Clyde is a United States Armed Services veteran from Wyoming. He was concerned after doctors told him he had an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. His heart condition required further attention but because of an infection in his mouth, it could not be addressed.
Clyde could not afford the dental care he needed and in order to qualify for Veteran Administration dental benefits an individual must have a 100 percent service connected disability, have been a prisoner of war or have developed a dental condition during their service. His desperately needed extractions to rid his mouth of infection, were not covered. He had nowhere to turn.
Donated Dental Services (DDS) volunteer Dr. Jim Engstrom along with volunteer oral surgeon Dr. Nathan Steele came to Clyde’s rescue and performed the extractions to restore his oral health.
“It changed my life because it put my heart back to normal by getting rid of the bad teeth that I had. I don’t think it could have gone any better,” Clyde said.
Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a national program of Dental Lifeline Network and provides comprehensive dental treatment for individuals with disabilities, those who are elderly or medically fragile. The DDS program has come to the aid of 418 US Veterans during the fiscal year 2015-2016. Donated dental treatment to our country’s heroes has reached $1.7 million during the past year.
“We as dentists are very fortunate to do what we do, we should make time to pay it forward,” said Dr. Engstrom.
There are many more veterans like Clyde on waitlists. Volunteers are needed across the country to help restore the dental health of many individuals. You can make a difference.