College of Dental Medicine Partners with SMILE Health

The College of Dental Medicine (CDM) is partnering with SMILE Health, a program that identifies and accelerates oral health startup companies championing new solutions to solve oral health inequities. CDM is currently the only academic dental center to join the SMILE Health initiative, which is led by CareQuest Innovation Partners, with MATTER, a health care incubator, and other industry partners. 

SMILE Health received more than 100 applications from startup companies spanning 11 countries and 28 US states.  Ten applicants with the most promising early-stage solutions for simple, minimally invasive, integrated, low-barrier and equitable oral health care were invited to interview and, based on those interviews,  five startup companies were selected to participate in the program.

CDM has been working with CareQuest Innovation Partners on a range of collaborative innovation projects, and as a part of this connection has joined the project as an Impact Partner. As an Impact Partner, CDM will be among top industry organizations and leaders to provide insight and expert advice on the solutions and business models of the chosen startup companies. Other industry partners include Cigna, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Delta Dental of Washington, DentaQuest, Proctor & Gamble/Crest Oral-B, and Revere Partners.

Dr. Biana Roykh, an associate professor and senior associate dean for clinical affairs at CDM, has been invited to join the SMILE Health team as a faculty member. She will be hosting weekly office hours for start-up participants as well as support panel discussions and design thinking approaches.

CDM faculty clinicians will also participate in a twelve-week process of testing and analyzing the products and business models of the chosen startups for efficacy and contributions to health equity. 

SMILE Health’s mission is to provide accessible, equitable, and integrated oral health, a mission that aligns with that of CDM, says Joseph Harney, CDM vice dean for finance and administration.

“Part of our commitment at the College of Dental Medicine is trying to improve access and health care equity,” Harney says. “We are very excited to be a partner with others to advance these goals in the oral health care space.”

Read more on the SMILE Health website.