As he prepares for his trip to Tanzania, we speak to Steve Booth MD, Straumann UK on how charity is an integral part of the Straumann ethos, and why Bridge2Aid are a fantastic cause to support
Can you explain the Straumann vision of ‘simply doing more’ in terms of the wider community and engagement with Bridge2Aid (B2A)?
‘Simply doing more’ has been Straumann’s strapline for several years and is very much centered on the business side of things. It focuses on how we work with our customers to help build their businesses and to support them with their patients, not just from the dentist’s perspective but also the labs.
I believe both Straumann employees and the majority of our customers are in a very fortunate position and enjoy a good standard of living. The idea of ‘simply doing more’ is about continuously finding new ways of taking this to a different level and identifying how we can help and support others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.
Straumann sponsor various charitable initiatives that provide access to dental treatment and education, how do you as a business leader evaluate the projects you get involved with?
Everything we do from a charitable perspective is with the idea of either benefitting our customers by educating and helping them, supporting their patients or by doing things directly to try and support patients through the delivery of dental care.
In some parts of Western Europe this could be centred around sponsoring dental implants for patients who can’t afford to have treatment, to helping and supporting universities and hospitals in the UK to be able to treat patients, right the way through to working with B2A in underdeveloped countries.
In the western world, Straumann is very involved in high-end dentistry and creating ‘perfect smiles’ to help people get back to a comfortable, aesthetic function. The work that B2A does is at a more basic level but it has a huge impact in the communities they work with and is certainly no less important to us as a company.
What does it mean to you to be involved with B2A and why did you select this charity from the many dental charities in the UK?
In ‘simply doing more’ we regularly support charity golf days with our customers here in the UK, but we wanted to take this further afield. Four years ago we decided on trying to find a way to raise money for charities in the UK as well as in Tanzania for B2A. This was partly because many of our customers have been out to Tanzania and told me about their experiences out there. To me it always sounded like an interesting project to get involved in.
In Africa, 90% of people don’t have access to any support to alleviate dental pain. The consequences of not removing a tooth that is causing excruciating pain is quite horrific, so when you actually see patients who have been helped or problems that can be solved by providing simple dental care it makes you look at what we do in UK dentistry in a completely different way!
In extreme cases, people have holes in their faces because of untreated, infected abscesses. If the abscess has nowhere to drain, it will drain through the mouth and infect the soft tissue of the lips and cheeks, and can leave people maimed for life, all because of a lack of dental care.
To be able to take some of what we do here, out there, seems to me like a really good thing to do and something both our customers and staff can really get behind. For me it’s about helping people who can’t get basic dental treatment. Plus we wanted to do something that built a community within Straumann.
Keep an eye out for part 2 COMING TOMORROW
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To see more about the trip visit www.bridge2aid.org
Article No. CH101
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