DENVER – May 14, 2019 – Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) is proud to join all Americans this Memorial Day as we remember and honor military personnel who have died in service to our country. In this time of remembrance and in coordination with National Dental Care Month, DLN launched an important volunteer recruitment campaign in honor of veterans called “Will You See One Vet”.
DLN encourages dentists across the country to get involved by honoring and serving our current veterans with special needs. From clearing up painful dental infections to being able to eat again – providing comprehensive dental care will make a life-changing difference for veterans in need – like Herbert.
Herbert, an elderly veteran of the U.S. Army who served our country in Vietnam, exemplifies how volunteering with DLN can make a difference in the lives of veterans. Now 70, Herbert suffers from diabetes, orthopedic pain and neuropathy. Herbert also had oral health issues. His oral upper denture was cracked and no longer fit properly, and his remaining six bottom teeth were warn, broken and decayed due to his diabetes. He was ineligible for dental assistance through Veterans Affairs and could not afford the necessary dental treatment. Dr. Mark Berger – a DLN volunteer dentist stepped in to donate his time and services to help restore Herbert’s oral health. Rebour Dental Lab also got involved and fabricated full upper and lower dentures for Herbert, at no cost.
Lack of dental care can lead to the inability to have a life-saving surgery, eat again or contribute to the community. For many of these veterans – volunteer dental professionals are their only hope. Through the Will You See One Vet campaign, DLN hopes to expand its network of dentists and their teams to volunteer to see ONE veteran with special needs one time per year.
“Treating Herbert has been an absolute pleasure. Our entire office is appreciative and thankful for the years of service Herbert gave to our country,” says Dr. Berger. “Giving any veteran a new smile is something that we were very proud to be able to do and this program definitely facilitated this goal.”
Too many people and veterans – like Herbert – are unable to access the dental care they need. If you are a dental professional interested in providing care to those in need – we want your help to serve the more than 11,000 people on our wait list.
“This awareness campaign showcases the life-changing difference our volunteers have made in the lives of veterans,” said Fred Leviton, chief executive officer of DLN. “We hope sharing this message will inspire even more volunteers to participate in our program, allowing DLN to serve a greater number of veterans in our communities with disabilities, who are elderly or medically fragile.”
For more than 30 years, DLN has facilitated donated, comprehensive dental care to vulnerable people with disabilities, the elderly or those who are medically compromised. Every day a network of 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,500 volunteer laboratories, work together to make a difference.
According to the most recent US Census, there are 18.2 million veterans in the United States. Because of congressional limitations, many of our veterans do not qualify for full dental benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. In fact, the need is so great that homeless veterans list dental care among their top three unmet needs.
In order to recruit more volunteer dentists, DLN developed the Will You See One Vet campaign. The campaign – that includes targeted outreach, media and advertising – utilizes imagery of veterans telling their life-changing stories after receiving comprehensive dental care. One component of the campaign is a radio Public Service Announcement distributed to media outlets nationwide and will run in donated time starting in May. In addition, print and digital advertising for national and state outlets across the county. The campaign is supported by many generous sponsors including, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation and Delta Dental of Missouri, Guardian and The Patterson Foundation, click here for a full list of supporters.
If you are a general dentist or specialist, getting involved with DLN’s Will You See One Vet campaign is easy. You can become a volunteer and donate your services or you can make a direct donation to DLN.
How to Get Involved
Dentists: Visit WillYouSeeOneVet.org and fill out our short form.
Dental Lifeline Network is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization and strategic partner of the American Dental Association providing access to comprehensive dental care for people – including our country’s veterans – who have disabilities, are elderly or are medically compromised. Visit DentalLifeline.org to learn more.
Dental Lifeline Network
VP, Marketing and Communications