DLN Success Story – CO Woman Gets Her Smile Back

O'Celia and DDS volunteer Dr. Van Zytveld

O’Celia and DDS volunteer Dr. Van Zytveld

O’Celia was involved in an accident that shattered her right leg, resulting in four metal plates and 20 screws. She also had a heart condition that required two mitral valve replacements. Compounding her woes, she had seriously-neglected dental problems and could not proceed with the surgery. The recent death of her husband left her with a mountain of debt and she could not get public aid. O’Celia had nowhere to turn.

Fortunately, O’Celia qualified for Dental Lifeline Network’s (DLN) Donated Dental Services (DDS) program that serves people with disabilities or who are elderly (over the age of 65) or medically fragile and have no other way to pay for treatment. Medically fragile patients like O’Celia often need dental care to qualify for lifesaving or life-sustaining treatments such as chemotherapy, joint replacement, cardiac surgery or organ transplants.

Dr. Eric Van Zytveld, one of 15,300 dentists that volunteer for DDS nationwide, along with two other volunteers brought O’Celia’s smile back: oral surgeon Dr. Zachary Wells and endodontist Dr. Sanjay Patel. And, four volunteer dental labs donated fabrications critical to O’Celia’s care: Whyman Dental Lab, Shores Dental Studio, Sublime Dental Arts and Frameworks Dental Lab.

Thanks to the generosity of these volunteer dentists and laboratories, O’Celia received dental clearance to proceed with medical treatment

“I smile now, I had lost all muscle memory and had to learn to smile again. DDS gave me back my self-confidence, I go out more and I can eat comfortably and talk to people without covering my mouth. I have never been treated more kindly.” O’Celia said.