DLN Success Story — Illinois Patient Not Ashamed to Smile Bigger and Brighter

Karen, 68, lives in Glen Carbon and has diabetes and hypertension. While working in the hospitality industry as a phone operator, she raised two boys as a single mother. Retired for two years Dr. Sarah Thompson and her assistant smile with Karen for DDS. now, Karen enjoys volunteering. She helps in her church food pantry and serves on committees.

Unfortunately, she did not have any upper teeth for many years, and her remaining teeth were in poor condition. Eating was difficult due to her dental condition. She desperately needed dental treatment but didn’t know where to turn for help. Her retirement income just covers her basic living expenses and her sons help her when they can.

A friend referred Karen to Donated Dental Services (DDS) and she was linked with two generous volunteers: Dr. Sarah Thompson extracted five teeth and donated an upper denture and lower partial, which Keller Laboratories, Inc. fabricated.

“I can smile again and everyone tells me how good I look. I’m just not ashamed to go out like I used to be and smile at people.” –Karen, DDS patient

“DLN gives me an opportunity to give back to the community and I don’t necessarily have to try to find or create a personal charity. I can have DLN send me people that need help—that I’m willing to help. DLN funnels the patients to me directly and I can help that way. It doesn’t require any extra time outside of what I do and you guys make it so easy.” –Dr. Sarah Thompson, DDS Volunteer


DDS has donated $1.6 million of care to underserved patients. To see how DLN • Illinois has helped others like Karen, view the state annual report!