Program Information

The University at Buffalo Miles for Smiles program is a bi-annual mission aimed at delivering free dental care and education to Syrian refugees.  Under the leadership of Dr. Othman Shibly, Miles for Smiles is training volunteers and teachers at refugee camps in Lebanon to perform basic education and oral health care.

Since the Syrian crisis began in 2011, Miles for Smiles has provided treatment for thousands of refugees through medical missions in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.  To further meet the growing need, Miles for Smiles has opened two full-time clinics in Turkey which provide free dental care to thousands of refugees. 

These missions are possible because of the selfless volunteers and organizations who are committed to helping those in need.  One such organization is the Alliance for the Oral Health, an organization that includes more than 30 Universities around the world who provide dental care for people living in conflict zones.

Global Miles for Smiles Who's Who

*Othman Shibly image.

Othman Shibly, DDS, MS

Founder, Program Director, Clinical Professor

Department of Periodontics and Endodontics

Dr. Othman Shibly, Founder, Program Director and Clinical Professor, Department of Periodontics and Endodontics, at the School of Dental Medicine at University at Buffalo.

Dr. Shibly’s professional education started at Damascus University in Syria, where he received his DDS degree in 1982.  He then, received his Certificate of Specialty in Periodontics in 1986.

In 1985 he received a Diploma in Sharia and in 1989, he received a Baccalaureate degree in Islamic and Arabic studies From College of Islamic Dawah at Abu Al Nur Foundation Damascus, Syria. In 1991, he received a Master Degree in Periodontology from Damascus University.  In 1995, from the University at Buffalo, Dr. Shibly received his Master of Oral Science Degree and his Doctor of Dental Science Degree in 1999, and Periodontology Certificate of specialty in 2003.  He became American Diplomate of Periodontology in 2004.

In the 16th International Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) conference at Sarajevo, Bosnia July 22- 24, 2016, Dr. Shibly was awarded: “SAMS Ibn Al nafees Outstanding achievement award” for innovation and outstanding achievements in oral care for forced immigrants (Syrian refugees).

Dr. Shibly is the consultant and supervisor of more than 16 Schools in war areas suburb of Damascus.  These Schools include more than 5000 students. In October 5, 2016, Dr. Shibly won the Shills Award in recognition of his leadership and commitment to serving the global dental needs of those in Distress. In 2017, Dr. Shibly was the recipient of The Buffalo News Outstanding Citizens of the Year for leading missions to improve the daily lives of those affected by war. In 2020 Dr. Shibly won the AAPH. Dalton Conner Humanitarian Award that will be presented in the annual national meeting for the American Academy of Periodontology in Honlulu, October 2020.

*Yousef Alawadhi image.

Yousef M. Alawadhi, DDS, MS,

Mission Leader, Clinical Instructor, Kuwait University, School of Dental Medicine; UB SDM Alum, 2012

Dr. Yousef M Alawadhi is a Consultant Pediatric Dentist at Ministry of Health, Kuwait and Clinical Instructor at Kuwait University, School of Dental Medicine. He obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from University of Pittsburgh,School of Dental Medicine, where he graduated in 2007. He pursued his Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Pediatric Dentistry and Master of Oral Science from University at Buffalo in 2012.  Following his residency, he completed a one year research fellowship in Craniofacial and Special Care dentistry at New York University Langone Medical Center, Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Dr. Alawadhi is fully board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Currently, he is a clinical assistant professor at the Kuwiat University School of Dental Medicine.  Since 2009, Dr. Alawadhi was involved and leading multiple outreach missions in the following countries Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Liberia. The main goal of these missions is to help children and special need patients in need.



Dilshad Sumar-Lakhani, DMD, FASDC

Board Member

Dr. Dilshad Sumar-Lakhani is a Pediatric Dentist and Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. She has been an active member of the Global Miles for Smiles program here at UB. Dr. Sumar-Lakhani is also the Vice-President of the Community Dental Clinic in Clearwater, Florida, and the President of the Sumar-Lakhani Foundation.

Click the link below to take a look at some of Dr. Sumar-Lahkani's work.