New Yorker Bertha worked as a clerical employee for 35 years before her health concerns forced her to retire. She experiences mental and physical challenges like bipolar disorder, osteoarthritis, and compromised liver function. She also received shock treatment for her bipolar disorder which caused her to grind her teeth, leading to severe dental issues including abscesses that eventually resulted in hospitalization. Bertha’s decline in oral health posed a risk to her overall health and her doctor urged her to get help.
Since her retirement, Bertha relies on food stamps and a small Social Security Disability benefit to meet her needs. Unfortunately, this aid was not enough to fund her much-needed dental treatment, so Bertha turned to Donated Dental Services (DDS) for relief.
The DDS program, along with two generous volunteers, offered Bertha life-changing treatment: Dr. Robert M. Trager extracted three teeth, restored another, and donated a full upper denture and partial lower denture. Magna Studio Laboratory fabricated the dentures that allowed Bertha to eat comfortably again.
“It’s important because we help serve the underserved in the community. It is gratifying ethically, morally, and spiritually both to the patient and to the provider.” – Dr. Trager
“I thought Dr. Trager was just super. I would have had no teeth otherwise — that made a difference in my life. My mouth hurts much less and I can eat better now.” – Bertha
In the fiscal year 2015-2016, New York volunteers helped 106 patients and donated nearly $500,000 of dental care. To learn more about the DLN • New York program, visit the state annual report!