Volunteer Spotlight–Dr. Frank Martello

DDS Patient Willie with DDS Volunteer Dr. Frank MartelloDr. Martello’s altruism shines through his community involvement and his commitment to sharing his craft. As a longtime DLN volunteer, founding DLN • Louisiana board member and past DLN • LA board president, Dr. Martello has donated more than $200,400 in treatment since the LA Donated Dental Services (DDS) program’s inception in 1987 to help individuals like Willie.

Willie is a 61-year-old who lives in New Orleans with his mother, and he is her primary caretaker. Willie was in the Maine Corps from 1982-1989 and played in their band. He was stationed mostly in California and New York where he worked in the infantry and guard duty on the naval bases and ships. After he completed his service, he drove an 18 wheeler truck for many years, and then went on to warehouse and office management. Willie suffers from multiple health issues and serious dental challenges.

Many of his teeth were rotting and breaking off, and he often had infections and abscesses causing pain and making it difficult to eat. Willie desperately needed help addressing his dental health. Fortunately, two generous DDS volunteers, including Dr. Martello, agreed to help. Dr. Martello extracted seven teeth, and a volunteer laboratory, donated full upper and lower dentures. Thanks to these caring volunteers, he is able to eat without pain and smile again!

Dr. Martello was recently awarded  the 2021 recipient of the Louisiana Dental Association (LDA) Humanitarian Award. Dr. Martello has also been a member of the LDA, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the New Orleans Dental Association (NODA) for 43 years. He served as the president of NODA in 1993 and the secretary in 1987-1988. He has a private practice in uptown New Orleans and is a clinical associate professor at the LSU School of Dentistry.

“We are grateful for his continued commitment to donating dental services to vulnerable individuals, for his devotion to the dental profession, and his dedication to his community,” said Fred Leviton, CEO of Dental Lifeline Network.