50 Years of Smiles: Celebrating the Legacy of DLN and Dr. Larry Coffee

This year we celebrate Dental Lifeline Network’s 50th Anniversary and its countless contributions made to oral health in the lives of vulnerable adults. Throughout the year, we will honor individuals, partners, and volunteers who have all contributed to reaching this milestone, starting with our founder, Dr. Larry Coffee. 

Where it all Began

50 years ago, as a young dental student, Dr. Larry Coffee dreamed of making a difference in oral health by changing the lives of people with developmental disabilities, including his beloved sister, Barbie. He believed if diseases could be prevented, future generations would never be impacted by seriously neglected dental problems. What began as a dream soon became what is now Dental Lifeline Network. 

Inspired by his passion, other dedicated oral healthcare advocates and partners across the dental industry quickly joined the cause. In 1985, several years after DLN’s inception, the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program was created, expanding critical services to include aging adults, veterans, and medically compromised individuals. The once local Colorado network of volunteer dentists and labs spread nationwide, now surpassing over 170,000 patients served.

As a man who gave thousands of individuals a reason to smile, we want to thank Larry for the significant contributions he has made to the organization and for molding DLN into what it is and has accomplished today. His dream and legacy of transforming the lives of many people will carry on. 

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Dental Lifeline Network
1800 15th Street, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303.534.5360
Fax: 303.534.5290

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