Domestic violence victims may get their smiles back thanks to a campaign headed by a Surbiton resident and London MEP.

Syed Kamall hopes to launch the Restoring Smiles project in the UK for the first time later this year.

The project works with dentists to provide free dental care for domestic violence victims who have had their teeth broken or knocked out by abusive partners.

Restoring Smiles was set up in Canada five years ago and aims to restore the way victims look in the hope it will rebuild their confidence and put them on the path to rebuilding their lives.

Dr Kamall said: “When I heard about this idea, it immediately made sense. For some survivors of domestic violence the scars both mentally and physically can take much longer to heal. We need to do more to help survivors.”

In partnership with domestic violence charity Believe, Dr Kamall has been in talks with a group of dentists in the UK, but has already run into complications over how the project will be funded.

Dr Kamall said: “There is a lot of enthusiasm to bring the project over here, but the way NHS and private care is offered in the UK presents us with some challenges as to how the scheme could work.

“For example, what part could be funded by the NHS and what extra funding would need to be raised for treatment the NHS will not cover. We want to make sure as many people as possible get the best treatment they can.

“There is a lot of work to do before this scheme can become reality, but I will help where I can.”

Since Restoring Smiles launched in Canada it has provided £138,000-worth of restorative treatment to nearly 50 patients, most of whom lived in women’s shelters.

The project would also ensure that UK dentists are able to provide dental care to with the support domestic violence victims need, under the motto “restore a smile, empower a woman, reclaim her life.”

Dr Tina Meisami founded the Canadian project in memory of her orthopaedic surgeon brother who was an avid women’s rights campaigner and died suddenly just months after turning 40.

She said: “As a woman, I felt as though I needed to stand up for their rights. As a human being, I felt their pain. As a surgeon, I wanted to fix their oral and facial pain.”