DLN Success Story — RI Patient Overcomes Obstacles


Dr. Jennifer Torbett (left) with Suzan and dental assistant Christel

Rhode Island resident Suzan spent her time working as a bookkeeper, secretary and later, a dental assistant. She has multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis that prevented her from pursuing her career. Suzan developed a salivary gland infection that required surgery and a stay at a rehabilitation facility. During her stay, she developed pneumonia and also fell and broke her arm. After returning home, her oral health deteriorated quickly. Three teeth broke and fell out in a short period of time making eating difficult and causing constant pain. Surviving on a Social Security Disability income, the dental care she needed was out of her financial reach.

Suzan was referred to Donated Dental Services (DDS) and a team of volunteers agreed to help. Volunteer oral surgeon Dr. Dante Gulino extracted 11 teeth and Dental Lifeline Network • Rhode Island board member Dr. Jennifer Torbett restore 12 more teeth. Suzan’s dentures were fabricated by Dental Kinetics lab.

“Thank you very much Donated Dental Services and Dr. T and her staff who are amazing. I am so grateful there is such a program available.” – Suzan

Dental Lifeline Network • Rhode Island has treated more than 2,800 patients since its inception in 1989. More stats about the state can be found in the RI state annual report.