DLN Success Story — Big Smiles in the Big Sky State

Bert, 68, is a veteran living in Montana. Bert worked years in construction until he was laid off in 2010 due to the economy. Although he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011 and experiences pain in his rotator cuff, Bert is otherwise in good health.

Unfortunately, Bert’s oral health had begun to decline; he only had seven teeth remaining, two of which caused him pain almost consistently. Bert also had been having a lot of discomfort and trouble eating, and he knew he ought to seek help. He received care at a free dental clinic day a few years back and the dentist recommended Bert have his remaining teeth extracted and use a full set of upper and lower dentures. Although Bert currently receives Social Security and disability benefits, his monthly expenses left him with no remaining funds to get the extensive dental treatment he needed.

When the VA clinic where Bert lives suggested he apply for Donated Dental Services (DDS), help was quick to come. Three generous volunteers partnered with Dental Lifeline Network • Montana stepped in to help. Dr. Michael Bowman saw Bert for an initial consultation and completed x-rays to see what treatment he would need. Dr. Gabriel Perjessy installed a full upper denture and a lower partial acrylic denture, both of which were fabricated by Western Montana Dental Prosthetics.

Thanks to these volunteers, Bert is now smiling and enjoying life without oral pain.

“The experience has always been good because DDS has always tried to line us up with people who are appreciative of the program itself. All the patients have been extremely thankful for all we can do. The program is so rewarding for the dentist that it’s well worth getting into.” — Dr. Perjessy

To see how other individuals in Montana received necessary, life-changing dental care, visit the state annual report!