each event, I challenge every student to come up with their own ideas on how to give back to their community and make a difference once they are in practice. "

TeamSmile event with Sporting Kansas City

Since its inception, TeamSmile has evolved from an event-driven concept to a formal nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of professional sports teams to draw at-risk children to their first contact with dental care. TeamSmile now partners with 20 professional sports teams from coast to coast.

Courtesy of Patrick Puntenney, Publications Editor, UMKC SOD, and Photographs by Jim Thomas

Published on March 14, 2018

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