The Donated Dental Services (DDS) program provides free, comprehensive dental treatment to our country’s most vulnerable people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile. These are people who cannot afford necessary treatment and cannot get public aid. The program operates through a volunteer network of more than 15,000 dentists and 3,500 dental labs across the United States. Since its inception in 1985, our DDS program has surpassed $330 million in donated dental therapies, transforming the lives of 117,000 people.
DDS operates a program in each state. Please click here to find qualification guidelines and an application for the state where you reside.
Volunteering is easy. As a dentist, you review patient cases in advance, choose to see or decline any patient, and determine your own treatment plan. You see patients in your own office, never pay lab costs, and the program requires no extra paperwork from your staff. You treat the patient. DDS does everything else.
As a lab, you donate the appliances our patients so desperately need – including dentures, crowns and bridges. Several companies donate materials for these appliances. When donated materials are available, DDS makes the arrangements.
Dental HouseCalls brings care to people who cannot easily travel to dentist’s offices, including residents of nursing homes, homebound individuals and people with developmental disabilities attending day programs or living in residential centers. Dental HouseCalls operates in Colorado. A fully equipped, portable dental office is transported in a van and set up at bedside or in a facility, enabling dentists to provide treatment. Most of the people have very little income and, without this service, would go without care. The program is staffed by a full-time Coordinator who drives the van, sets up the equipment, helps the dentists at chairside and schedules patients. Dentists from the community staff the van and provide a full range of dental therapies. Due to patients’ financial limitations, the dentists often donate or substantially discount their services.
Bridge/Campaign of Concern is a dental outreach program to help developmentally disabled individuals by bringing hygienists into schools, vocational centers, and group homes. Hygienists provide preventative educational services to people with poor oral hygiene. Information from screenings is used to prioritize referrals for treatment and guide staff in providing oral health instruction. Bridge/Campaign of Concern operates throughout the entire state of Colorado and is free to those interested.
Donated Orthodontic Services (DOS) is a program of the AAO, operated by Dental Lifeline Network. DOS enables low-income children to receive orthodontic treatment. Established in 2009 and initially available in a limited number of states, DOS now operates nationwide, but at this time is unable to accept new applications in Kansas and Indiana.
For more information, please contact:
Amalia Dominguez, DOS Coordinator