DLN Success Story — Rhode Island Patient Gets Self-Worth and Confidence Back

Paula Fougere & Dr. John Eastman smile next to one anotherPaula is a 56-year-old widow living alone in Cranston. She was a Certified Nursing Assistant at a local hospital until being injured in an accident that permanently damaged her wrists. Since then, Paula has developed severe intestinal disorders making it difficult for her to stand for long periods of time. Unfortunately, she was missing her posterior teeth, which made it difficult to chew and contributed to her intestinal and digestive issues. She survives on a small Social Security Disability benefit and was not able to afford the dental treatment she desperately needed. It seemed she had nowhere to turn for help.

Paula learned of the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program and after being accepted into the program, she was linked with three generous volunteers:

• Dr. John Eastman donated a full upper denture and lower partial.

• Oral surgeon Dr. Stephen N. Bakios performed extractions.

• Barrington Dental Lab fabricated the denture and partial.

“So thankful—not only did teeth improve my selection of healthier food and hearing better. I am also grateful emotionally, the teeth lifted some of the depression and self-worth. I can now go out to be social again and not be conscious of having no teeth.” —Paula, DDS patient

“It was easy to work through DLN. The folks do a great job of sending us patients who are truly in need. It’s a great way for the dental industry to give back to our community.” —Dr. John Eastman, DDS volunteer


DDS has donated more than $350,000 of care to underserved patients. To see how DLN • Rhode Island has helped others like Paula, view the state annual report!