DLN Success Story — North Dakota Patient Gets His Smile Back

Marcus is a 26-year-old man with multiple disabilities who lives with his mother and sister in Minot. At age seven, he fell down some steps and began having seizures and migraines. He has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia and autism. Marcus attends a vocational rehabilitation program and hopes to one day be employed. Unfortunately, his medications dry out his mouth and contribute to decay. Marcus has difficulty chewing his food due to his infected teeth.Marcus Witherspoon & Dr. Bethany Jensen

His family helps with expenses, but they were not able to afford the dental care Marcus so desperately needed. It seemed as though they had nowhere to turn for help.

Marcus receives services through North Central Human Service Center, and his case manager referred him to the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. Three generous volunteers stepped up to help:

• Dr. Bethany Jensen donated a partial denture and two fillings.

• Oral surgeon Dr. Michael McMahon extracted three wisdom teeth.

• Minot Dental Laboratory fabricated the lower partial.

“He was in pain and now he’s back to being comfortable, smiling again, and he’s happy. At one point he was hardly able to eat but now he can digest his food. They really gave my child back and made him pain-free.” –Mother of Marcus, DDS patient

“DDS screens patients for people in sincere need of a leg up. By working through DDS, their case worker helps to facilitate their care to allow for us to just do the dentistry. You as a dentist get to walk them step-by-step back to health.” –Dr. Bethany Jensen, DDS volunteer


DDS has donated $231,000 of care to underserved patients. To see how DLN • North Dakota has helped others like Marcus, view the state annual report!