Jonathon is a 56-year-old man with progressive multiple sclerosis. He has not only gradually lost mobility and speech since diagnosis, he has also dealt with chronic infections and tooth loss in the front part of his mouth.
Jonathon applied to the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program in hopes he would be accepted to receive much-needed dental treatment. Dental Lifeline Network • Oregon Leadership Council Chair Dr. Gerald Kennedy agreed to donate his time and expertise to Jonathon, and soon they began treatment. Dr. Kennedy is one of 310 volunteer dentists in Oregon who help those who are disabled, elderly, or medically fragile receive dental care they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Under normal circumstances, Dr. Kennedy may have prescribed treatment that included a partial denture or bridge, but because of Jonathon’s specific needs, the generous dentist wanted to do more. Because Jonathon has limited use of his arms and legs and uses an electric wheelchair to remain mobile, it would be difficult for him to keep up with maintenance required for a removable dental device.
Thanks to another DDS volunteer, David Dental Laboratory, Jonathon was able to receive full contours and a zirconia bridge, which will be much less of a trouble for him. Today, Jonathon is able to laugh with ease and smile brightly again.
“[Participating in DDS] is part of my personal philosophy. I think it helps our communities and it also for dentistry is one of the big issues: access to care. I’m grateful for all dentistry has done for me and I think it’s important to give back to our local and greater community that we make a living from.” — Dr. Kennedy
In the fiscal year 2015-2016, volunteers partnered with DLN • Oregon donated their talents to over 207 patients in need. To learn more about the difference made by volunteers in Oregon, visit the state annual report!