Lifeline in Action: Changing Lives One Smile at a Time

Dr. Jeffrey Ottley (Milton), a Florida Board Member and DDS volunteer since 2015, with DDS patient, Leroy.

Dr. Jeffrey Ottley, a Donated Dental Services (DDS) volunteer since 2015 and Dental Lifeline Network • Florida Board Member, worked with Emerald Coast Dental Lab to help restore the dental health and smile of Leroy, a 68-year-old Santa Rosa County resident.   

A veteran, Leroy served in the Navy and afterward traveled the country before settling down in Florida. Struggling with mental health challenges, his dental health presented another problem. With only 15 teeth remaining, all of which were in poor condition, his quality of life and ability to maintain his health was severely compromised. Leroy survives off of Social Security and a small Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit, making it impossible for him to afford the treatment he so desperately needed. The life-changing dental care Leroy needed was far beyond his reach. 

This all changed when Leroy’s VA social worker connected him with the DDS program, and Dr. Jeffrey Ottley, a DLN volunteer since 2015 who also serves on the DLN • Florida Board of Directors, stepped in to help. With the help of Emerald Coast Dental Lab, who provided partial upper and lower dentures, Dr. Ottley conducted three routine extractions, as well as scaling and root planing, and fitted him with the dentures. Thanks to the incredible generosity of these volunteers, Leroy received thousands of dollars in dental treatment that restored his smile and health. 

Speaking on how the treatment and generosity shown by Dr. Ottley and the Emerald Coast Dental Lab, Leroy commented: “This gives me a whole new outlook on life. I can now smile without having to worry about it. Thank you for helping me.”

DLN’s programs not only provide care and support for those in need it also provides volunteers with a renewed purpose for the profession and shows them how their work makes an impact on others. 

“The DDS program has enabled me, my dental team, and many others, to give back to our communities improving oral health and restoring the dignity and smiles of those in need,” said Dr. Ottley of his experience volunteering with DLN. “We are thankful for appreciative patients like Leroy who make volunteering meaningful and allow us to receive joy from helping them.” 

Thanks to generous volunteers like Drs. Ottley, volunteer dentists, and labs across the country have donated over $521 million dollars in dental care to almost 168,000 patients since the DDS program’s inception in 1985. 

To learn more about volunteering or more about DDS in your state, visit our state pages. 

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Phone: 303.534.5360
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