We provide dental care in underserved communities by developing leaders and cultivating collaborative partnerships.

Our Story

Hope Smiles was founded by Dr. Phillip Kemp in 2005 to meet unmet dental needs and provide dental students unparalleled mentorship and experience while serving people who don’t have access to quality dental care. From the beginning, we set out to make sure that everything we do is based on empathy for people and developing deep, meaningful, long-lasting relationships through our work.

Starting in our early days, we have been in partnership with the University of Tennessee and Meharry Medical College — providing mentoring and leadership development opportunities for dental students.

In 2013, we began supporting the work that Dr. Ryan Shinska was called to. This developed into several short-term trips and eventually a long-term partnership which led to a sustainable model that we continue to build upon today.

Our mission is to restore hope and transform lives through dentistry. More importantly, through this work, we cultivate relationships, develop connections, and build communities so that people can belong to something greater than themselves.

Through our mobile outreaches, dental clinics, and leadership development programs in Uganda, we established a model where we train and develop dental professionals who provide emergent and restorative dental care that serves people who cannot access or afford high-quality dental services.

With the support of people like you, we will continue to expand our work of restoring smiles and awakening hearts.

Core Values

Lead With Compassion

We listen, empathize, and care for people.

Better Together

We produce lasting impact and change together.

Be Innovative

We pursue solutions with creativity and courage.

Build Community

We build meaningful relationships and welcome all people.

Pursue Excellence

We seek to deliver excellence in all we do.

Spirit of Adventure

We pursue new initiatives and experiences with joy.

Lasting Impact

We equip leaders and develop programs for long-term impact.


“Without Hope Smiles, I would be very sad. I used to avoid spending time with people because I didn’t want them to see my teeth. I’m a happy person, but I was afraid to smile. Now I can be myself again and smile freely! My smile brings joy to my heart. It also lets me encourage other people to care for their teeth too.”

Mary, Hope Smiles Uganda Patient

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