DLN Success Story—DDS Helps Rhode Island Veteran Restore Smile and Diet

Michael and Dr. Rochelle Rhodes

Michael, 78, lives in Providence County. He is a veteran who enjoys spending time with his son, watching TV, and visiting with other veterans in his free time. He was diagnosed with heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis and has had two heart surgeries and as a result has two stents. He is also a double amputee and uses a wheelchair. Michael was homeless for several years and now lives with his son.

His dental health was also declining. Michael hadn’t seen a dentist in more than 25 years. His poor oral health was affecting his ability to eat a regular diet. Michael sought help for his dental conditions, but sadly, he was unable to afford the recommended treatment plan. He survives on a small pension and struggles to make ends meet. While he currently receives healthcare through Veterans Affairs, his dental care was not included.

How DDS Helped

Fortunately, Michael was referred to the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program by the Rhode Island Department of Human Services and he was linked with two generous volunteers.

  • Dr. Rochelle Rhodes performed an exam and x-rays.
  • Dickerman Dental Prosthetics donated a partial upper denture and partial lower denture at no cost.

“Thank you so much! The office of Dr. R. was so nice throughout the whole process. I am so glad to have been part of this program.” 

—Michael, DDS Patient

“I recently became a provider for DDS. This experience has been very rewarding for me and my staff. I feel as a dentist I have been fortunate to learn a unique skill. This skill is my livelihood, but I also have a responsibility to share this with others less fortunate. I would not feel fulfilled as a dentist if I was not giving back to my community.”

—Dr. Rochelle Rhodes, DDS Volunteer

Rhode Island Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program of Dental Lifeline Network, a national humanitarian organization and a strategic partner of the ADA, providing access to comprehensive dental care for people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and have no other way to get help. Nationally, almost 16,000 dentists and 3,500 laboratories volunteer for DDS.

Learn more about volunteering to help a veteran or to learn about DDS in your state, visit our state pages.